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: Drop-Down List of Hyperlinks.

Drop-Down List of Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 4, 2019)

1

Greg knows that he can use data validation to create a drop-down list of choices for a particular cell. (How to do this has been covered in other ExcelTips.) He wonders if it possible to create a drop-down list of hyperlinks and, further, have those hyperlinks remain "hot" when they are selected.

The short answer is no, you can't do that directly. You can, however, make whatever you select in the drop-down list become active. This behavior is a bit kludgy in Excel, however. Follow these general steps:

  1. Select a URL from your drop-down list. (The list created using data validation.) The URL now appears in the cell.
  2. Double-click the URL that appears in the cell. Excel lets you start to edit the hyperlink.
  3. Press Enter. The URL now becomes active ("hot").
  4. Click the URL one more time to follow to that link.

As you can tell, these steps are a bit awkward, and they become more so if you want to select a different URL from the drop-down list. (You must first right-click and remove the hyperlink and then do the above steps again.)

Perhaps a better solution is to use a workaround that relies on the HYPERLINK function to refer to whatever is selected in the drop-down list. For instance, if you have your data validation drop-down list in cell A1, then you might put the following formula in cell B1:

=HYPERLINK(A1, "Goto Link")

The second parameter in the function is optional; it provides the text you want displayed in the cell. (If you don't provide the second parameter, then the contents of A1 are repeated in B1—something you may not want to see.) When someone picks an option in the drop-down list, the link in cell B1 becomes active and will link to whatever was selected in A1.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3458) 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: Drop-Down List of 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

Using the Organizer to Manage Macros

There may come a time when you want to copy or rename macros. You can do this quite easily by using the Organizer tool ...

Discover More

Noting the Workbook Creation Date

You may want to add, to your worksheet, the date on which a particular workbook was created. Excel doesn't provide a way ...

Discover More

Ignoring Punctuation in Names

If you have a word that includes punctuation as part of the word itself, then you may be frustrated by how Word treats ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Hyperlinks to Charts

You can create hyperlinks to all sorts of worksheets in a workbook, but you cannot create a hyperlink to a chart sheet. ...

Discover More

Can't Use Hyperlinks

Before some features in Excel can function properly, you must have the correct permissions set for the user of the ...

Discover More

Special Characters In Hyperlinks

Do you use special characters (such as the pound sign) in your worksheet names? If so, you could run into problems ...

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 6?

2019-05-06 12:28:25

April Murphy

Is there a way to link a jpg file to a line item in a spreadsheet? I sell jewelry and like to keep my purchase history, description, qty. purchased, style etc. in an inventory file. (see Figure 1 below) I also have a photo of each piece. I would like to link the photo to the item number so that I can sort without the pictures staying put. Any ideas??

Figure 1. Need to add jpg to database


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.