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: Links to Hyperlinks.

Links to Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2014)

2

John has two workbooks which, for convenience, we'll call A and B. In workbook A at cell C3 on Sheet1 there is a hyperlink to a Word document. In workbook B there is a link to Sheet1!C3 in workbook A. In workbook A the hyperlink is active; in workbook B it is not. John wants to know if there is a way to make the referenced (linked) hyperlink active in workbook B.

The answer depends on several factors. If you create a link to Sheet1!C3 in workbook A (not a hyperlink), then it is not possible. If you create a hyperlink, then it is possible, provided you put your original hyperlink—the one in workbook A—together in the proper manner.

When you create a hyperlink to the Word document, you have the opportunity to create a "display" value for the link. This display value is what is shown in the worksheet, while the underlying hyperlink is something else entirely. For instance, you could have a display value of "Quarterly Report," which is what people would see in the workbook. When someone clicks on the text, then the actual report (such as c:\MyDocs\Q410.doc) is actually opened.

If you use a display value that is different from the full hyperlink address, then there is no way to put together a formula that will be active. If, however, you don't specify a display value, Excel will display the actual hyperlink address in the cell. If this is the case, then you can use the following formula in workbook B:

=HYPERLINK(INDIRECT("'[A.xls]Sheet1'!$C$3"))

This works because the INDIRECT function grabs the info displayed at Sheet1!C3 of workbook A, and then uses it as the address for the HYPERLINK function. Again, this only works if the info displayed at Sheet1!C3 of workbook A is an address, not a display value for a hyperlink.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9781) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Links to Hyperlinks.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Non-printing Page Borders

With your page border in place, you might be surprised if you don't see one side of the border (or all sides) print out ...

Discover More

Changes in Excel's Color System

The introduction of Excel 2007 included the introduction of a lot of changes to the venerable spreadsheet program. One of ...

Discover More

Stopping Automatic Changes from Being Tracked

Track Changes is a great feature for keeping track of what gets changed in a document. There are some things (such as ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Generating a Web Page

Want your worksheets to be available to others on the Internet? Excel provides a way you can save your data in HTML ...

Discover More

Hyperlinks in Shared Workbooks

Inserting a hyperlink into a workbook that is shared with others is not possible in Excel. Here's what you can do about it.

Discover More

Specifying Default Hyperlink Text

When you insert into a cell a hyperlink that references a file on your system, the text displayed by default matches the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 7?

2018-01-22 20:04:30

Roy

It seems likely that with the advent of FORMULATEXT() in 2016's Excel, one would now be able to display a "human" label in the cell, but access the actual formula under it and ravage it for input to INDIRECT().


2016-10-12 18:17:32

Juntjoo

Great tip. Thanks!


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
Subscribe

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.