Disabling Automatic Hyperlinks in Microsoft Word

Question

How can I make Word NOT turn Web and e-mail addresses into hyperlinks? It makes me nuts!

Answer

For some people, Word’s hyper-helpful nature gets in the way. By default, in newer versions of Microsoft Word, every time you type a URL or e-mail address, it will be formatted as a clickable hyperlink.

In some cases, creating hyperlinks can be handy. You can use the feature to link documents together, so you can easily jump from one to another. However, many times you just want a hyperlink to be plain old text. You’re never going to click it and you don’t your document to be littered with blue underlining.

The procedure for making Word stop autoformatting hyperlinks is slightly different, depending on your version of Word. In both cases, you need to change options in two places. In Word 2000, choose Tools|AutoCorrect. (In Word XP/2003, you choose Tools|AutoCorrect Options instead.) In the Autoformat as you Type tab, click to remove the checkmark next to Internet and network paths with hyperlinks. Now click the AutoFormat tab. Click to remove the checkmark next to Internet and network paths with hyperlinks.

After you have made these changes, Word won’t automatically format your hyperlinks and e-mail addresses, but the change only affects new documents. It doesn’t fix hyperlinks that are already in your document.

Making a hyperlink or e-mail address plain means you have to tell Word that you don’t want it to be a field. To change the hyperlink, highlight it and press Ctrl+Shift+F9 to unlink the field. (The F9 function key is on the top row of your keyboard.) The hyperlink turns to plain text. If there is still unwanted extra formatting, press Ctrl+spacebar to remove it. If you have a document strewn with hyperlinks, press Ctrl+A to select everything, then press Ctrl+Shift+F9 to unlink all the fields.

If you just have a couple hyperlinks, another way to remove an existing hyperlink is to right-click your mouse while your cursor is on the link and choose Hyperlink|Remove Link.

Once you have hyperlinks autoformatting turned off , you still can add a clickable hyperlink anytime you want by choosing Insert|Hyperlink or pressing Ctrl+K on your keyboard.

About Susan Daffron

Susan Daffron is the author the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies and multiple award-winning nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. Check out all her books on her Amazon Author page.