The best option I've found is to use the worksheet function
HYPERLINK() to covert the URLs to links in another column. For example, if you have the text
B1 you could enter the following:
This will give you the URL as a hyperlink in B1. Of course you can fill this formula down to get your column of links.
Now, if you want to move these links into column
A, there are two more steps. First, select all your links in column
B, copy them, and then right-click in the same range. Choose 'Paste Special' then 'Values', and click 'OK'. This will replace the formulas in these cells with the contents of the cells. Next, you copy the links in
B and just paste them into
A over your old text.