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: Links to Hyperlinks.

Links to Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 10, 2020)

John has two workbooks which, for convenience, we'll call A and B. In workbook A at cell C3 on Sheet1 there is a hyperlink to a Word document. In workbook B there is a link to Sheet1!C3 in workbook A. In workbook A the hyperlink is active; in workbook B it is not. John wants to know if there is a way to make the referenced (linked) hyperlink active in workbook B.

The answer depends on several factors. If you create a link to Sheet1!C3 in workbook A (not a hyperlink), then it is not possible. If you create a hyperlink, then it is possible, provided you put your original hyperlink—the one in workbook A—together in the proper manner.

When you create a hyperlink to the Word document, you have the opportunity to create a "display" value for the link. This display value is what is shown in the worksheet, while the underlying hyperlink is something else entirely. For instance, you could have a display value of "Quarterly Report," which is what people would see in the workbook. When someone clicks on the text, then the actual report (such as c:\MyDocs\Q410.doc) is actually opened.

If you use a display value that is different from the full hyperlink address, then there is no way to put together a formula that will be active. If, however, you don't specify a display value, Excel will display the actual hyperlink address in the cell. If this is the case, then you can use the following formula in workbook B:

=HYPERLINK(INDIRECT("'[A.xls]Sheet1'!$C$3"))

This works because the INDIRECT function grabs the info displayed at Sheet1!C3 of workbook A, and then uses it as the address for the HYPERLINK function. Again, this only works if the info displayed at Sheet1!C3 of workbook A is an address, not a display value for a hyperlink.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3168) 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: Links to 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

Repeating Rows on a Printout Except On the Last Page

When setting up a worksheet for printing, you can specify that Excel repeat some of your rows at the top of each page ...

Discover More

Editing the Custom Spelling Dictionaries

When spell-checking a worksheet, Excel relies on both built-in and custom dictionaries. Here's how to edit the content of ...

Discover More

Working with Multiple Printers

Word does not keep printer information associated with documents. You can define a macro for each printer you use and put ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Extracting Hyperlink Information

In Excel, a hyperlink consists of two parts: the text displayed for the link and the target of the link. You can use a ...

Discover More

Inserting Hyperlinks

Connect your worksheets with other workbooks or with the world of the Internet. The ability to add hyperlinks makes this ...

Discover More

Using Drag-and-Drop to Create a Hyperlink

If you open workbooks in two instances of Excel, you can use drag-and-drop techniques to create hyperlinks from one ...

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 three more than 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.