How to link to a file, email, or location in Word document

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To quickly access a file, create an email, or move to another location, you can easily create a link in a Word document.

To make it easier for yourself or your reader, you can link text to elements in your Word document. You may already know that you can hyperlink to a web page. But you can also link text to another file, email address, or somewhere else in your document.

This is handy for quickly accessing a file linked to your current document, giving your reader a quick way to send an email to your business, or jump to a specific location in the document.

The process of adding these links is similar, with just a few small tweaks on Windows versus Mac. So if you’re ready to make your Microsoft Word document more functional and useful, let’s go!

Go to the link tool

To link a file, email, or document location, you’ll follow the same initial process to open the Insert Hyperlink tool.

In Windows, select the text, then do one of the following:

  • Right click and choose Connect.
  • Go to Insert tab, click Connections, and choose Connect.

Click Links in the ribbon

On Mac, select the text, then do one of the following:

  • Right click and choose Hyperlink.
  • Go to Insert tab, click Connections, and choose Connect.
  • Click on Insert > Hyperlink from the menu bar.

Click Links in the ribbon

Link to a file in a Word document

Open a file linked to your document without having to stop what you’re doing and navigate to it every time. You can access it directly!

With the Insert Hyperlink tool open, click Existing file or web page to the left.

Below Look in, you can select Current folder or Recent files. But you can also use the drop-down list, Up One Folder or Browse for File buttons on the right.

After selecting the file from one of the locations above, you will see its exact location appear in the Address box. If this is the file you want, click Okay.

Link to a file in Word on Windows

You will see your linked text as indicated by the font underlined in blue. To open the file, hold your Control key and click on the link.

Linked file in Word

On Mac, choose Web page or file, Click on To select to find and choose the file, and press Okay When you are ready. You don’t need to hold down to follow the link on Mac; just click on it.

Link to a file in Word on Mac

Link to an email in a Word document

If you link to an email address in the document, then the user can click on the link and a compose email window will open with their default email client or allow them to choose, depending on its platform.

In the Insert Hyperlink tool, click E-mail adress to the left. Complete the E-mail adress field or choose a Recently used email address.

Optionally enter a Topic line that will be pre-populated in the sender’s email. This can be useful so that the recipient knows that it is related to that particular document or to a certain topic. Just note that the sender can edit the subject line.

Click on Okay.

Link to an email in Word on Windows

As with the file link above, the user owns Control when they click on the link to compose their email.

Linked email in Word

On Mac, the email link fields are the same and you can click the link in the text to compose the email.

Link to an email in Word on Mac

Link to a location in a Word document

Linking to a location in your Word document is also handy. The options for this type of link are a bit limited, however. You can choose the top of the document, a title or a bookmark.

In the Insert Hyperlink tool, click Place in this document to the left. On the right, choose a document location. If you are using headers, these will appear as selectable items. Click on Okay.

Link to a document location in Word on Windows

And as you’ve probably guessed by now, hold on Control and click to follow the link.

Location of linked document in Word

On Mac, select This document, choose the location and press Okay. Once again, you can click the link to follow it in Word on Mac.

Link to a document location in Word on Mac

More resources at the click of a button in Word

Linking the text in your Word document to files, emails, and locations can save you and your reader a lot of time.

For helpful related tutorials, learn how to follow these types of links in Word without using the Control key, or how to prevent Word from creating a link when you type a URL.


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