Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Dynamic Hyperlinks in Excel.

Dynamic Hyperlinks in Excel

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 13, 2016)

3

You can create dynamic hyperlinks in Excel that act like HTML forms without having to know much at all about HTML. These hyperlinks can come in handy when using Excel as an interface to the Internet or to an internal Web.

As an example, let's create a Google search form. First, drop by Google.com and do a search for the keyword "Excel." Then, take a look at the URL in your browser's address bar. It may look something like this:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Excel&lr=lang_en

Of course, what you see in the address bar could be even longer, depending on what server you end up accessing at Google:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=Excel&cp=4
&pf=p&sclient=psy&site=&source=hp&aq=0&aqi=&aql=&oq=Exce&pbx=1
&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=e28a97840bb57e9&biw=1311&bih=692

Regardless of the format shown in the address bar, if you study what you see, you'll start to recognize patterns. The parameters following either the question mark (?) or the hash mark (#) are the name-value pairs submitted by the HTML form. But, you don't need to know a whole lot about that. In this case, the main thing to consider is the search term, where "q" is the name of the parameter and "Excel" is the value.

Using the HYPERLINK function along with the CONCATENATE function (or just the ampersand, &), you can easily assemble a link and create a dynamic form using cells as fields. Just follow these two quick steps:

  1. In cell B3 enter the keyword "Excel Web Queries."
  2. In cell B4, enter the following formula:
=HYPERLINK("http://www.google.com/search?q="&B3&"&safe=active","Search Google")

Now you have your own simple HTML form inside of Excel. You can create much longer hyperlinks and include multiple cell references, but there is a limit in Excel to how long the hyperlink can be (about 248 characters). To use the form, just enter your keywords into cell B3 and click on the hyperlink in cell B4. That's it!

Creating a form to access Google is just a simplistic example. The interesting applications are when you can assemble hyperlinks from the results of calculations, string manipulation, IF statements, combo boxes, or the other form fields available in Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (179) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Dynamic Hyperlinks in Excel.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is 8 - 2?

2014-06-13 08:51:46

Hannan

I need some help.
In a sheet i want to put a formula thta facilitate the dynamic search result from web and then return the result.

I have a value in Dollar in Cell A1 in Cell A2 i need that it goes to google search 1 USD into CAD and then with the resultant value multiply the value in A1 and display in A2.

Is there a way out for this?


2014-05-22 13:11:22

awyatt

Robert: You are getting an error because you have an ampersand (&) before the comma.

This statement of mine assumes that you want to concatenate the contents of cell B113 to the hyperlink. If that is not your intent, then you hyperlink is quite messed up. There should be a single set of quote marks around the entire hyperlink (Excel requires this) and a separate set around the hyperlink text.

-Allen


2014-05-22 12:52:45

Robert

Hi, a very nice solution to a common usage question.

I have tried following your tip with the following formula entry

=HYPERLINK("https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB"&B113&, "Go to the article")

To which I get a very non-descript "Your formula has an error" type response, or just flatly ignored and the entire formula is shown in the cell. No link and entering the article number in the cell indicated gets nothing done. Any ideas?


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