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: Inserting Hyperlinks.

Inserting Hyperlinks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 27, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


One of the features built into Excel is support for the Internet. One aspect of this is the ability to add hyperlinks to your Excel workbooks. When you insert a hyperlink, there are two types you can use. You can insert either an absolute or a relative hyperlink. To insert a hyperlink:

  1. Select the cell in which you want the hyperlink inserted.
  2. Click on the Insert Hyperlink tool on the toolbar, or choose Hyperlink from the Insert menu. Excel displays the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

  4. If you are using Excel 2000 or a later version, the content of the cell you selected in step 1 shows up in the Text to Display box. You can change it if you want.
  5. In the Link to File or URL box (Excel 97) or the Type the File or Web Page Name box (Excel 2000) or the Address box (Excel 2002 or Excel 2003), specify the address for the page that will be loaded when the user clicks on your hyperlink. Typically this is a URL, but it can also be a file or resource on your system. You can also select an address from the drop-down list or use the Browse button to help locate the resource.
  6. If you are using Excel 97 and you want Excel to use a relative hyperlink, make sure the Use Relative Path for Hyperlink check box is selected.
  7. When completed, click on OK.

If you indicated in step 5 that you want to use a relative hyperlink, Excel assumes that the information in the Link to File or URL box (Excel 97) or the Type the File or Web Page Name box (Excel 2000) or the Address box (Excel 2002 or Excel 2003) should be added to what is called a base URL to create a full URL. The base URL is specified in the following way:

  1. Choose Properties from the File menu. Excel displays the Properties dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Summary tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  4. In the Hyperlink Base box, indicate the first part of any URL specified using relative references.
  5. Click on OK when finished.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2802) 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: Inserting 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. ...

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