Three Word-Based Hyperlink Questions


Question: Why is it that sometimes when I type the address of a webpage in Word it automatically turns into a hyperlink, and sometimes it doesn’t?

A: Word recognizes and hyperlinks addresses of Web pages that contain “www” (such as www.irs.gov), but not the ones that don’t (like irs.gov). The next time your web page address is not converted to a hyperlink, insert a “www”. In front of the web page address, place your cursor after the last letter of the web page address and press the space bar to convert it to a hyperlink.

Question: I am taken aback by this. I received a Word document with a hyperlink, but when I click on it my browser says it can’t find the webpage even though the web address is correct (see attached file). Can you tell me why this is happening?

A: If you look closely, there are some forensic signs that suggest the cause of your hyperlink problem. Specifically, the hyperlink and the hyperlink text do not match.

If you create a hyperlink in Word 2007 (or earlier Word editions) and then change the hyperlink text later, Word 2007 does not automatically update the hyperlink to match that text. Subsequently, the hyperlink remains incorrect, even for users opening the document in Word 2010 or 2013. It appears that the author of your document initially created this hyperlink in Word 2007 (or an earlier edition) and then has modified the linked text.


To note:
It is not possible to create this type of error in Word 2010 and 2013 because these editions of Word automatically update hyperlinks when hypertext text is changed.

Question: I received the attached Word document (pictured below), but I cannot get the hyperlinks to work. What am I doing wrong?

A: The Word document you sent me does not contain hyperlinks: the author of this document used blue text and underlined formatting to make these web addresses look like hyperlinks. Either the author wanted to make this text look like hyperlinks for printing purposes, he doesn’t know better, or maybe he sent you this document on April Fool’s Day.


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