How to create hyperlinks in Microsoft Word

Hyperlink is a reference, or a link that can be followed, to data that is easily accessible by the reader. Instead of wasting time by searching for a document, a part of a document, a web page or any type of digital information, hyperlinks help the audience reach the desired object instantaneously. Ultimately, when clicking on a hyperlink you are being redirected to an object that resides at a different location. To better understand hyperlinks, think about your telephone book and  the numbers of all people listed in it. Now, for example, if you want to call your mother, you dial her number and you are connected within seconds. In a similar way, hyperlinks have the address (or the phone number) of the object and when triggered, they connect you to that very specific object.

In Microsoft Word 2010 you can create hyperlinks to any object residing on the internet, your computer, USB hard drive, flash memory, etc.  To create a hyperlink in Word, simply click the right button of your mouse or laptop track-pad over an empty space, picture, or selected word in the document. Next, you will see a drop-down menu and then look for a Hyperlink option.

Left click on the Hyperlink and the Insert Hyperlink menu will open.

Here you have various options: you can copy and paste an address from the internet in the Address bar; select a file from your computer, USB-attached flash drive, sdcard, or hard drive; you can also make a link to a place in your existing document; or reference to an e-mail address.

Notice that on the Insert Hyperlink Menu there is a field called “Text to display”. Here you can type a word or text that will be visible in your document.  When the reader presses the Ctrl button on the keyboard and left-click with the mouse over the hyperlink text, he/she will be re-directed to the specified object. The “Text to display” option is not available if you are creating a hyperlink on an image.

Making a hyperlink to a webpage is pretty straight-forward: simply copy the internet address of the page and paste it in the Address bar.

Then, for example you can change the http://google.com with Google from the “Text to display” box. This is greatly useful when dealing with much larger web addresses.

Another hyperlink option is to navigate to a specific place in the same document.  This is a two-step process. First, create a bookmark in the document. For that purpose, go to the target location in the document, left click either on an empty space, specific word, or picture. In the Insert tab located in the upper left-hand corner select “Bookmark.”

Here you have to give a name to your bookmark.

Second, create a hyperlink to your bookmark. The procedure is similar to the one where we created hyperlink to a web address. Instead of inserting the address, we should first select “Place in this document”. Next, from the “Bookmarks” option select the one you created in the previous step.

Lastly, to make a reference to an e-mail address, follow the steps for creating a hyperlink. In the Insert Hyperlink menu, select the “E-mail Address” tab and fill the e-mail information.

Now you are ready to enhance your documents by including useful hyperlinks. Even though creating hyperlinks can be time consuming, it adds value to any document.  Additionally, your readers will certainly appreciate your thoroughness for saving them some time by inserting the hyperlinks so that they don’t have to look for the information themselves.

Georgi Trifonov – International student at USF

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