Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Getting Rid of Many Hyperlinks.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 13, 2014)
Do you create documents by pasting information that was copied from the Internet? This is not unusual for some people, as there is quite a bit of public-domain information that can be copied from the Internet. When you paste your information into a document, you may notice that there are quite a few hyperlinks in your documents. What if you want to get rid of those hyperlinks?
There are several ways you can approach this problem. One of the easiest ways is to simply change how you paste your information. If you do a simply Ctrl+V to paste, then Word tries to retain as much of the formatting and other attributes of the original text as it can, including hyperlinks. (This is not to say that hyperlinks are strictly formatting; they are not. They are really fields—but more on that in a moment.)
Instead of pasting using Ctrl+V, use Paste Special to paste Unformatted Text. (You use Paste Special by displaying the Home tab of the ribbon, clicking the down arrow under the Paste tool, and then choosing Paste Special.) Word then inserts the information as plain text, without any formatting. It also does not make hyperlinks active in the document. After pasting in this method, you can proceed to format the text as you want.
Another solution is to convert all the hyperlinks to regular text. After doing your paste, press Ctrl+A to select the entire document and then press Ctrl+Shift+F9. As mentioned earlier, hyperlinks are implemented through the use of fields. If you press Ctrl+Shift+F9, then any selected fields are converted to their results and the fields are removed. Thus, the hyperlinks are removed.
There are two drawbacks to this approach. First, not only are the hyperlinks removed, but so are all the other fields in your document. (If you have other fields, you should understand that they will be affected, as well.) The second drawback is that the formatting of your hyperlinks is still there—they show as blue and underlined.
The first drawback is easy to compensate for, provided you don't mind using a macro. The following macro quickly removes all hyperlinks in a document, without affecting any other fields:
Sub KillLinks() Do Until ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Count = 0 ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks(1).Delete Loop End Sub
Even after running the macro, the formatting issue still remains—they hyperlinks are formatted as blue and underlined. You can get rid of the formatting by using the Find and Replace feature of Word, but how you use it depends on how the hyperlinks were created.
When you are typing in a document and you type some sort of recognizable electronic address (an e-mail address or a URL), Word automatically formats the address using the Hyperlink style. In that case, you can search for any text using the Hyperlink style, and replace it without the Hyperlink style. (Remember—this doesn't remove the hyperlink, just the Hyperlink style.)
When you paste information in a document, the hyperlinks are formatted differently; Word doesn't use styles to format them. Instead, it formats the hyperlinks explicitly as blue and underlined. In this case, you need to search explicitly for blue and underlined text and replace it with text that is not blue and not underlined.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13244) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Getting Rid of Many Hyperlinks.
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