Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 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: Special Characters In Hyperlinks.

Special Characters In Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2014)

6

As you learn in other issues of ExcelTips, Excel allows you to create hyperlinks to other Excel workbooks. If you create a workbook that uses the pound sign (#) in the file name, Excel has no problem with that. It will have a problem, however, if you try to create a hyperlink that references that workbook.

The reason for this is because the pound sign is a valid character for a file name, but it is not a valid character for use in a hyperlink. Since hyperlinks are closely related to URLs, you may think that replacing the pound sign with its hexadecimal equivalent (%23) in the hyperlink might do the trick. For instance, you might use the name My%23File.xls in the hyperlink instead of My#File.xls. This potential solution won't work, however. Excel still complains that it cannot find the file when you click on the hyperlink.

According to Microsoft sources, there are only two potential solutions. The first is to rename the target workbook so it doesn't include the pound sign in the file name. If this is not possible, then the second solution is to create a hyperlink by pasting instead of by using the Insert Hyperlink command. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook in which you want the hyperlink.
  2. Open the target workbook.
  3. In the target workbook, select the cell or range of cells you want selected when the hyperlink is clicked.
  4. Press Ctrl+C to copy the cell or range of cells to the Clipboard.
  5. Activate the workbook in which you want the hyperlink.
  6. Select the cell where you want the hyperlink to appear.
  7. Choose Paste As Hyperlink from the Edit menu.

Your hyperlink appears, complete with the pound sign, and it will work.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2004) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Special Characters In Hyperlinks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Updating Links in Copied Files

When you copy workbooks that contain links, you may be at a loss as to how to update those links. There are a couple of ...

Discover More

Detecting Errors in Conditional Formatting Formulas

If an error exists in a formula tucked inside a conditional format, you may never know it is there. There are ways to ...

Discover More

Entering Dates without Separators

When doing data entry into a worksheet, you might want to enter dates without the need to type the separators that are ...

Discover More

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!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Opening an HTML Page in a Macro

Excel allows you to open HTML pages within the program, which is great for some purposes. What if you want to open a ...

Discover More

Deleting a Hyperlink

Hyperlinks can be helpful in some worksheets but bothersome in others. Here's how to get rid of any hyperlinks you don't ...

Discover More

Removing Hyperlinks without a Macro

If you have a whole slew of hyperlinks in a worksheet and you want to get rid of them, it's easier than you think. This ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 8?

2018-09-15 08:44:25

Willy Vanhaelen

@Dwayne
That's correct for your browser but Excel will ignore the pound sign and truncate the hyperlink from there. So your hyperlink is executed as it where simply www.somewebsite.com/myPDF.pdf without #page=2 .


2018-09-14 11:09:22

Dwayne

The pound sign is a valid character for a hyperlink, for example, "www.somewebsite.com/myPDF.pdf#page=2"


2018-08-30 17:10:11

David

Tested in Excel 2016.

=HYPERLINK(ENCODEURL("File#Name"), "File#Name")

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25070176/hyperlink-changes-from-to-20-20-when-clicked-in-excel


2015-04-28 01:24:53

Gene

Excel does work with the # sign when it is in the target but not when in the relative link. Extremely buggy behaviour. And don't get me started about folder-path length...

so =hyperlink("\blah#blahmeh","blah") won't work BUT =hyperlink("..meh","blah") will if the excel doc is in a different child folder to meh and even if the target root folder is \blah#blah - Tested
or =hyperlink(".","blah") may work if in same folder - Not Tested

Relative works, absolute does not. I suspect it occurs when excel pastes the string together in the backend wmi processes using win3.1 code.


2015-01-16 09:01:54

Tom Bates

I consider this a bug in Office. The %xx encoding was specifically designed to avoid this kind of issue. MS goofed here; the %23 should work.

This is more of a problem for me because I'm creating links to files other than Excel workbooks. Their "Paste as" workaround doesn't work for other file types.


2014-10-20 18:02:04

jake

Thanks great page!

<a href="http://excel.tips.net/">:)</a>


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.