Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Replacing Plain Text with a Hyperlink.

Replacing Plain Text with a Hyperlink

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2020)

Ron wonders if there is a way for the Find and Replace feature to replace plain text with an active hyperlink. The answer depends on the type of replacement you want to do.

If you want to replace all occurrences of a text string with a hyperlink, then the task is relatively easy. For instance, you might want to replace all instances of a company's name with a "hyperlinked" version of the company name. You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Create a hyperlink that represents what you want to use in place of the existing company names.
  2. Select the hyperlink and press Ctrl+C. This copies the hyperlink to the Clipboard.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. In the Find What box, enter the company name you want to replace.
  6. In the Replace With box, enter ^c.
  7. Click Replace All.

Each occurrence of the company name should now be replaced with the active hyperlink. The ^c characters in step 5 are the key here; they replace whatever you specify in step 4 with the contents of the Clipboard (which contains your hyperlink).

If your needs call for using Find and Replace to convert plain text hyperlinks (such as https://www.tips.net) into active hyperlinks, then this cannot be done. Instead, you'll need to either use Find and Replace (as described above) to do a separate operation on each hyperlink, or you'll need to simply place the insertion point after each hyperlink and press the Space Bar.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8692) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Replacing Plain Text with a Hyperlink.

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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