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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How to Turn Off Hyperlinks in MS-Word

Have you ever been frustrated with MS Word while putting together a document that contains e-mail or Web site addresses? As you navigate the document your screen reader keeps saying "hyperlink" before each email or website address. This can really get annoying!. It's not any better if you can see the screen because Word changes the color of the hyperlinked text and underlines it too. If you're creating a document to be printed, this probably isn't exactly what you're looking for because Word will print the text in a color other than black. If you happen to have a black and white only printer, the text won't show up at all. What can you do?

Here's the deal. That wonderful little feature known as "AutoCorrect" has some options for items that Word can "AutoFormat as you type." The result of one of them is that your addresses are automatically turned into hyperlinks. That's a good thing if you need them as hyperlinks, but a bad thing if you don't.

So, to turn off the feature that automatically makes these changes, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Tools menu, AutoCorrect choice.
  2. On the AutoFormat As You Type tab, you're looking to deselect the "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks" option.
  3. Click OK.

Now, when you type an e-mail or a Web site address, it will stay as normal text (no underline or color change). Yeah!

However, you also may notice that any hyperlinks you've previously created are not affected. They stay the same, thanks MS-Word! Don't worry, all you need to do is remove the hyperlink that's associated with the text. You can do this in several different ways.

In Word 97, one way is to right click on the hyperlink and choose Edit Hyperlink from the Hyperlink submenu.

Another way is to place the cursor in or highlight the hyperlink and go to the Insert menu, Hyperlink choice.

And yet another way is to place the cursor in or highlight the hyperlink and use the key combination of Ctrl + K.

Either way, you get there and the Edit Hyperlink window will open.

You're looking for the Remove Link button in the bottom left corner. Click it.

If you're using a newer version of Word, you can simply right click on the hyperlink and choose Remove Hyperlink from the menu. (You can also go the long route and use the Insert menu or Ctrl + K option, but why bother?!)

No matter what version or which method you use, you're returned to your document where you'll happily discover that the text is back to normal. No links here!

Some of you may be thinking "That's fine and dandy, but what about when I really do want a hyperlink? What then"?

Just highlight the text to be linked and go to the Insert menu, Hyperlink choice. (You could avoid the menu by using the Ctrl + K option).

Now, simply enter the site address in the top field and click OK. (If you want it to be an e-mail address link, just use "mailto:" followed by the e-mail address).

The link will be created without all the hassle of turning the AutoCorrect feature on / off / on / off!

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