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Checking for Valid Hyperlinks

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Checking for Valid Hyperlinks.

Raghu has a document that has a good number of hyperlinks in it to various Websites. He wants to step through each of the hyperlinks and have them checked, programmatically, to see if they are valid links that don't generate errors.

There is no way to do this automatically in Word, as such functionality is not built into the program. If you only have a few links in the document, you might try saving it as an HTML file. You could then load the file in Internet Explorer and click each link to see if it is valid.

If you are searching for a more automatic method of checking, you would need to create a macro that would step through the links in a document and check them out. The VBA code could end up being rather complex.

Perhaps a better solution, rather than writing your own code, is to use a third-party add-in that can do the checking for you. In searching around, the following add-in was discovered:


We haven't tried this add-in, but it appears to do everything that Raghu wanted. Perhaps the best news: the add-in is free.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (517) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Checking for Valid Hyperlinks.

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Comments for this tip:

Ken Endacott    18 Jan 2017, 04:20
Thomas, thank you for your praise. Most of the documents that I see have links to web pages but It seems that you are looking at links to documents. The macro lumps documents with web pages and while it should open documents for eyeballing it would be possible to add to the macro to handle documents more effectively.

Something to add to my to-do list.
Thomas Redd    16 Jan 2017, 09:28
As pointed out by Mick, I found the same thing about the product. It is free for two weeks and it works well. I was stuck and lock out of it when the link went to a passworded document. The first password was required and worked, but when I got to the next reference that was passworded, it hung and would not go on. It is not too costly-about $10.00, but I don't want to pay that for a product that will not work for me. I am excited to try Ken Endacott's macro. His work has been exceptional in the other tips. Thanks so much for all you do! These tips are the greatest!
Ken Endacott    15 Jan 2017, 07:04
Checking hyperlinks can involve more than checking for a valid link. It is usually necessary to check that the link is to a relevant page and this can only be done by eyeballing the page.

The following macro will step through hyperlinks and test them for validity. Internal hyperlinks are checked to determine if they refer to a valid bookmark. External hyperlinks are checked to determine if the link is valid. If the link is valid then the page is opened and the user is asked if the page is relevant.

Invalid or incorrect hyperlinks are highlighted in yellow.

Sub CheckHyperlinks()
Dim hp As Hyperlink
Dim bk As Bookmark
Dim bTest As Boolean
Dim st As String
Dim k As Long
  For Each hp In ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks
    st = ""
    On Error Resume Next
    st = hp.Address
    If st = "" Then
      ' hyperlink is to an internal bookmark
      st = hp.SubAddress
      bTest = False
ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.ShowHidden = True
For Each bk In ActiveDocument.Bookmarks
        If st = bk.Name Then bTest = True
      Next bk
      If bTest = False Then
        If MsgBox("Error. Internal hyperlink to non existent bookmark.", vbOKCancel) = vbCancel Then Exit Sub
        Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
      End If
      bTest = True
      On Error GoTo hpERR
      ActiveDocument.FollowHyperlink Address:=st
      On Error GoTo 0
      If bTest = False Then
        k = MsgBox("Invalid URL in hyperlink", vbOKCancel)
        k = MsgBox("Did hyperlink find a relevant web page", vbYesNoCancel)
      End If
      If k = vbCancel Then Exit Sub
      If k = vbNo Or k = vbOK Then
        Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
      End If
    End If
  Next hp
  Exit Sub
  bTest = False
  Resume Next
End Sub

Mick    14 Jan 2017, 05:55
Allen, sir,

First of all, I thank you for your weekly tips on using Microsoft Word. The information you offer is invaluable.

You MAY, however, wish to edit this post as the link that you provide for the Word Link Checker shows that it is NOT free. Only the Trial is free, though I'm not sure how long the trial lasts for.


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