MS Word automatically adds hyperlinks to documents when you enter, or copy and paste, URLs. Then you can open the web pages in browser by holding the Ctrl key and clicking the links. While they might be handy website shortcuts in some documents, not everybody needs URL links. For example, it’s a little pointless including hyperlinks in printed pages, isn’t it? This is how MS Word users can remove document links to convert URLs to plain text.
Remove Hyperlinks with Word’s Context Menu Options
First, you can remove selected hyperlinks with Word’s context menu options. Select a link in a document with the cursor. Then you can right-click the link to open the context menu in the shot below. Select the Remove Hyperlink option there to convert the URL to plain text.
Alternatively, you can right-click a link and select Edit Hyperlink. That opens the window shown directly below. Press the Remove Link button on that window and click OK.
Remove All Hyperlinks With Hotkeys
However, you can only remove one hyperlink at a time with the context menu options. If there are lots of links on multiple pages, it’s better to remove all the hyperlinks with Word’s hotkeys. First, press the Ctrl + A hotkey to select all the text in the document. Then press the Ctrl + Shift + F9 hotkey to remove all the links.
Remove Hyperlinks From Documents with Macros
The Macro recorder is a handy tool included in Word. This enables you to record a sequence of selected options and playback the macro when required. Or you can set up a macro that removes hyperlinks from all open Word documents by manually entering Visual Basic code instead.
First, press the Alt + F11 hotkey to open the Visual Basic editor. Click Insert > Module to open a Module window where you can input macro code. Copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) the code below in Word’s module window.
‘ Removes all hyperlinks from any open documents
‘ Text to display is left intact
Dim doc As Document
Dim szOpenDocName As String
‘ Loop through all open documents:
For Each doc In Application.Documents
‘ Store the document name
szOpenDocName = doc.Name
‘ Remove the hyperlinks from that document
‘ Loop while there are hyperlinks afoot!
While .Hyperlinks.Count > 0
‘ Shut this off, don’t need anymore popping up
Application.Options.AutoFormatAsYouTypeReplaceHyperlinks = False
Then press the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut to save the macro. To run the macro, select File > Macro > Macro and select KillTheHyperlinksInAllOpenDocuments. That will remove all the hyperlinks from open Word documents.
Copying and Pasting Plain Text Hyperlinks
If you’re copying and pasting links to a Word document, you can paste URLs as plain text. First, copy the website link to Clipboard with the Ctrl + C hotkey. Then you can right-click in Word and select a Keep Text Only option from the context menu. That pastes the URL as plain text, but don’t press the Enter key after pasting as that reverts the URL to hyperlink format.
There are also various third-party programs that enable you to paste copied text without any formatting. For example, you could add the PureText program to Windows by clicking Download on this page. That converts copied links to unformatted text when you press its Win key + V hotkey. You can also paste the text in Word documents by pressing the Win key + V keyboard shortcut.
Add Kutools to Word
Kutools is one of Word’s best add-ons that adds a whole new toolbar tab to the application. Kutools is retailing at $39 on its website, and there’s also a trial version. This add-on also gives you a quick way to remove all links in a document by clicking the Kutools tab > More and then selecting the Remove Hyperlinks option. Alternatively, you can also select the Enterprise tab and click Remove to erase link formatting from URLs.
Switch off Word’s Automatic Hyperlink Formatting
Word automatically converts URLs to hyperlinks, but you can configure the application so that doesn’t happen. First, select the File tab and Options to open the Word Options window. Click Proofing > Autocorrect Options to open the window shown directly below.
Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab that includes an Internet and network paths with hyperlinks check box. Now deselect the Internet and network paths with hyperlinks option on that tab. Press the OK buttons on the AutoCorrect and Word Options windows. Now all URLs entered in Word documents will remain plain text.
So there are various ways you can convert links to plain text URLs in Word documents. Word has hotkeys, context menu options, add-ons and macros that you can remove hyperlinks with. If you also need to remove hyperlinks from Excel spreadsheets, check out this Tech Junkie guide.