Maintaining Proper Hyperlinks in Word 2000 and Later

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2018)

1

We keep a set of Word 2000 documents that are cross-hyperlinked, all in the same folder. All links are relative, using just the file name as a pointer with no path information. That way we can easily relocate this set of documents to other folders, networks, or servers without having to change the links.

When updating these documents, we first did a Save As to a temporary folder. When done updating, we copied the file back to the original folder. Without telling you, Word 2000 adjusts all the relative hyperlinks to point back to the original folder from the temporary folder when the Save As is performed. (In other words, the hyperlinks are transformed from relative to absolute, automatically.) Needless to say, the hyperlinks are then incorrect when the file is copied back to the original folder.

After much fruitless research with the Help system, the Microsoft Web site, Usenet, etc., I discovered accidentally that there is an option within Word that prevents automatically changing hyperlinks. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected.
  3. Click on the Web Options button. Word displays the Web Options dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Files tab is selected.
  5. Clear the Update Links on Save check box.
  6. Click on OK to close the Web Options dialog box.
  7. Click on OK to close the Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1527) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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What is 5 + 3?

2018-03-10 17:36:11

Richard Ong

I have a related problem.

I have a hyperlink in a document that opens (in WIndows Explorer) the subdirectory in which that document is saved. In other words, document "X" is in subdirectory "Content." When Explorer displays what's in "Content" I see a list of prior version of "X" that I can explore for previous work.

When the link behaves correctly it shows as "../Content" in the "Address" line of the "Edit Hyperlink" window.

The link will work ok for a period of time but then it won't. At which point the "Address" line shows this:

../../../../../../Computer%20-%20misc/Content

The "Computer - misc" subdirectory is one level down from the parent directory "Parent". (There is no "Content" subdirectory under "Computer - misc".)

The "Content" subdirectory is four levels down from "Parent".

In short, the corrupted file path goes to a different tree entirely, at the bottom of which is a nonexistent subdirectory "Content."

I am using Word 2003.

This MS page suggests the same solution, namely, make hyperlink addresses absolute:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/903163/how-to-create-absolute-hyperlinks-and-relative-hyperlinks-in-word-docu

Making the links use absolute addresses still displays a relative link: "../Content", but the text in the box when I hover over the link with my mouse pointer shows the long, absolute address.

Well, it's odd. I hope the tip solves this problem of the wandering relative hyperlink address.


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