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: Using Drag-and-Drop to Create a Hyperlink.

Using Drag-and-Drop to Create a Hyperlink

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2016)


Excel includes a very powerful feature which allows you to use drag-and-drop editing techniques to create a hyperlink. In order to take advantage of this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have two workbooks open: the one in which you want the hyperlink to appear and the one that is the target of the hyperlink. Both should be visible on the screen at the same time.
  2. Select the target area. For instance, select the cell or range of cells in the target workbook that you want to use as the target of the hyperlink.
  3. Move the mouse pointer so it is over the thick box surrounding the cell or range of cells. The mouse pointer should change to an arrow.
  4. Right-click and hold down the mouse button as you drag the selection to the cell in which the hyperlink will appear in the other workbook.
  5. When you release the mouse button, Excel displays a Context menu.
  6. Select the Create Hyperlink Here option from the Context menu. Excel immediately creates a hyperlink in the cell.

There is a caveat to understand about these steps: The drag-and-drop approach will work only if you are working with two instances of Excel open at the same time. If, in step 1, you simply display two workbooks by using Arrange from the Window menu, drag-and-drop won't work. Instead, you need to open one workbook in Excel and then open Excel a second time with the second workbook. Then the steps will work just fine.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2335) 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: Using Drag-and-Drop to Create a Hyperlink.

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 1 + 5?

2016-02-20 17:04:00


I use the hyperlink feature frequently between excel to excel and excel to word files.

However I find that using the standard copy and paste special approach in all cases is far more consistent and manageable.

2016-02-20 09:05:08


I could not get this to work. How do you get both instances of Excel visible on the screen at the same time?

Also, when I hovered my mouse over the selected are I just had the plus sign, not an arrow.

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