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: Weird Hyperlink Behavior.

Weird Hyperlink Behavior

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 20, 2019)

9

Has this ever happened to you? You go to insert a hyperlink in your document (either by inserting it or copying it from another location) and the URL for the hyperlink appears with brackets and the word "hypertext" in front of it. What's going on?

The solution is quite simple, if you understand how Word handles hyperlinks behind-the-scenes. Hyperlinks are managed through the use of field codes. Chances are good that this weird behavior is an indication that you are seeing the field code for the hyperlink, instead of the result of that field code (just the link itself).

Try this the next time you see the weird hyperlink: just move the insertion point somewhere between the two brackets and press Shift+F9. The field code for the hyperlink should disappear, replaced with the actual text you have associated with the link. The Shift+F9 shortcut controls the one field code under the insertion point. If you want to display the results of all field codes in your document, instead of viewing the codes themselves, press Alt+F9. You can also follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the screen.
  3. Scroll through the available options until you see the Show Document Content section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Show Document Content section of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Clear or select the Show Field Codes Instead of Their Values check box, as desired.
  6. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12863) 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: Weird Hyperlink Behavior.

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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Comments

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What is one less than 9?

2020-01-08 17:00:36

asli

After spending 5 hours to solve the problem, installing office again without the problem solved and deciding to buy a new laptop, i came across with the tip. Thank you very much!


2019-11-27 12:05:09

nooshin

thank you


2019-11-22 19:10:05

Dawn

Thank you so much for this! During a deadline crunch last week, I somehow change the setting for field codes while working on a document. It was 100+ pages with a TOC, dozens of references to Figures and Tables, and hundreds of hyperlinks throughout and in the bibliography. I almost lost my mind when I could not figure out what I had done wrong and couldn't bring back the values instead of the field codes. I tried opening a backup copy of the document that I had saved just an hour previously... it still displayed the field codes!

Through tears of frustration I emailed my colleagues to let them know I had somehow corrupted the document and apologized for the delay on my end. The next day I was told it had been fixed, but with no explanation as to how it had been corrected. I totally forgot about it until today when I opened a completely different Word document and the references were again being displayed as field codes :-(

Thankfully this tip described the appropriate steps perfectly and I was able to not only change the document content settings, but also to see what I had initially done that night to cause my document to be 'corrupted'.


2019-11-15 15:01:01

T Henderson

Thanks so much for this mate, it was irritating me quite a bit.


2019-09-11 06:46:16

Eoghan Kuiper

Hi Allen,

Thank you so much for your help!! It took me ages to find a solution for this problem, but your explanation was simple and easy and understand. I will now know in the future to refer to the site for any problems I have associated with Microsoft Word. Keep up the great work!


2019-07-10 01:38:04

Sushant

Hi Allen,

Thanks for huge help!! I was helpless. I tried repairing the office, hoping it would rectify this..

Much Thanks.


2018-12-10 11:53:29

Judy

Thank you! This has been driving me crazy for a year! Hopefully it will stay this way and not revert back.


2014-12-01 20:31:44

jose mazcorro

thanks man!


2014-10-17 16:53:28

James

Thank you!!!


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