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: Special Characters In Hyperlinks.

Special Characters In Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 17, 2018)

1

You probably already know that Excel allows you to create hyperlinks to other Excel workbooks. If you create a workbook that uses the pound sign (#) in the file name, Excel has no problem with that. It will have a problem, however, if you try to create a hyperlink that references a workbook with a pound sign in the file name.

The reason for this is because the pound sign is a valid character for a file name, but it is not a valid character for use in a hyperlink. Since hyperlinks are closely related to URLs, you may think that replacing the pound sign with its hexadecimal equivalent (%23) in the hyperlink might do the trick. For instance, you might use the name My%23File.xlsx in the hyperlink instead of My#File.xlsx. This potential solution won't work, however. Excel still complains that it cannot find the file when you click on the hyperlink.

According to Microsoft sources, there are only two potential solutions. The first is to rename the target workbook so it doesn't include the pound sign in the file name. If this is not possible, then the second solution is to create a hyperlink by pasting instead of by using the Insert Hyperlink command. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook in which you want the hyperlink.
  2. Open the target workbook.
  3. In the target workbook, select the cell or range of cells you want selected when the hyperlink is clicked.
  4. Press Ctrl+C to copy the cell or range of cells to the Clipboard.
  5. Activate the workbook in which you want the hyperlink.
  6. Select the cell where you want the hyperlink to appear.
  7. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  8. Click the down-arrow under the Paste tool and then choose Paste Link. (Depending on your version of Excel, you may need to choose Paste Special before you can see a Paste Link option.)

Your hyperlink appears, complete with the pound sign, and it will work.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12572) 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: Special Characters In 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

Highlight Words from a Word List

Do you need to highlight certain words in a document, and aren't quite sure how to go about it? Using the techniques ...

Discover More

Selecting a Paper Source

When you print a worksheet, you may want to specify that the printout be done on a particular paper tray in a particular ...

Discover More

Understanding the For ... Next Structure

Spend any time creating Word macros, and sooner or later you will need to repeat some of your programming code a certain ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

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

Adding a ScreenTip

If you want people to know something about a hyperlink you added to your worksheet, one way to help them is to use ...

Discover More

Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook

When you enter a URL or e-mail address in a worksheet, Excel usually converts it to a clickable hyperlink. This doesn't ...

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 eight less than 8?

2018-03-17 23:11:25

Alex B

Its is just bizarre that with an identical Hyperlink dialogue box in MS Outlook and MS Excel, the # works in Outlook but not in Excel.

I have found one other way of doing this.
Using the Hyperlink formula, adding file:/// to the front and replacing the # with the %23

=HYPERLINK("file:///C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My%23File.xlsx","My#File")




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.