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Help: Hyperlinks (URLs) Are not Being Properly Displayed in Word 2007!

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Help: Hyperlinks (URLs) Are not Being Properly Displayed in Word 2007!

I came across another annoyance of Word 2007 caused after I opened a document that contained some errors. It is a really annoying thing to happen and what is horrendous is that it happens without the user’s consent.

The Problem

This is something you will easily notice only if there are URLs in your document. Instead of the URL you will notice that some extra bits of non sense code has been added around it. And what is even more annoying is that you can’t delete them! If you try to delete it you will end up with the whole URL being removed.

<a href=”http://www.whitestarcruises.com”> http://www.whitestarcruises.com</a> will be displayed as: {HYPERLINKhttp://www.iwantoneofthose.com}

Imagine a document where you have some dozens of links. The most obvous questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Why did that happen?
  2. How can it be resolved?

Radical Solution: Reset Word to Default Settings

There isn’t any point trying to understand why it happened. After getting really fed up as I couldn’t identify the source of the problem I thought to reset Word to its original settings.

Believe it or not, such an option is not possible! Yes, indeed, something that simple that all mobile phones and inexpensive portable mp3 players offer by clicking one button, Word doesn’t!

The only way to make it is quite technical and utterly complicated for the average user as it involves editing the registry of your Windows operating system. Nevertheless, if you would like to try then you should do the following:

  1. In the search box that appears in the start menu type ‘Regedit
  2. Select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/12.0/Word key.
  3. Press the Delete key. You are asked if you want to really delete they key.
  4. Click on Yes and close the ‘Regedit’ window.
  5. Restart Word.

 

Word 2007 Options and Preferences

As I wasn’t happy with the previous solution I spend some time researching and trying things out trying to find the cause of the problem. It was obvious that some sort of advanced option was enabled and I just had to find it and disable it.

The question was where those advanced options are located?

Again, the answer the question took some time. In previous versions of Word those would appear either under a ‘Preferences’ or a ‘Setting’ menu. However, in Word 2007 such options do not exist anymore!

Being really frustrated I asked some of my colleagues and no one seemed able to locate the advanced options. Then I tried Google, again nothing! How the hell can Microsoft make their products less and less usable by moving around menus after users have been so used to them for years and years?

I looked in every single tab again and again until in the end I screamed ‘Eureka’ and everyone in the office turned their heads looking at my with pity. Ladies and gentlemen, in Word 2007 all the options are called ‘Word Options’ and they appear under the big round Office Button that appears on the top right of your screen. I decided to add a screenshot just in case:

Help: Hyperlinks (URLs) Are not Being Properly Displayed in Word 2007!

Word 2007 Options Button

Word 2007 Advanced Options

The last part of the long journey was to find exactly what cause the URLs to look odd. After examining carefully the 50+ different advanced options I managed to find the resolve the URL issue!

For some reason, the ‘Show Field Codes Instead of Their Values’ that appears under the ‘Show Document Content’ section option was checked! And that wasn’t checked by be but caused by a problematic file. Again, well done Microsoft for all those wasted man-hours of work.

So, all you need to do is:

  1. Click on the Office Button
  2. Click on ‘Word Options’
  3. Click on ‘Advanced’
  4. Go to the section ‘Show Document Content’
  5. Make sure the ‘Show Field Codes Instead of Their Values’ IS NOT CHECKED!!!
  6. Click on the OK Button

Help: Hyperlinks (URLs) Are not Being Properly Displayed in Word 2007!

Uncheck the ‘Show field codes instead of their values’ option

Conclusion

I find it horrendous being in the year 2010 and having to spend so many hours and effort to resolve issues that should not happen anyway. Why are we paying Microsoft for?

One of my first employers, who was a web design guru,  used to say that 30% of the time spent on  the design of any web site was exclusively spent on Internet Explorer 6 and 7 CSS issues. He had come up with some figures about how much money Microsoft owe to all web design agencies that want to produce cross-browser compatible websites.

My point of view is that if Microsoft Office was a free product not as many people would really use it. Being in a position to have a huge market share thanks to the windows OS allowed Microsoft to market many other mediocre products and sell them for very high prices while they don’t meet the users’ expectations.

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Modi Mann

Modi Mann is an SEO and web design consultant who works for Hitel. He specializes in usable web design for ... [Read full bio]

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