Turning E-mail Addresses into Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 22, 2015)

Let's say that you somehow get a document that contains a whole bunch of e-mail addresses, and they appear as plain text. (By "plain text," I mean that you cannot click on them and have Word start up your e-mail program so you can send an e-mail out.) Rather than have them remain plain text, you want the addresses to become hyperlinks so that you can click and mail something.

The easiest way to convert the actual e-mail addresses to hyperlinks is to use Word's AutoFormat feature. All you need to do is make sure that AutoFormat is correctly configured, and then it will convert all the e-mail addresses to usable links. Unfortunately, the AutoFormat feature is not available from Word's ribbon. You can add it to the Quick Access Toolbar, however, by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Make sure the Customize option (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar option (Word 2010 and Word 2013) is selected at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose Commands Not In The Ribbon.
  4. Scroll through the list of available commands and choose AutoFormat. (Make sure you select the one that has just the word AutoFormat with three dots after it.)
  5. Click the Add button. The command is moved to the list at the right of the dialog box.
  6. Click OK. The command now appears in the Quick Access Toolbar.

To use the newly added AutoFormat feature, follow these steps:

  1. Click the AutoFormat tool on the Quick Access Toolbar. Word displays the AutoFormat dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The AutoFormat dialog box.

  3. Click on the Options button. Word displays the AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. Make sure that the Internet and Network Paths with Hyperlinks check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK to close the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  7. Click on OK. Word "autoformats" your document, changing the e-mail addresses to hyperlinks in the process.

If you want to make sure that AutoFormat doesn't change anything else in your document, you can do that by making sure, in step 3, that all check boxes are cleared, except for the Internet and Network Paths with Hyperlinks check box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5914) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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