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Excel Tip: Remove automatic hyperlink formats

Brandy, of Phoenix asks, "Why does Excel automatically add hyperlinks when I type email and Internet addresses? Is there a way to make it stop?"

Many desktop publishing software programs have automatically added Internet HTML formatting such as email and Internet addresses.

But, there is a way to remove automatic hyperlink formats if they are bothersome or you simply do not need them in your Excel spreadsheet.

HTML stands for Hyper-text Mark-up Language. It is this language which allows people to click on an email or Internet address and have it automatically link the user to the web address or open an email. These links are called hyperlinks, for those not familiar.

There are a few ways to remove automatic hyperlink formats in Excel and other Microsoft Office programs.

One easy way in Excel is to place an apostrophe before the address. This tells Excel to format the cell as text.

For example, typing 'john@abc.com would place only the text into the cell and Excel would recognize the letters as text and not add the hyperlink formatting.

Another way is to simply press the "CTRL + Z" immediately after entering the text. "CTRL + Z" is the keyboard shortcut for the "Undo" function.

For example, after typing "john@abc.com" and pressing "Enter" or "Tab," press the "CTRL + Z" and the "Undo" will undo the formatting and will not undo the text.

However, if you prefer to remove automatic hyperlink formats permanently, there is a way to save you the steps mentioned above.

To do so, follow these steps.

Excel 2007: Click on the "Office" button and click on the "Excel Options" button. Select the "Proofing" tab on the left menu. Click on the "AutoCorrect Options" button. Click on the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab and clear the "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks" checkbox. Click on the "OK" button twice to save the changes and return to the spreadsheet.

NOTE: In Excel 2003 and earlier versions, the "AutoCorrect Options" are located by selecting "Options" from the "File" menu.

NOTE: In newer versions, select the "File" "Options" and click on the "Proofing" section to find this setting.

The next time you type text such as "joe@abc.com," it will remain as is and not add the hyperlink format.

Use this Excel tip to remove automatic hyperlink formats and save yourself some time.


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