Four Ways to add Hyperlinks in Excel

We all use hyperlinks every day. That clickable, sometimes underlined, sometimes blue text has come to be as familiar as text itself. And while they might not be as common in Excel, there are many uses for hyperlinks within a workbook as well. You might link to product documentation in an inventory sheet or include a personal webpage column when gathering information about job applicants.

You can also create links to specific sheets and ranges within a workbook. This can help viewers find important information in very large, or very complicated files. Here are four ways to add them to your sheets and when you might do so.

Type or Copy/Paste Directly Into a Cell

When text entered into a cell is formatted as a valid website address, Excel should recognize it and automatically apply a hyperlink to that text. Simply type or copy/paste the address into a cell and let Excel apply the hyperlink.


Drag and Drop

The easiest way to link between cells or ranges within a workbook is to simply drag and drop!

  1. Select the destination cell or cell range. Note, your workbook must have been saved and given a name. This technique won’t work in a brand-new file that hasn’t been saved yet.
  2. Hover over the selection’s border and click and hold the RIGHT mouse button.
  3. Drag to the cell where you want a link and release. To cross sheets, press the Alt key when you hover over the sheet tab, then continue dragging once the sheet opens.
  4. Release the mouse button when the correct cell is selected and select Create Hyperlink Here. This will apply a hyperlink to the existing cell text. Select Link Here if you want to use the destination text for the link.

Excel automatically creates a hyperlink to the selected cell. Your cursor will jump to this cell when clicked.

Use the Insert Hyperlink Dialog

The Insert Hyperlink dialog gives you the most options for formatting and setting up hyperlinks. Use this when you want to customize a link or quickly apply a link to another sheet within your document or another workbook entirely.

    1. Select the cell where you want the hyperlink, then click the Link button on the Insert tab to open the Insert Hyperlink You can also Right-click on the cell and select Hyperlink from the flyout menu.
    2. Choose the kind of link you are creating in the Link to: pane
  • Existing File or Web Page will take you to an external file or website.
  • Place in This Document will help you link to a cell or range within the same workbook.

Hint! This is a great place to use Named cells and Named ranges to make it easier to link to sections of your workbook more easily.

  • Create New Document will walk you through creating a new file from scratch.
  • E-mail Address will help you format the link correctly to open an email pane.
  1. Enter the text for your link in the Text to display: field if needed.
  2. Complete the information needed in the center pane and click

In our example, we want to link the region information to the web listing of all the agents in that region. So, we will choose the Existing File or Web Page option and copy/paste in the web address in the Address field.

Apply the HYPERLINK function


Lastly, you can build hyperlinks using the HYPERLINK function. This is useful when you have links that are based on other fields of data such as an email address that is ALWAYS a person’s first and last name plus “” for example.

In this example, we want to link to the brochure for the specific policy that was purchased and place that link in the Brochure Link column.

We also know that brochures are named consistently and located in the same folder on the network drive. This means that you can always create a working URL by combining the folder path and the filename which is always the State Code plus “.pdf”.

Here is the Syntax for the HYPERLINK function:

HYPERLINK(link_location, [friendly_name])

The Link_location argument is where you specify the path and file name to the document you are linking. The destination can be a file path or a URL on the internet if using the desktop version of Excel. (Only internet, web URLs will work on the web version of Excel.)

The [friendly_name] argument is where you specify what the text of the link will be within the cell. If left empty, the resulting address in the link location argument is displayed.

In our example, we want to build the link location based on:

  • The folder file path: which will be enclosed in “quotes” to indicate static text.
  • The file name using Column H indicated by cell name.
  • And the file type: .pdf also enclosed in “quotes” to indicate that this exact text is to be appended after the text in the cell name.

Our resulting formula would then be:


The ampersand (&) connects the static and dynamic elements to produce a location result as seen in cell J2:

To make our sheet even more helpful, we can use the friendly_name argument in the same way to produce an informative link. This is shown in cell J3 with the formula:

=HYPERLINK(“”.pdf”,H3&” Brochure”)

While it might be a trick to set up a link using the HYPERLINK function, when you have a whole sheet of links that are consistent in this way, you can do it once, then simply drag the formula down the column as we’ve done here!

Edit Hyperlinks

If you need to change or remove a hyperlink from an Excel cell, right-click on the cell and choose an option from the fly-out menu: Edit, Open (which will take you to the link) or Remove.

Hyperlinks can be more than just data you are storing. They can help you navigate complicated workbooks and are key to creating useful dashboards. Practice the techniques shown here and let us know the ways you plan to use them!