Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook.

Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 13, 2014)


Eric has a shared workbook that contains a database of some 3,500 records. Two of the cells in each record contain an e-mail address and a URL. When a new record is added to the database, the e-mail address and URL appear as regular text instead of as hyperlinks. To make them into hyperlinks Eric must unshare the workbook, make the change, and then reshare the workbook. Eric wondered if there is, perhaps, an easier way to handle this situation.

Quite simply, adding and editing hyperlinks is not allowed when using a shared workbook. The simplest way around it is to put the links in separate cells as text and then use the HYPERLINK formula to reference those cells.

For example, if the URL is entered into cell E2, you could use the following formula in a different cell:


The first argument in this formula is to the cell that contains the address and the second argument is for the text to be displayed for the hyperlink. This approach requires two additional columns (for the HYPERLINK formulas) but will not require unsharing and resharing the workbook.

The only other option is to create a macro that can automate the process of unsharing and resharing the workbook. The following macro will do this and convert whatever is in the selected cell into a hyperlink.

Sub AddHyperlink()
    Dim cell As Range

    Application.DisplayAlerts = False

    ' Unshare the Workbook
    If ActiveWorkbook.MultiUserEditing Then
    End If

    ' Change address in cell to a hyperlink.
    If ActiveCell = "" Then
        For Each cell In Intersect(Selection, _
          Selection.SpecialCells(xlConstants, xlTextValues))
            With Worksheets(1)
                .Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=cell, _
                  Address:=cell.Value, _
                  ScreenTip:=cell.Value, _
            End With
        Next cell
    End If

    ' Reshare the Workbook
    If Not ActiveWorkbook.MultiUserEditing Then
        ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs _
          Filename:=ActiveWorkbook.FullName, _
    End If
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (725) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook.

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. ...


Changing Font Sizes

Want to change the size of the font within a worksheet? Excel allows you to choose from a list of sizes, as well as ...

Discover More

Undoing Smart Tag Exclusions

Depending on who you ask, Smart Tags can be really cool or really distracting. If you fall on the "cool" side, you may ...

Discover More

Easily Printing to PDF

It used to be quite difficult to produce a PDF file from an Excel workbook. Times change, though, and you now have a ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Hyperlinks No Longer Work in a Workbook

Hyperlinks can be a great timesaver and very convenient. Unless, of course, if they don't work as you expect. This tip ...

Discover More

Creating a Dynamic Hyperlink

Want to create a hyperlink that will always display a different worksheet in your workbook? There are several ways to do ...

Discover More

Opening an HTML Page in a Macro

Excel allows you to open HTML pages within the program, which is great for some purposes. What if you want to open a ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 five less than 8?

2014-12-13 09:06:42


Shared workbooks can be horrible, because several Excel features are unavailable in them. Hypelinks is one of them. Developers cannot write, record, change, view or assign macros, as VBA is unviewable. Users can only run existing macros that don't access unavailable features.

So until today, if you had to update macros in a shared workbook, you were out of luck. The only way was to unshare it, discard the change history, edit your macros and share the workbook again. Sometimes shared workbooks that have been made exclusive a couple of times lose data or settings or trigger odd errors.

Here is what you have to do to unlock macros in shared workbooks without unsharing the workbook and lose changes:

2014-12-13 05:50:31

Claude Albertario

Another problem with hypertext is that when you reference a cell that contains hypertext, it does not show in the destination cell.
Even if you "Link" to the cell, the hypertext is non-evident.

Why is that?

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

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.