Activating a Hyperlink

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2014)


Any Web-savvy person knows how to use hyperlinks on a Web page. When you are using a Web browser and you move your mouse pointer over a hyperlink, it changes to a pointing hand. When you click on the mouse button, the Web browser jumps to the Web address that is the target of the hyperlink.

Excel is no different. If you have defined hyperlinks in your workbooks, you use them by moving the mouse pointer over them. The pointer changes to the same pointing hand you use in your Web browser. When you click on the hyperlink, Excel jumps to the location. If necessary, Excel even opens the application program required to display the target. For instance, if the hyperlink is to a location on the Web, your Web browser is opened. If the hyperlink is to a Word document, then Word is opened.

It is interesting to note that you can move the mouse pointer over a hyperlink, and if you leave it poised there (when it is shaped as a pointing hand), a ToolTip appears beside the pointer to indicate the target address associated with the hyperlink. This is a handy way to tell where clicking your mouse on a hyperlink would take you, before actually taking the plunge.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2140) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...


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What is five more than 3?

2017-06-23 17:37:31

Al Wolinski

Updated 2 (correction): Rewriting the formula in the same cell does not fix the issue. Rewriting the formula in a different cell/column fixed the issue.

Hope this helps.

2017-06-23 17:34:17

Al Wolinski

Update: I found a fix. Just rewriting the formula fixes the issue. This must be some Excel bug.

2017-06-23 17:26:46

Al Wolinski

I have the same error. Link won't open and the message even refers to a hyperlink reference that is different than the reference in my hyperlink formula. Example: Cell B2: =""&HYPERLINK(A2) and A2 = bicycle . Hovering over this cell shows "". The words are just for example. All formula spacing and syntax is correct because the formula worked fine in other files/other times. All hyperlinks show 'airplane' when I hover over them, regardless of the reference (cat, dog, mouse) will all show 'airplane'. I am suspecting my Google Chrome browser is to blame because it is down right now (will not open) and it was set to default browser. I have changed default browser to Firefox but the issue persists. I have not reloaded my browser or rebooted my pc since making Firefox the default browser. I will try that and see if it fixes the hyperlink reference issue.

2016-05-17 00:25:21


this did not tell me how to activate a hyper link? Just told me that if a hyperlink is created you can click on it to goto the linked place. What if this hand doesn't appearahow do you turn the thing on so it does?

2016-01-11 15:56:31

Ricardo Vega

Exelente oportunidad de aprender

2015-06-26 05:52:58

Gary Dunstan

Hi,I have a hyperlink to the internet in n Excel 2007 spreadsheet, the trouble is when I click on the hyperlink it says - unable to open... the internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found. (HTTP/1.0 404).
The thing is if I save the spreadsheet as a PDF or copy into into outlook email then the hyperlink opens without any trouble so its not the wrong address as such - can anyone advise me if something could be done please; many thanks.

2014-10-01 12:16:39


when i PASTE a hyperlink into excel cell it doesn't automatically hyperlink. i then have to click into the cell and hit return. is there a way to have pasted in hyperlinks automatically link to webpage without extra step? thank you.

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