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: Changing What Is Pasted in a Dialog Box.

Changing What Is Pasted in a Dialog Box

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 26, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Ihor wants to automate the inserting of a URL hyperlink into a Word document. The URL will be associated with a phrase, such as "click here". He first copies the URL of a specific website to the Clipboard. He then records a macro that opens the Insert Hyperlink dialog box (Ctrl+K) and pastes into the appropriate field the URL from the Clipboard (Ctrl+V) and clicks OK. When he later runs the macro, it gives him the same URL every time he runs it. Ihor wants to paste a different URL into the dialog box every time he runs the macro, but seems to be missing how to do that.

When you record a macro, it is very literal about what it does—it records exactly the steps you take, including how dialog boxes are filled out. The solution isn't to look for ways to paste new information into a dialog box, but to look at how you are creating your hyperlink. Here's what would be recorded if you inserted a hyperlink with the macro recorder running:

Sub Macro1()
'
' Macro1 Macro
'
'
    ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=Selection.Range, Address:= _
        "http://www.tips.net/", SubAddress:="", ScreenTip:="", TextToDisplay:= _
        "click here"
End Sub

What Ihor wants to change is the target for the hyperlink, which is assigned to the Address property; this is what gets "pasted" into the Address field of the dialog box. In order to do this, you could change your macro in a simple manner, such as this:

Sub Macro2()
    Dim sTemp As String
    sTemp = "http://www.tips.net/"

    ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=Selection.Range, Address:= sTemp, _
        SubAddress:="", ScreenTip:="", TextToDisplay:= "click here"
End Sub

All that has been done in this example is delete some of the unnecessary comments at the beginning of the macro and create a string variable, sTemp, that now contains the target for the hyperlink. This variable is then assigned to the Address property. In order to change the target, then, one only needs to change the value of the sTemp variable—and there are a number of ways this can be done.

One way is to use an InputBox function to create your own dialog box, in this manner:

Sub Macro3()
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim sPrompt As String
    Dim sTitle As String

    sPrompt = "Enter the target for the hyperlink"
    sTitle = "Hyperlink Destination"
    sTemp = "http://www.tips.net/"
    sTemp = InputBox(sPrompt, sTitle, sTemp)

    ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=Selection.Range, Address:= sTemp, _
        SubAddress:="", ScreenTip:="", TextToDisplay:= "click here"
End Sub

Of course, Ihor mentioned that in his process he actually copies the URL to the Clipboard. If that is the process that he wants to use, it is possible to assign the URL based on whatever is in the Clipboard when the macro is run. Here's how you would do that:

Sub Macro4()
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim MyData As DataObject
    Set MyData = New DataObject

    MyData.GetFromClipboard
    sTemp = Trim(MyData.GetText(1))

    ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=Selection.Range, Address:= sTemp, _
        SubAddress:="", ScreenTip:="", TextToDisplay:= "click here"
End Sub

In order to utilize the Clipboard in this manner, you'll need to set up a reference for the Microsoft Forms in the VBA Editor. (Choose References from the Tools menu in the Editor.)

Note, as well, that all these examples modify what is assigned to the Address property of your new hyperlink. There is a good chance that you'll want to change the macro to modify what is assigned to the TextToDisplay property, as well.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (138) 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: Changing What Is Pasted in a Dialog Box.

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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