Let’s embark on a journey to learn about a fantastic tool within Excel – the HYPERLINK formula. But what is it? Simply put, the HYPERLINK formula is a function that allows you to create clickable links within your Excel spreadsheet. This formula can link to a multitude of destinations, including a webpage, a different Excel worksheet, or even a specific cell within the same worksheet.


The HYPERLINK formula serves a vital role in Excel. It aids in the seamless navigation between sheets, workbooks, and even websites. Moreover, it’s perfect for creating an interactive dashboard or report, leading to a better understanding of your data.


Now, let’s delve into the syntax of the HYPERLINK formula. It’s straightforward, consisting of two parts:

=HYPERLINK(link_location, [friendly_name])


Moving on, we have two parameters to understand:

  • link_location: This is the destination of the hyperlink, which can be a URL, a cell reference, or a path to another Excel file. It’s the only mandatory parameter.
  • [friendly_name]: An optional parameter, this is the clickable text displayed in the cell. If you leave this blank, Excel will display the link_location as the hyperlink.



So, what does the HYPERLINK formula return? Quite simply, it provides a clickable hyperlink in the cell where you input the formula.


Usage notes


While using the HYPERLINK formula, it’s important to remember a few things. Firstly, if you’re linking to a webpage, ensure the URL starts with “http://”. Secondly, if you’re linking to a cell within the same worksheet, use the cell reference as the link_location.




The HYPERLINK formula is widely available across all Excel versions. So, whether you’re working on Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel for Mac, or even the latest Excel 2023, you can use this nifty formula.


Now, to help you grasp the HYPERLINK formula, let’s look at some practical examples.


Example #1: Linking to a webpage

=HYPERLINK("https://www.PK-AnExcelExpert.Com.", "PK's Website")

This formula will create a hyperlink that says “PK’s Website,” which directs you to PK’s website homepage when clicked.

Example #2: Linking to a different worksheet

Suppose you have another sheet named “Sales Data”. Here’s how to link to cell A1 in that sheet:

=HYPERLINK("#'Sales Data'!A1", "Go to Sales Data")

Example #3: Linking to an Excel file

Assume you want to link to a file called “Report.xlsx” in your Documents folder. Here’s the formula:

=HYPERLINK("C:\Users\YourName\Documents\Report.xlsx", "Open Report")

Example #4: Linking to a cell in the same sheet

To link to cell B5 in the same sheet, you’d use:

=HYPERLINK("#B5", "Go to B5")

Example #5: Linking to an email address

You can even create a hyperlink to an email address like this:

=HYPERLINK("mailto:[email protected]", "Email Us")

Tips and Tricks

A neat trick is to use cell references in your hyperlinks. This way, if the link_location or friendly_name changes, your hyperlink automatically updates.




While the HYPERLINK formula is incredibly useful, it doeshave its limitations. It can’t be used to link to a specific location in a webpage, only the webpage itself. Moreover, it doesn’t work with links to  network folders.


Common Errors and Solutions


One common error is the #VALUE! error, which occurs when the link_location is invalid. To solve this, ensure your link_location is a valid URL, cell reference, or file path.


Best Practices

  • For optimal use of the HYPERLINK formula, stick to these best practices:
  • Always double-check the link_location.
  • Use the friendly_name parameter to make your hyperlinks more user-friendly.
  • Make sure URLs begin with “http://” or “https://”.

List of Related Functions

Several functions complement the HYPERLINK formula:

INDIRECT: Helps in referencing a cell indirectly, useful when combined with HYPERLINK.

CONCATENATE or &: Helps create dynamic link_location or friendly_name parameters.

Frequently Used with Formulas

The HYPERLINK formula often works hand-in-hand with:

  • IF: To create conditional hyperlinks.
  • VLOOKUP: To return a hyperlink based on a lookup value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I change the color of the hyperlink created with the HYPERLINK formula?

Yes, you can. While Excel will automatically format the hyperlink in blue underline text, you can change this by selecting the cell with the hyperlink, then choosing the color and style you prefer from the Font group on the Home tab.

Q. Is there a way to make a hyperlink open in a new window or tab?

The HYPERLINK function in Excel doesn’t inherently support opening links in a new window or tab. It follows the default browser setting. However, if you’re linking to a webpage, you can modify your browser settings to open all links in a new tab or window.

Q. What happens if the file I’m linking to with HYPERLINK formula gets moved or deleted?

If the file you’re linking to is moved or deleted, the HYPERLINK formula will return an error since it can no longer find the link_location. Make sure to update the link_location in your formula if you move or rename the linked file.

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