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 January 7, 2012)

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

Disabling the Caps Lock Key

A few tips and tricks for working around the dratted Caps Lock button.

Discover More

Age Calculation with Fields

People don't normally think of using fields to do any calculations. Even so, you can use fields to perform a simple ...

Discover More

Determining the Day of the Year

Need to find out the day of the year for a particular date? It's easy to do if you are using a macro. All you need to do is ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Repeating Actions

Need to repeat an action a whole bunch of times? You can do it a time or two using keyboard shortcuts, but you'll need a ...

Discover More

Inserting a Non-Breaking Space

In Word a non-breaking space will help you keep two words together on the same line. Here's two different ways that you can ...

Discover More

Removing Entire Paragraphs from Your Document

If you need to get rid of a lot of paragraphs in a document, it's easy to do as long as the document relies on styles for ...

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 4 - 3?

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.