Hyperlinks in Protected Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

Word allows you to create protected forms that come in handy for some purposes. When you protect a document, then the user can only fill in certain fields or use a limited subset of Word commands and options. One feature that is no longer available when you protect a document is hyperlinks—they are no longer clickable.

What if you need your hyperlinks to be active in a protected document? One solution is to remember that protection is applied by section in a document. Thus, you could put a section break before the hyperlink and one after it. Your document would then have three sections, and you could protect the first and third. Leave the section containing the hyperlink unprotected, and it will still be clickable.

The drawback to this approach, of course, is that anything in the unprotected section—including the hyperlink—is editable. If you don't want the hyperlink to be editable, then you need an entirely different solution. One that will work is to use a MacroButton field to display the hyperlink. The MacroButton field also specifies a macro to run when it is clicked, so the macro can be used to initiate the link to the remote resource.

The macro you would use is as follows:

Sub GotoLink()
    Selection.Hyperlinks(1).Follow
End Sub

Within the document, you use the following compound field:

{ MACROBUTTON GotoLink { HYPERLINK "http://word.tips.net"} }

Remember that this is a compound field—a field within a field. Each set of field braces is inserted with the Ctrl+F9 shortcut. When the result of the field is displayed, the specified URL is visible, but when it is clicked on, the macro GotoLink is executed. It is the macro that follows the hyperlink to its destination.

You can find more information about this technique at the following Word MVP page:

http://wordmvp.com/FAQs/TblsFldsFms/HLinksInForms.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3801) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 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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