Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Differences in Behavior of Links.

Differences in Behavior of Links

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 26, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Fay has two documents linked to each other—a form linked to an information document. On her work PC when she hovers the mouse pointer over the link it shows as a "pointer hand." On her PC at home she doesn't get the hand but can right-click and select to open the link. Fay is wondering why the behavior is different on the two systems and what she can do to fix her home PC.

The behavior difference that Fay notes is actually controlled by a configuration setting within Word. Follow these steps to find the setting:

  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 dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Editing Options section is visible. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Editing options for Word.

Pay attention to the setting named Use CTRL+Click to Follow Hyperlink. If this check box is selected, then Word requires the use of the Ctrl key to activate the link. (Or, as Fay did, right-clicking the link and selecting to open it.) If the check box is unselected, then you'll get the "pointer hand" and be able to simply click on a link to follow it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13092) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Differences in Behavior of Links.

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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