There are times that you would like to insert working internet links in your Microsoft Word documents. By “working internet link,” I mean a link that will take you to a website when you click it. In this article I’ll show you how to add hyperlinks in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer documents.
How to Add Hyperlinks in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer Documents
First, let’s look at what a website address is not. You probably know what a website address is. For those who have been late to embrace the Internet, a website address is that word which is followed by a .com, .net, .org, or some other extension. An example is TheTechieSenior.com.
That example is just a website address, sometimes referred to as a domain name. If you click on it, it doesn’t take you anywhere, just as would be the case if you were to try tapping a website address in a magazine or book.
A simple web address typed into your document is not the same as a hyperlink.
The web address itself is a domain name—a static thing with no magical powers of its own to take you anywhere online.
The reason the domain name or website address won’t take you anywhere online in this example is that there is no hyperlink attached to that domain name. In order for that web address to actually send you to TheTechieSenior.com website, there has to be a bit of code called a hyperlink attached to the domain name.
You won’t see that code, but it is the mechanism that turns the website address or domain name into an active link capable of sending you on your way to that website.
The code that makes it a hyperlink is HTML, the basic code that allows websites to display online. I’m about to show you what a hyperlink looks like in the back-end—the part that you can’t see, but that makes the word become an active link.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to memorize any of this to add hyperlinks to your documents. I’m writing it out just for the more curious among you who might have never seen what links a simple word to a website hosted halfway around the world.
The hyperlink on a website that makes that domain name clickable looks like the one in the following image.
The makeup of an HTML hyperlink
To break it down from left to right in the most basic terms:
- The <a indicates the opening of an anchor tag. An anchor tag allows us to link one page to another. The > marks the end of the address where you will be taken and the end of the opening anchor tag.
- The href= is an attribute of the anchor tag that means Hypertext Reference. In other words, the location the anchor tag is referring us to.
- “https:// indicates the link will go to a secure location. If it were “http:// it would request an unsecure page.
- thetechiesenior.com” is the location where you will be taken.
- TheTechieSenior.com is the text that you will see on your page, usually underlined and/or another color. It is the word that you would click on to go to that website.
- </a> closes the anchor tag. Any text typed after the closing anchor tag will not be part of a hyperlink.
Bonus tip: If you are ever on a website and you are enticed to click a link that goes to another website, hold your mouse over the link then look in the lower left corner of your browser window to see where that link will take you. What you should see is the part described above that comes just after the href=.
When to add hyperlinks to your document
You’ll have to insert a link if you want your reader to go to a website when she clicks a certain word. That certain word may or may not be a website address.
An example of clicking a linked word or group of words that is not a website address would be when you’re reading along on a web page and you to come to a phrase something like this: Click here to find XYZ.
In that case, there would be a hyperlink to XYZ inserted in the code behind those words. Clicking or tapping that link would take you to XYZ.
Most modern software (or apps) for word processing such as Microsoft Word, Scrivener, etc. automatically turn a website address into a hyperlink. (Some will only add a hyperlink if the website address begins with www..)
That may be fine for a document that will stay in digital format such a .docx or a .PDF. But it’s not helpful or necessary in most cases for a link to be active in a document that is intended to be only a printed document or product in its final form.
As of today, I haven’t heard of a book or magazine article printed on normal paper that will allow you to tap a website address and be transported across the Internet to another location. If you know of one, please let me know about it.
I’ll show you later how to disable the feature that automatically attempts to create a link when you type a website address.
How to add hyperlinks in Microsoft Word documents
The following instructions apply to Microsoft Word for Windows and Macs. The settings box is arranged differently in Windows than in Macs, but the same basic settings are available.
We’ll use the “Click here” example. In Microsoft Word, to add a link behind the words, select Click here. Then,
- Go to the Insert tab. About half-way across the tool ribbon, look for an icon that is labeled Link. It will look like two loops interconnected.
- In the settings box that opens, select the Web page tab if you want the link to go a page on a website. Leave that tab open.
- In a web browser, go to the website page that you want to link to. Select and copy the entire website address that you typed in the browser’s address bar.
- Go back to the Link settings box in Word and paste the link into the box. Click OK to save the link.
You can also link to headings in the current document using the This Document tab in the settings box. You can make an email address live by using the Email Address tab.
How to remove a hyperlink in Microsoft Word
You can remove a link from a word or phrase in Word by selecting the linked words, then following the above instructions. The difference will be, instead of inserting a link in the settings box, click the Remove Link button.
You can also remove a link quickly by right-clicking the link. Click Hyperlink, then Remove Link.
How to disable automatic hyperlinking in Word
In MS Word for Windows, disable automatic hyperlinking by going to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options. Then, under Replace, uncheck Internet and network paths with hyperlinks.
In MS Word for Macs, disable automatic hyperlinking by going to the top menu. Choose Word > Preferences > Autocorrect. Select the Autoformat as you type tab. In the second section labeled Automatically as you type, uncheck Internet and network paths with hyperlinks.
How to add links in LibreOffice Writer
Adding hyperlinks to documents in LibreOffice Writer is basically the same as in Microsoft Word if you have the tabbed interface option turned on. The difference will be that the button in the Insert tab will be labeled Hyperlink instead of Link.
If you do not have the tabbed interface option turned on, just go to the Insert menu at the top, then choose Hyperlink. You’ll see tabs down the left side for linking to Internet sites, email addresses, and other documents.
How to remove hyperlinks in LibreOffice Writer
To remove a hyperlink in LibreOffice Writer, select the linked text in your document. Then, right-click and select Remove Hyperlink.
How to disable automatic hyperlinking in LibreOffice Writer
In LibreOffice Writer, disable automatic hyperlinking by going to the top menu and selecting Tools > Autocorrect > Autocorrect Options > Options tab. In both the M and T columns, uncheck URL recognition.
That’s all there is to inserting and removing hyperlinks in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer.
Learn more about working in LibreOffice here.
Download LibreOffice here.
Learn more about working in Microsoft Word here.