Learning Outcomes

  • Add a hyperlink.

A hyperlink is a piece of text that when clicked takes the user to a webpage. Hyperlinks can also link to email addresses; when clicked, these hyperlinks will open an email program (likely Microsoft Outlook) to send an email to that address. Hyperlinks are formatted with a different color (blue, by default) and an underline.

Inserting a Hyperlink

To add a hyperlink to a Word document, select the text to be changed into a hyperlink.

Textbox with text inside. On the last word it has been highlighted gray to demonstrate that it is a hyperlink.

There are three options to add a hyperlink:

1. Use the shortcut Ctrl+K.

2. Right-click the selected text and select Hyperlink…

A Microsoft Word document is open with one sentence of text on it. The last word in the sentence has been double clicked which has lead to a new dropdown menu. There is a large green arrow pointing to a feature on the dropdown menu labeled "Hyperlink".

3. Insert>Links>Hyperlink.

A zoom in of the ribbon menu on a Microsoft Word document is open. The "Links" tab has been selected opening up a new dropdown menu. A green arrow is pointing to a green box which is highlighting the "Hyperlink" option on the new dropdown menu.

Any of these options will open up the Hyperlink dialog box.

A hyperlink dialog box is open on display.

The Text to display textbox at the top contains the text that will be formatted as a hyperlink. It can be changed from this window.

The Address textbox at the bottom is where the hyperlink will send users. Type a webpage URL or email address in the Address textbox.

Note that in the screenshot above, the Address textbox contains a file path. You can type in a file path to link to files stored on your computer or in a shared database. Be aware that a hyperlink is only a path to a file, not the file itself—if a user does not have the file on his or her computer, they will not be able to open whatever file you have linked.
A hyperlink dialog box is open on display. There is a large green arrow pointing at a green box which is highlighting where the "Address" is going to on the hyperlink.

When the hyperlink is inserted, the text will change to the hyperlink style. By default, this is blue and underlined, but this is customizable in the Color Theme options. (Design>Colors>Customize Colors…)

A sentence that has a blue hyperlink inserted on the last word.


Visiting a Hyperlink

Hover over the hyperlink to see a preview of where the link will take you. Be careful when following hyperlinks to unfamiliar websites.

A sentence that has a blue hyperlink inserted on the last word. A little text box has opened above the hyperlink showing what the destination address is and how to navigate there.

Hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the hyperlink to open the webpage or email (on a Mac, you don’t have to hold any key—just click). If the link was to a webpage, Microsoft Edge (or Internet Explorer) will open and load the hyperlinked page. If the link was to an email address, Microsoft Outlook will open and create a new message with that email address in the To field.

A Wikipedia page is open to a description of what a hyperlink is.

Practice Question

After the hyperlink has been clicked, the color will change to indicate you have already been to that link. By default, the color changes to purple.

A sentence that has a purple hyperlink inserted on the last word.


If you prefer a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome, set that program as your default browser and Word will open hyperlinks in that browser instead.

Editing Hyperlinks

To edit a hyperlink, right-click the hyperlink and select Edit Hyperlink.

A sentence that has a blue hyperlink inserted on the last word. A green arrow is pointing to a new dropdown menu that came from the hyperlink. The arrow is pointing at the option to "Edit Hyperlink".

The hyperlink options on the dialog menu are as follows:

  • Edit Hyperlink… Takes you to the same dialog box for inserting a hyperlink, allowing you to change what the hyperlink links to.
  • Open Hyperlink. Performs the same function as Ctrl+click. Opens the hyperlink in Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer (or default browser).
  • Copy Hyperlink. Copies the hyperlink (not the text that changes color).
  • Remove Hyperlink. Removes the hyperlink, restoring the text to plain text.