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: Hyperlinks Not Found.

Hyperlinks Not Found

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 21, 2018)

When you insert hyperlinks into your Word documents, how you specify the URL in the hyperlink's field can affect how the hyperlink behaves in the future. Typically, if you are referencing a URL in your hyperlink, it is inserted in the format http:\\word.tips.net. This is called an absolute hyperlink, because it indicates exactly where the resource is located, regardless of the location of the document in which the hyperlink is created.

When you create hyperlinks to files, it is much more common to create relative hyperlinks instead of absolute ones. For instance, let's say you have two documents, named (appropriately enough) MyDoc1 and MyDoc2. If you are working in MyDoc1, and you want to include a hyperlink to the bookmark CoolPlace in MyDoc2, the field containing your hyperlink may end up looking like this:

{ HYPERLINK "MyDoc2.doc" \l "CoolPlace" }

This is a relative hyperlink, and in later resolving the link, Word assumes that MyDoc2 is located in the same disk folder as MyDoc1. If you end up separating MyDoc1 and MyDoc2 into different folders, you will get "Error! Bookmark not defined" instead of the expected hyperlink in MyDoc1.

A partial solution to this problem is to always use absolute references for files when setting up hyperlinks. For instance, the foregoing hyperlink would look like the following when it uses absolute references instead:

{ HYPERLINK "D:\SomePath\MyDoc2.doc" \l "CoolPlace" }

Now, if you move MyDoc1 into a different directory, Word can still find MyDoc2 and the hyperlink will still work as expected. Notice, however, that I said this was only a "partial solution." The reason is that you will still get an error if you move MyDoc2 to a different place than the noted directory. In that case, the only solution is to modify your hyperlinks so they point to the new absolute location of MyDoc2.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1751) 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: Hyperlinks Not Found.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Controlling the Format of Cross-References

When you use fields to add cross-references to tables or figures, Word normally takes care of formatting the words used ...

Discover More

Displaying Messages When Automatic Data Changes

It is possible to develop macros that update the information in your worksheets automatically. In such instances, you may ...

Discover More

ExcelTips: The Macros

Macros provide a way for you to extend the capabilities of Excel. The key to macros is understanding how VBA works. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Inserting a Section Mark

Section marks are used regularly in the writings of some industries, such as in legal documents. If you need a way to ...

Discover More

Getting the Proper Type of Ellipses

Type three periods in a row, and the AutoCorrect feature in Word kicks in to exchange that sequence for a special ...

Discover More

Transposing Letters

My fat fingers sometimes result in typing letters in the wrong order. Here's a quick tool that allows you to easily ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.