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Using hyperlinks

A hyperlink, also known as a link, is a word, phrase, or even an image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document. Hyperlinks are found in nearly all web pages, allowing users to click their way from page to page, but they are also useful to use in your word processing documents.

How hyperlinks work

A hyperlink has two parts, the bit that the user can see, (the image or text which is usually blue with an underline), and the permalink which is the URL (uniform resource locator) and file path or web address behind the image or text, which takes the user to a file or web page.

Sometimes the text and link address are the same, for example,, and sometimes they’re different, the OU Computing Guide. Both of these links take you to the same place, but one is much easier for a reader to understand than the other.

Whichever word processor you use, when you insert a hyperlink into your document you'll need to provide the file path or web address and decide on the text you want to display. It makes sense to use something meaningful for the display text. You can also use an image to display the link but it's not always as obvious as blue, underlined text.

How you can use hyperlinks

If you make notes using a word processor you can include links to pages in websites, link to other files on your computer, and jump to paragraphs in documents. This can save you a lot of time later, especially when preparing for an assignment or during revision.

If you want to draw your tutor’s attention to a particular module webpage you're having difficulty with, you can copy its URL from the address bar of your browser and paste it into an email, text message or forum post.

How to make hyperlinks

These links take you to Microsoft and Mac websites where you'll find instructions. Alternative software is available and uses similar formatting.

Last updated 5 months ago