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: Specifying a Browser in a Hyperlink.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 30, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003
Laura wants to include a hyperlink in a worksheet. However, she would like the hyperlink to "force" the target of the URL to be displayed in a particular browser. For instance, she would like the hyperlink to somehow specify that the target be opened in Internet Explorer.
There is no way to do this within Excel; a hyperlink in a worksheet, when clicked, relies on whatever the default browser is on the system being used. There is a workaround that you can try, however: You could create a macro that actually opens a target address using a specific browser.
For example, consider the following macro. It automatically opens an instance of Internet Explorer and opens a website in that browser:
Sub LaunchIE() Dim IE As Object Set IE = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application") IE.navigate "http://excel.tips.net/" IE.Visible = True Set IE = Nothing End Sub
The macro could easily be assigned to a shortcut or to a toolbar button. It isn't terribly flexible, however, when it comes to which browser is being used (it is always Internet Explorer) and which site is displayed (it is always the ExcelTips site). You can make it a bit more flexible in this manner:
Sub showURL(browser As String, URL As String) Dim pPath As String Dim bPath As String 'Use this to resolve the correct program file path 'it is different on 32-bit and 64-bit systems pPath = Environ("ProgramFiles") If browser = "Firefox" Then bPath = pPath & "\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe" ElseIf browser = "IE" Then bPath = pPath & "\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" Else Exit Sub End If Call Shell(bPath & " " & URL, vbNormalFocus) End Sub
Sub Testing() Call showURL("Firefox", "http://www.tips.net") Call showURL("IE", "http://excel.tips.net") End Sub
Note that the main routine—showURL, the one that does all the work—can work with either Internet Explorer or Firefox. The Testing routine shows how to launch the browsers; all you need to do is specify which browser you want and what URL you want to open in that browser.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9835) 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: Specifying a Browser in a Hyperlink.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!
Is your worksheet information destined for a Web page? Here's how you can specify the fonts that should be used when ...Discover More
When you create a worksheet that is destined for viewing on the Web, you will want to specify the monitor resolution you ...Discover More
When you copy information from a Web page and paste it into a worksheet, you can end up with more than you bargained for. ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.