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In Word I can use Ctrl+Click on the rare occasion that I want to follow a link rather than, you know, do the editing that Word is actually for.

Is there some way to get similar behaviour in Excel 2010, 2003, 2013?

I am sick of accidentally switching to IE or Outlook every time I try and select a cell that has a hyperlink attached.

Results of my prior research here on SuperUser and via popular search engines have not been very fruitful (e.g. I am not interested in hearing how I can click and hold to select the cell, or run VBscript or Macros to strip all hyperlinks from a workbook. I want something that conforms with the UI I expect from a non browser application and applies to documents other people have created.

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We are interested in what you have researched and tried already. Also, what version of Excel are you using? – CharlieRB May 14 '13 at 12:47
I've Googled and searched on SuperUser and come up with plenty of suggestions for how you can click and hold, create VBscripts or Macros to strip hyperlinks, but so far nothing about making Excel behave like Word. To be honest I thought that would be obvious from the question. I'm running Excel 2010, but is potentially annoying for anyone running Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, and possibly 2013. – dunxd May 14 '13 at 14:06
We may be super users, but not not super mind readers. Details help us help you. You've done a good job of explaining what you expect for answers. Only problem I see is there aren't any settings which make Excel act like Word. The behavior you've described has been part of Excel for many versions, so I don't expect it to change any time soon. From what I've researched, and given your criteria, you don't have many options, except maybe turning off automatic hyperlinks. – CharlieRB May 14 '13 at 16:35
I echo the original poster's request. I want to be able to create a spreadsheet with hyperlinks in it, but I don't want to FOLLOW said hyperlinks every time I merely click on the cell. I want an option (like in Word) where you can ctrl-click the link and THEN it follows it, and not just clicking on the cell (and not even on the link) and it following. – Kevin Anderson Dec 17 '13 at 18:04
Don't believe you can swap the standard Click and Ctrl+Click behaviours without VBA - BUT, if you Ctrl+Shift+Click a hyperlink it doesn't follow the link. However, I can't find a source online that confirms this, I've just discovered it via experimentation on my Excel 2010/Win7 install so for all I know it only works for me... try it! – Andi Mohr Jan 2 '15 at 16:47

10 Answers 10

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In Excel 2013, whitespace clicking will select the cell without following the URL, but you have to pay attention. If the icon changes to the hand icon on mouseover, it will follow the URL. If the icon changes to the big white cross, it will select the cell without following the URL. Changing row height or column width can help to increase the amount of whitespace.

Still, I wish that MS had thought to make URL clicks act the same in Excel 2013 as in Word 2013, because it is an annoyance.

"There is no such thing as a foolproof system. Someone will make a better fool, tomorrow." @LoneWolffe

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That's the closest to a useful answer - click on the cell not the text, if that is possible :-) – dunxd Mar 12 '15 at 16:29
There is a earlier answer, that while address' Excel 2010, provides practically the same solution as the accepted answer -… – user66001 Apr 13 '15 at 15:36

How I do this: Set the hyperlink with the URL in the second portion:


In the VBA Editor make a module:

Declare Function GetKeyState Lib "User32" (ByVal vKey As Integer) As Integer
Global Const CTRL_KEY = 17

Then the worksheet code:

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    On Error GoTo Error1
    If Left(Target.Formula, 10) = "=HYPERLINK" Then
        If GetKeyState(CTRL_KEY) < 0 Then 'Check if CTRL is held in
            Application.EnableEvents = False
            ThisWorkbook.FollowHyperlink Mid(Target.Formula, 16, Len(Target.Formula) - 17)
            Application.EnableEvents = True
        End If
    End If

    Exit Sub

    Application.EnableEvents = True

End Sub

To make it work, click on the cell, then CTRL+Click on the cell to visit the link. You could do other things like have text in the second portion of HYPERLINK then a SELECT CASE in the code, that opens a url based on the text. Other keystrokes are available as well:

Global Const SHIFT_KEY = 16
Global Const ALT_KEY = 18

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I think VBA is the only way to do it. I would propose that you don't have to use the HYPERLINK function, though. You could also use Target.Hyperlinks(1).Address (with error trapping) to determine if the cell has a hyperlink. – Engineer Toast Feb 10 '15 at 18:03
Done like a true Super User. – jony Sep 7 '15 at 14:40

What I have found (on Excel 2010 for Mac, at least) is that you can right click then left click the cell. That leaves you with the cell selected but does not follow the link. It becomes like a single motion and is not too annoying.

