Excel 2016 For Dummies
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Hyperlinks automate Excel 2016 worksheets by making the opening of other Office documents and Excel workbooks and worksheets just a mouse click away. It doesn't matter whether these documents are located on your hard drive, a server on your LAN (Local Area Network), or web pages on the Internet or a company's intranet.

You can also set up e-mail hyperlinks that automatically address messages to co-workers with whom you routinely correspond, and you can attach Excel workbooks or other types of Office files to these messages.

The hyperlinks that you add to your Excel worksheets can be of the following types:

  • Text entries in cells (known as hypertext, normally formatted as underlined blue text)

  • Imported graphics from files you've inserted into the worksheet

  • Graphics you've created from the Shapes drop-down gallery on the Insert tab — in effect, turning the graphic images into buttons

When creating a text or graphic hyperlink, you can make a link to another Excel workbook or other type of Office file, a website address (using the URL address — you know, that monstrosity that begins with http://), a named location in the same workbook, or even a person's e-mail address. The named location can be a cell reference or named cell range in a particular worksheet.

To add the hyperlink to the text entry made in the current cell or a selected graphic object in your worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Hyperlink button on the Insert tab of the Ribbon or press Alt+NI, or simply press Ctrl+K.

    Excel opens the Insert Hyperlink dialog box (similar to the one shown here) in which you indicate the file, the web address (URL), or the named location in the workbook.

  2. a. To have the hyperlink open another document, a web page on a company's intranet, or a website on the Internet, click the Existing File or Web Page button if it isn't already selected and then enter the file's directory path or web page's URL in the Address text box.

    If the document you want to link to is located on your hard drive or a hard drive that is mapped on your computer, click the Look In drop-down button, select the folder, and then select the file in the list box. If you've recently opened the document you want to link to, you can click the Recent Files button and then select it from the list box.

    If the document you want to link to is located on a website and you know its web address (the www.dummies.com–like thing), you can type it into the Address text box. If you recently browsed the web page you want to link to, you can click the Browsed Pages button and then select the address of the page from the list box.

    b. To have the hyperlink move the cell pointer to another cell or cell range in the same workbook, click the Place in This Document button. Next, type the address of the cell or cell range in the Type the Cell Reference text box or select the desired sheet name or range name from the Or Select a Place in This Document list box.

    c. To open a new e-mail message addressed to a particular recipient, click the E-mail Address button and then enter the recipient's e-mail address in the E-mail Address text box.

    As soon as you begin typing the e-mail address in the E-mail Address text box, Excel inserts the text mailto: in front of whatever you've typed. (mailto: is the HTML tag that tells Excel to open your e-mail program when you click the hyperlink.)

    If you want the hyperlink to add the subject of the e-mail message when it opens a new message in your e-mail program, enter this text in the Subject text box.

    If the recipient's address is displayed in the Recently Used E-mail Addresses list box, you can enter it into the E-mail Address text box simply by clicking the address.

  3. (Optional) To change the hyperlink text that appears in the cell of the worksheet (underlined and in blue) or add text if the cell is blank, type the desired label in the Text to Display text box.

  4. (Optional) To add a ScreenTip to the hyperlink that appears when you position the mouse pointer over the hyperlink, click the ScreenTip button, type the text that you want to appear next to the mouse pointer in the ScreenTip box, and then click OK.

  5. Click OK to close the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

    Linking to a web page in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
    Linking to a web page in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

After you create a hyperlink in a worksheet, you can follow it to whatever destination you associated with the hyperlink. To follow a hyperlink, position the mouse pointer over the underlined blue text (if you assigned the hyperlink to text in a cell) or the graphic image (if you assigned the hyperlink to a graphic inserted in the worksheet). When the pointer changes to a hand with the index finger pointing upward, click the hypertext or graphic image, and Excel makes the jump to the designated external document, web page, cell within the workbook, or e-mail message.

After you follow a hypertext link to its destination, the color of its text changes from the traditional blue to a dark shade of purple (without affecting its underlining). This color change indicates that the hyperlink has been used. (Note, however, that graphic hyperlinks do not show any change in color after you follow them.) Additionally, Excel restores this underlined text to its original (unfollowed) blue color the next time that you open the workbook file.

If you need to edit a hyperlink attached to a worksheet cell or graphic object, you must be careful that, when getting Excel into Edit mode so that you can change the text, you don't inadvertently follow the link. When dealing with hypertext in a cell or assigned to a graphic object, you're best off right-clicking the cell or image and then clicking the appropriate editing command (Edit Hyperlink or Remove Hyperlink) on its shortcut menu.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Greg Harvey, PhD is the President of Mind Over Media. Greg wrote his first computer book more than twenty years ago and since that time, he has amassed a long list of bestselling titles including Excel All-In-One For Dummies (all editions) and Excel Workbook For Dummies (all editions).

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