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: Controlling URL Formatting.

Controlling URL Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 22, 2021)

In an increasingly well-connected world, Word provides support for the Internet. One aspect of this support is the ability for Word to recognize URL addresses in your document and make them active. For instance, if you type a URL, Word automatically converts it to a field code. When you later click on the address, your Web browser is started and you can visit the Web page represented by the URL.

This feature is turned on by default in Word, but some people find it just plain annoying. This is especially true if you are working with a document that has many, many URLs in it. If you want to turn off this feature, there are two routes you can follow. The first involves these steps:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect (or AutoCorrect Options) from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Click on the AutoFormat As You Type tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. Near the middle of the dialog box, at the bottom of the Replace As You Type section, make sure the Internet and Network Paths With Hyperlinks checkbox is not selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Now, as you type, the URLs you enter are not converted to hypertext links. The second place you may want to make changes controls how Word autoformats an entire document at a single pass. This feature of Word (AutoFormatting) is done when you choose AutoFormat from the Format menu. Normally you use the AutoFormat feature if you import a document either from another word processor, or if you import a regular ASCII text file. To make sure that Word does not activate links when you use the AutoFormat feature, follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect (or AutoCorrect Options) from the Tools menu. This displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Click on the AutoFormat tab. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. Near the middle of the dialog box, at the bottom of the Replace section, make sure the Internet and Network Paths With Hyperlinks checkbox is not selected.
  5. 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 (1005) 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: Controlling URL Formatting.

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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