How to control the appearance of a hyperlink in Microsoft Word
Everyone knows what the underlined blue text means: a hyperlink! Find out how to change the look of a hyperlink in Word when you don’t want that familiar look.
Hyperlinks are part of our daily life. We easily recognize the underlined blue font as a link to related information. The visual clue is useful in most cases. However, there are times when you will want to remove special formatting in Microsoft Word because it is inconvenient or to follow other conventions. Changing the hyperlink to look like the remaining text is simple. In this article, I will show you how to edit the hyperlink manually and how to change the style of the hyperlink, updating all the hyperlinks.
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I am using Microsoft 365 on a 64-bit Windows 10 system, but you can use older versions. There is no demo file; you won’t need it. You can change the appearance of a link in the online version, but you cannot change a style.
How to edit hyperlinks one by one in Word
If you are dealing with a few hyperlinks, you can manually change the style as you would any other text. The default style is blue underlined text, so you need to remove the underline and change the font color. You can also change the text! Let’s work on a brief example:
- Type any URL or address to generate a hyperlink, such as https://techrepublic.com.
- Select the hyperlink and click Underline in the Font group to remove the underline.
- With the hyperlink still selected, click Font Color (Font group) and choose a new font color, such as Automatic, black, or the same color as the rest of your text.
At this point, the hyperlink is still a hyperlink; you did not remove the link. You only changed its appearance, as shown in Figure A.
If you want to go further, you can add the link to the normal text as follows:
- Copy the url to the clipboard.
- Enter the text, TechRepublic, and select it.
- Right click on the selected text and choose Link from the submenu.
- In the Address field, paste the url, as shown in Number B.
- Click on OK.
It makes no difference how the pasted URL is formatted beforehand; Word will format the selection as a hyperlink as shown in Figure C, when you paste the url. At this point, you can remove the underline and change the font color, just like you would regular text; readers won’t easily know this is a hyperlink, but it is. You can see it for yourself by checking the style of the selection: it’s Hyperlink! The same goes for the hyperlink in the middle, where you have manually changed the underline and font color properties. It is always a hyperlink.
This is all basic and works well for individual links. When editing multiple links, this manual process is tedious, so let’s take a look at a method that updates all hyperlinks at the same time.
How to update hyperlink style in Word
If you want to change multiple links, changing the style is the quickest solution. This will change all the hyperlinked references, so this is an all or nothing business. In doing so, you can change the underlying template, Normal, but I recommend that you don’t do that, unless you really want to remove the underlined blue text from your life forever. (OK, you can always go back, but you’ll have to remember you’ve changed the style of the hyperlink.)
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Right now you have an example of how you want the hyperlink to appear, the one in the middle. There is no underline and the font color is Automatic (or black or whatever you like). When you have an example in the document, the fastest way to update everything is to use that text like this:
- Select the middle link, the one without underlines and black text. Select the entire item for the best results.
- Click the Styles drop-down list to open the Styles pane. The hyperlink must be selected. If not, don’t worry. Find the hyperlink in the list.
- Right click the hyperlink (in the Styles pane) and choose Update Hyperlink to Match Selection from the submenu, as shown in Number D.
As you can see in Encrypted, the three hyperlinks (they are actually hyperlinks) look like regular text. Beyond that, any new links you create or paste into the document will also be black text with no underlines, but they will be hyperlinks.
In step 1 of the previous exercise, I told you to select the entire item (hyperlink) for the best results. If you click on it, you lose the underline property because it is a character property. When you update the style, the underline will not be removed from existing links and the underline will persist in new links.
Additionally, we have updated the style in the current document. We haven’t updated the Normal template. This is not available using this quick route. If you decide to do so, repeat steps 1 and 2 above. In step 3, click Edit instead. In the dialog that appears, click the New documents based on this template option at the bottom (Figure F), then click OK. However, I recommend that you give this app-level change some serious thought before doing so.
Removing the friendly and well-known hyperlink style from the text is not difficult. You can do this manually or by changing the style of the hyperlink.