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 February 1, 2020)

3

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 2 + 9?

2020-05-19 10:09:08

Kirsten

Thank you, this was so helpful! Instantly fixed the issue I've been having.


2020-05-06 09:13:27

Adam Anderson

Thank you so much for this article. I just started a new job and this was the default behavior and it was driving me nuts.


2020-04-03 17:50:09

Annie

Thanks for all the great info about how to use Word efficiently!

I'm encountering an issue with hyperlinks. Yesterday I could copy and past a hyperlink, and it would be blue and underlined. Today, I get this:

{ HYPERLINK "https://www.google.com/..." }

The Shift+F9 solution above does make it the blue, underlined link (thank you!!!), but how do I revert it to pasting like that automatically?

I tried unchecking the AutoFormat As You Type box "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks" box, to no avail.

Any ideas?
Thanks!


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