Adding Excel Hyperlinks, Bookmarks, and Mailto Links

Image showing a Click Here link for hyperlinks, bookmarks, and mailto links

adamkaz/Getty Images 

Ever wondered how to add hyperlinks, bookmarks, or mailto links in Excel? The answers are right here.

Note The following steps apply to Excel for Office 365, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011 and Excel Online.

What Are Hyperlinks, Bookmarks, and Mailto Links?

First, let's clarify what we mean with each term. 

hyperlink provides a way to open a web page by selecting a cell in a worksheet. It's also used in Excel to provide quick and easy access to other Excel workbooks.

bookmark creates a link to a specific area in the current worksheet or to a different worksheet within the same Excel file using cell references.

mailto link is a link to an email address. Selecting a mailto link opens a new message window in the default email program and inserts the email address into the To line of the message.

In Excel, both hyperlinks and bookmarks are intended to make it easier to navigate between areas of related data. Mailto links make it easier to send an email message to an individual or organization. In all cases:

  • No matter which type of link is created, it is created by entering the necessary information in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  • As with links in web pages, links in Excel are attached to anchor text located in a worksheet cell.
  • Adding this anchor text before opening the dialog box simplifies the task of creating the link, but it can also be entered after the dialog box is open.

Open the Insert Hyperlink Dialog Box

Insert a hyperlink from the Excel ribbon

The key combination to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box is Ctrl+K on a PC or Command+K on a Mac.

  1. In an Excel worksheet, select the cell that will contain the hyperlink.
  2. Type a word to act as anchor text such as "Spreadsheets" or "June_Sales.xlsx" and press Enter.
  3. Select the cell with the anchor text a second time.
  4. Press and hold the Ctrl key (in Windows) or the Command key (on Mac).
  5. Press and release the letter K key to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

How to Open the Insert Hyperlink Dialog Box Using the Ribbon

  1. In an Excel worksheet, select the cell that will contain the hyperlink.
  2. Type a word to act as anchor text such as "Spreadsheets" or "June_Sales.xlsx" and press Enter.
  3. Select the cell with the anchor text a second time.
  4. Select Insert. (In Excel 2011 for Mac go to the Insert menu.)
  5. Select Hyperlink or Link > Insert Link in the Links group. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box opens.

Add a Hyperlink in Excel

Insert a web page hyperlink in Excel

Here's how to set up a hyperlink to jump to a web page or to an Excel file.

Add a Hyperlink to a Web Page

  1. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box using one of the methods outlined above.
  2. Select the Existing File or Web Page tab.
  3. In the Address line, type a full URL address.
  4. Select OK to complete the hyperlink and close the dialog box.

The anchor text in the worksheet cell is blue in color and underlined to indicate it contains a hyperlink. Whenever it is selected, it will open the designated website in the default browser.

Add a Hyperlink to an Excel File

Note: This option is not available in Excel Online.

  1. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  2. Select the Existing File or Web Page tab.
  3. Select Browse for file to open the Link to file dialog box.
  4. Browse to find the Excel file name, select the file, and select OK. The file name is added to the Address line in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  5. Select OK to complete the hyperlink and close the dialog box.

The anchor text in the worksheet cell changes to blue in color and is underlined to indicate it contains a hyperlink. Whenever it is selected, it will open the designated Excel workbook.

Create a Bookmark to the Same Excel Worksheet

Excel Hyperlink place in this document

A bookmark in Excel is similar to a hyperlink except that it is used to create a link to a specific area on the current worksheet or to a different worksheet within the same Excel file.

While hyperlinks use file names to create links to other Excel files, bookmarks use cell references and worksheet names to create links.

How to Create a Bookmark to the Same Worksheet

The following example creates a bookmark to a different location in the same Excel worksheet.

  1. Type a name in a cell that will act as the anchor text for the bookmark and press Enter.
  2. Select that cell to make it the active cell.
  3. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  4. Select the Place in This Document tab (or select the Place in this document button in Excel Online).
  5. In the Type the cell reference text box, enter a cell reference to a different location on the same worksheet, such as "Z100."
  6. Select OK to complete the bookmark and close the dialog box.

The anchor text in the worksheet cell is now blue in color and underlined to indicate that it contains a bookmark.

Select the bookmark and the active cell cursor moves to the cell reference entered for the bookmark.

Create a Bookmark to a Different Worksheet

Creating bookmarks to different worksheets within the same Excel file or workbook has an additional step. You'll also identify the destination worksheet for the bookmark. Renaming worksheets can make it easier to create bookmarks in files with a large number of worksheets.

  1. Open a multi-sheet Excel workbook or add additional sheets to a single sheet file.
  2. On one of the sheets, type a name in a cell to act as the anchor text for the bookmark.
  3. Select that cell to make it the active cell.
  4. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  5. Select the Place in This Document tab (or select the Place in this Document button in Excel Online).
  6. Enter a cell reference in the field under Type in the cell reference.
  7. In the Or select a place in this document field, select the destination sheet name. Unnamed sheets are identified as Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3 and so on.
  8. Select OK to complete the bookmark and close the dialog box.

The anchor text in the worksheet cell is now blue in color and underlined to indicate that it contains a bookmark.

Select the bookmark and the active cell cursor moves to the cell reference on the sheet entered for the bookmark.

Insert a Mailto Link Into an Excel File

Excel mailto link

Adding contact information to an Excel worksheet makes it easy to send an email from the document.

  1. Type a name in a cell that will act as the anchor text for the mailto link and press Enter.
  2. Select that cell to make it the active cell.
  3. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  4. Select the E-mail Address tab (or select the Email Address button in Excel Online).
  5. In the Email address field, enter the email address of the person who will receive the email. This address is entered in the To line of a new email message when the link is selected.
  6. Under the Subject line, enter the subject for the email. This text is entered into the subject line in the new message. This option is not available in Excel Online.
  7. Select OK to complete the mailto link and close the dialog box.

The anchor text in the worksheet cell is now blue in color and underlined to indicate it contains a hyperlink.

Select the mailto link and the default email program opens a new message with the address and subject text entered.

Remove a Hyperlink Without Removing the Anchor Text

When you no longer need a hyperlink, you can remove the link information without removing the text that served as the anchor.

  1. Position the mouse pointer over the hyperlink to be removed. The arrow pointer should change to the hand symbol.
  2. Right-click on the hyperlink anchor text to open the context menu.
  3. Select Remove Hyperlink.

The blue color and the underline should is removed from the anchor text to indicate that the hyperlink has been removed.