Three Word-Based Hyperlink Questions

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Q: Why does sometimes when I type a webpage address in Word it automatically converts to a hyperlink, and sometimes it doesn’t?

A: Word recognizes and converts to a hyperlink web page addresses containing “www” (such as www.irs.gov), but not those that don’t (like irs.gov). The next time your web page address won’t convert to a hyperlink, insert a “www”. in front of the webpage address, place your cursor after the last letter of the webpage address and press the spacebar to convert it to a hyperlink.

Q: I am confused by this. I received a Word document that contains a hyperlink, but when I click on it, my browser says it can’t find the webpage, even though the web address is correct (see attached file). Can you tell me why this is happening?

A: If you look closely, there are forensic signs that suggest what is causing your hyperlink problem. Specifically, the hyperlink and hyperlink text do not match.

If you create a hyperlink in Word 2007 (or earlier editions of Word) and then later change the hyperlink text, Word 2007 does not automatically update the hyperlink to match that text. Subsequently, the hyperlink remains incorrect, even for users opening the document in Word 2010 or 2013. It appears that the author of your document originally created this hyperlink in Word 2007 (or earlier edition), then edited linked text.


To note:
It is not possible to create this type of error in Word 2010 and 2013 because these editions of Word automatically update hyperlinks when the hyperlinked text is changed.

Q: I received the attached Word document (pictured below), but I can’t get the hyperlinks to work. What am I doing wrong?

A: The Word document you sent me does not contain hyperlinks: the author of this document has used blue text and underlined formatting to make these web addresses look like hyperlinks. Either the author wanted to make this text look like hyperlinks for printing purposes, he doesn’t know better, or he sent you this document on April Fool’s Day.

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