Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Tying a Hyperlink to a Specific Cell.

Tying a Hyperlink to a Specific Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 22, 2020)


Manoj created a hyperlink between two worksheets by using copy and paste hyperlink command (the hyperlink targets a specific cell). Later he inserted some rows on the target worksheet that caused the target cell to move down a bit. Even though the target cell moves down, the hyperlink continues to reference the old cell location. Manoj is wondering if there is a way to make sure that the hyperlink always targets the cell he intended when creating the link.

In Excel, hyperlink addresses are essentially text that references a cell. Formulas in Excel link to cell references which adjust when changes in the worksheet structure are made (inserting and deleting rows and columns, etc.). Hyperlink addresses, being text instead of cell references, will not adjust with such changes.

The solution is to create a named range that refers to the target cell you want used in the hyperlink. (You do this by displaying the Formulas tab of the ribbon and then clicking on Define Name in the Defined Names group.) When you create your hyperlink, you can then reference this named range in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

At the left of the dialog box, click Place In This Document. You'll then see a list of named ranges in your workbook and you can choose which one you want to be associated with this hyperlink. In this way, you allow Excel to take care of translating between the name and the address for that name, which means that the hyperlink will always point to the cell you want it to point to.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6195) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Tying a Hyperlink to a Specific Cell.

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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What is two minus 0?

2016-12-09 11:29:12


I am having the same problem, but am trying to link separate workbooks... completely different excel files. One workbook is a profit summary file; the other is a budget for a particular job. As each new job is created as its own excel file, profit for that job is linked to the profit summary workbook. As of now there are at least 10 different job workbooks linked to the profit summary workbook and each time a change is made in a job, it throws off the profit summary workbook. Maddening! Please help, thank you.

2016-12-07 11:53:17

Michael Zorich

What is the procedure to create a hyperlink that will point to the specific cell in the defined range? What if I want to link two cells in two different worksheets and will make manipulations with the target?

2016-06-24 14:06:23


Thanks Allen! Very helpful.

I'm now facing a problem that takes this issue a bit further, and I was hoping you could assist me.

I have a table of data, where one column (Column M) contains hyperlinks to a pdf file on my computer. The data table is designed to be fluid, so new data can be added to the bottom and a macro will sort the table and move the new data to an appropriate location in the list.

When the "new" rows are inserted into the table, the underlying hyperlinks do not shift down appropriately. (They are no longer in the correct rows, since they remained fixed to the cells I originally attached them to.) The text in those cells do shift correctly, though.

Do you have an idea how I can create hyperlinks to an exterior file that will move when I insert rows?

Thanks in advance

2016-03-28 13:33:58


Thank you so much! This is exactly what I've been searching for. Inserting columns was messing up all of my hyperlinks. This is perfect!

2015-05-19 13:08:31


Naming a range - Why go to the Formulas tab of the ribbon and then click on Define Name in the Defined Names group?

Just select the range you want to name, and then type the range name in the 'Name Box' to the left of where you normally enter the formula, (you know where I mean - it usually shows the cell address A1, B99, AH43 etc).
As long as you press <Enter> before clicking away, you are done. :-)

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