How to Add and Edit Links in Word Documents

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Microsoft Word is primarily used for creating word processing documents, but it also allows you to work with hyperlinks and HTML code used in websites. Hyperlinks are particularly useful to include in some documents, connecting to sources or additional information related to the document.

These instructions work for all currently supported desktop versions of Microsoft Word.

Inserting Links

To link to other documents or web pages from your Word document, insert a hyperlink:

  1. Select the text that you want to apply the hyperlink to. This can be the text of a URL, a single word, a phrase, a sentence, and even a paragraph.

  2. Right-click the text and select Link or Hyperlink from the context menu to open the Insert Hyperlink window.

    Insert Hyperlink
  3. In the Address field, enter the URL address of the document or website you want to link to. For online assets, the URL must include the protocol (e.g., http, https, or ftp).

    The Display field defaults to the text you selected in step 1. You can change this text here if you like.

  4. Click Insert or OK.

  5. Your selected text will now appear as a hyperlink that can be clicked to open the linked document or website.

Right-click on the hyperlink within your document and select Edit Hyperlink to re-open this dialog box for later tweaking.

Removing Hyperlinks

When you type a URL into Word, it automatically inserts a hyperlink connecting to the website. This feature is handy if you distribute documents electronically, but it can be a nuisance if you’re printing documents.

To remove a hyperlink, right-click on it and select Remove Hyperlink from the context menu.

However, in Word for Mac, right-click then select Hyperlink from the context menu. In the slide-out menu, select Edit Hyperlink then click Remove Link from the bottom of the dialog box.

More About Editing Hyperlinks

When you work in the Edit Hyperlink window, several other features are available to you, on the left side of the dialog box.

Existing File or Web Page

This tab is selected by default when you open the Edit Hyperlink window. It displays the text for the hyperlink and the URL of that hyperlink. In the middle of the window, you will see three tabs.

  • Current Folder displays all files that are located in the same folder location as the current document. If you want to have the selected link you're editing link to a document located in this folder, simply locate the file and click it. The Address field changes to reflect the document location on your computer. The Text to display field will also change to the file address, so you may want to edit this field to change the text that will be displayed in the Word document. 
  • Browsed Pages shows a list of recent documents and Web pages you have accessed. You can select one of these as the new link destination.
  • Recent Files displays a list of recent files you've worked on in Word. This is handy if you're working on a series of separate documents by letting you create links to them quickly.

Page in This Document

This tab will display sections and bookmarks contained in your current document. Use it to link to specific locations within your current document.

Create New Document

This tab lets you create a new document to which your link will connect. This feature is useful if you're creating a series of documents but haven't yet created the document you want to link to. You can define the name of the new document in the labeled field. 

If you don't want to edit the new document you create from here, click the radio button next to Edit the new document later.

Email Address

This section creates a link that will generate a new email when someone clicks it and populates several of the new email's fields with defaults you define. Enter the email address where you want the new email to be sent, and stipulate the subject that should appear in the new email by filling in the appropriate fields.

If you have used this feature recently for other links, any email addresses you used in those will appear in the "Recently used e-mail addresses" box.