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Turning Off Hyperlink Activation

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Turning Off Hyperlink Activation.

When you enter a Web address or a LAN server address of a file into an Excel cell, it automatically converts to a hyperlink when you leave the cell. This is part of the "Web-aware behavior" of Excel, first introduced in Excel 2000.

If you want to turn off the automatic conversion, you can follow these steps if you are using Excel 2002 or Excel 2003:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect Functions from the Tools menu. Excel displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. Clear the Internet and Network Paths With Hyperlinks check box.
  5. Click OK.

If you are using Excel 2000, your options are severely limited—Excel doesn't allow you to turn off the conversions. All you can do is press Ctrl+Z after the hyperlink is created, or preface your entry with an apostrophe so that Excel treats it as text. You can also create an application-level event handler—which is beyond the scope of this tip—as described in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, article 233073:


ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2707) applies to Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Turning Off Hyperlink Activation.

Related Tips:

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!


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