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: ScreenTips without Hyperlinks.

ScreenTips without Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2013)


Mark wants to have a ScreenTip appear when someone hovers the mouse pointer over a word in his document. The problem is, when he tries to create a ScreenTip using the Insert Hyperlink dialog box he can't create a ScreenTip unless he provides a destination (such as a path, bookmark, or URL). Without the destination, the OK button remains grayed out.

This behavior, as described, is built into Word and there doesn't seem to be a way around it. There are several workarounds that could be tried, but perhaps the best solution is to simply create a hyperlink that goes nowhere. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the word or phrase that you want to activate the ScreenTip. (This would be the word or phrase that the person would hover the mouse pointer over in order to have the ScreenTip displayed.)
  2. Choose the Bookmark option from the Insert menu. Word displays the Bookmark dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Bookmark dialog box.

  4. Give the bookmark a name, such as Bk1, and click on Add.
  5. While the word or phrase is still selected, press Ctrl+K. Word displays the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

  7. Click the Place in This Document button at the left side of the dialog box. Word displays a list of locations.
  8. In the list of locations, choose the name of the bookmark you created in step 3.
  9. Click the ScreenTip button. Word displays the Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  10. Figure 3. The Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box.

  11. Type the text you want to use for your ScreenTip and click on OK.
  12. Click OK to dismiss the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

Now when someone hovers over the word or phrase (from step 1), the ScreenTip appears. If they decide to "follow" the hyperlink, all they do is end up right back at the bookmark you defined in step 3—your original word or phrase.

Of course, the phrase you selected when you created the hyperlink will appear as a link—normally blue underlined text. If you don't want this type of treatment, apply a different format to the hyperlinked phrase or change the characteristics of the Hyperlink style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3779) 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: ScreenTips without Hyperlinks.

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 six more than 8?

2016-06-07 13:36:23


I've trying to get screen tips to activate--most preferably over links and footnote numbers--in Word 2016 for Mac, and none appear. They did appear at first when the program was installed. I can't find any setting by which they are controlled. Your guidance would be appreciated.

2015-12-08 07:23:04

Ajay Jain

Thanks for the work around. I still need to figure out how to get past the "Ctrl click to follow link" text. Is there a way to mask this text?

2015-03-12 17:22:54


Would it work for you to instead use Word's "Comments" function?
Comments can be set to appear when moused over, NOT in the right margin.

2015-03-06 02:16:41


Exactly what i was looking for, much appreciated.

2014-10-28 05:47:04

Rolf D. Erbst

I have tried to make a screenTip using word. And it works OK. But it is annoying that the text "Ctrl click to follow link" pops up.
Any idea how to get rid of this?
With kind regards

2014-04-02 18:43:53


this isn't what I was looking for, but wanted to tell you how much I appreciated being given time to look at the content on this page for a minute or two before your "subscribe to my newsletter" window popped up. usually I haven't had time to read a word (to know if the content has any value) before I get asked so it's a become a habit to just say no. glad you are different. i'll be back.

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