How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007/2003 documents

MS Word automatically creates a hyperlink when you type the address of an Web page, such as www.ivanwalsh.com, into a document. This happens only if you have not turned off the automatic formatting of hyperlinks functionality. If you want, you can also create customized hyperlinks to documents, for example, to a shared drive. Note that these hyperlinks can be absolute or relative to the Word document depending on how you setup the links. Here is how to create your links.

Before we start

The Update links on save option in Web Options is turned on by default in Word. This means that when you create a hyperlink in a Word document, it converts the hyperlink into a relative hyperlink.

What’s an Absolute Hyperlink?

What’s a Hyperlink Base

  • A hyperlink base is the path that is shared by the file that contains the hyperlink and destination file.

What’s an Relative Hyperlink?

  • This hyperlink contains an address relative to the address of the destination file. This address is also known as the hyperlink base.For example, a document has the following hyperlink base:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents

    A document that is named “Template.doc” is located at the following file path:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\SDLC\Template.doc

    The relative hyperlink to this document contains only the relative address to Template.doc, e.g.

    SDLC\Template.doc

How to use absolute hyperlinks instead of relative hyperlinks

  • To use absolute hyperlinks in ALL Word docs, follow these steps

    Method 1: Word 2007

    1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
    2. How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 1

    3. Click the Advanced Tab.
    4. Under General, click Web Options.How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 2
    5. Click the Files tab.
    6. Click to clear the Update links on save check box.How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 3
    7. Click OK two times.

    Method 2: Word 2003

    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. Click the General tab.
    3. Click Web Options.
    4. Click the Files tab.
    5. Click to clear the Update links on save check box.
    6. Click OK two times.
  • To use Absolute hyperlinks in a single document:

    Method 1: Word 2007

    1. Open the document in which you want to use an absolute hyperlink.
    2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Prepare, and then click Properties.
    3. Click Document Properties, and then click Advanced Properties.
    4. Click the Summary tab.
    5. In the Hyperlink Base box, type x, and then click OK.

    Method 2: Word 2003

    1. Open the document in which you want to use an absolute hyperlink.
    2. On the File menu, click Properties.
    3. Click the Summary tab.
    4. In the Hyperlink Base box, type x, and then click OK.

How to reset hyperlinks

To reset existing hyperlinks, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document.
  2. Right-click the hyperlink that you want to change, and then click Edit Hyperlink.
  3. In the Look in box, click the document that you want the hyperlink to open. Or, type the URL address of the destination in the Address box.
  4. Click OK.

How to set a hyperlink base

To set a hyperlink base for all hyperlinks or URLs in a document:

Method 1: Word 2007

  1. Open the document in which you want to set a hyperlink base.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Prepare, and then click Properties.How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 4
  3. Click Document Properties, and then click Advanced Properties.How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 5
  4. Click the Summary tab.
  5. In the Hyperlink Base box, type the path that you want to use for all the hyperlinks that you create in this document.How to create Absolute and Relative Hyperlinks in Word 2007 & 2003 documents 6
  6. Click OK.

Method 2: Word 2003

  1. Open the document for which you want to set a hyperlink base.
  2. On the File menu, click Properties, and then click the Summary tab.
  3. In the Hyperlink base box, type the path that you want to use for all the hyperlinks that you create in this document.
  4. Click OK.

To override the hyperlink base

Type the full address of the hyperlink in the Address box in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

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