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This works on Excel 2013 for Windows as well – skia.heliou Dec 22 '15 at 21:48

I found that you can click the cell and hold the mouse button down for about half a second. After that the cursor turns into the usual cross, as depicted below:

enter image description here

This works in Excel 2013. I haven't tried any other versions, but if anyone does, please update my answer. =)

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Refer to Microsoft's website:

  • To remove a hyperlink and the text that represents it, right-click the cell that contains the hyperlink, and click Clear Contents on the shortcut menu.
  • To remove a hyperlink and the graphic that represents it, hold down CTRL and click the graphic, and then press DELETE.

If you are looking to disable a hyperlink for a single cell, here is the solution:

  • Right-click the hyperlink you want to deactivate, and then click Remove Hyperlink on the shortcut menu.
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The user said he doesn't want to remove the links, just the way that the program UI deals with them. This does not answer the question. – ilinamorato Mar 19 '14 at 15:05

I don't know if this is a workaround or an answer, but just make the width of your hyperlink column wider than the hyperlink text.

When you want to select the cell just click anywhere in the whitespace to the right of the link.

Alternately, by increasing the height of rows and clicking in the whitespace above (or below, depending on your alignment settings) the link you get the same effect - but with a metro looking interface :-)

Checked (and working) with Excel 2010.

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-1 in excel 2010 this opens the hyperlink anyway – Chris Marisic Aug 4 '14 at 13:37
No it doesn't. You did it wrong. – mcalex Aug 6 '14 at 1:21
i can tell the difference between text and whitespace where i'm clicking – Chris Marisic Aug 6 '14 at 12:59

Just go to Excel options->"proofing"-> "autocorrect options"-> "autoformat as you type" and uncheck the check box for "internet and network paths".

An alternative for IT security teams dealing with lot of IoCs is is to use autocorrection for "http" and auto-change as you type to "hxxp".In this way Excel will not create the hyperlink.


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That prevents me from creating the links, but doesn't have any impact on documents other people created without following the steps. – dunxd Jul 13 '15 at 20:18

This thread opened up to me while looking for a related matter. But I solved quest cell/content hyperlink - remove link and keep the text by this steps a create a new empty collum copy the cells with hyperlinks external into notebook copy the text from the notebook page select in the created new collum an equal amount of cells paste the notebook content into the selected cells

result the hyperlink is cleared, the text before attribute to the hyperlink is now content of the cells in excell / easy as it is.

Give it a try, it did work for me in office excell 2003, maybe you will work fine / kind regards /

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Try this:

  • Select the entire sheet, copy
  • Open new workbook, right click any cell, paste options, paste values

This will give you a new sheet with none of the old formatting, including all hyperlinks removed.

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There are a few ways to do this:

  • One way (which is valid but I don't recommend) is to put a ' (single quote) as the very first character of a cell. This tells Excel "do not format this cell even if it's a hyperlink or formula". I use this if I need to have a formula as a reference for documentation purposes. I don't recommend it because you want to disable the auto-link creation feature. This works on any version of Excel, even Mac.

To disable auto-link creation:

Excel versions 2003 and up

  1. On the Tools menu, click Autocorrect Options.
  2. On the Autoformat As You Type tab, click to clear the Internet and network paths with hyperlinks check box.
  3. Click OK.

    • Note You can also gain access to the Autocorrect Options feature when you type a hyperlink and then click Stop Automatically Creating Hyperlinks on the smart tag button that appears.
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