Q. While there’s plenty about Microsoft Word that’s really helpful, sometimes its myriad features just get overwhelming—especially when you can’t find a way to disable a function that seems to get in the way of your work. For example, one feature drives me nuts. Every time I type a URL (Web address), it appears underlined and in blue type, like this: www.aicpa.org .
I’m sure some people like this feature, but it just irritates me. Please help me get rid of it. My screen looks like a Christmas tree.
A. You’re right—however, some people do love that feature because, with one click on an address in a document, they get onto the Web and right to the target page. But if you don’t use this feature, it can make a document look awfully busy.
Getting rid of it is easy, and if you decide later that it’s actually useful, getting it back is simple, too. We’ll give you several options for turning it off and on. On your toolbar, click on Tools, AutoCorrect, and then click on the tab AutoFormat As You Type (see exhibit 1,below). You’ll notice about halfway down the list is a checkbox labeled Internet and network paths with hyperlinks. Uncheck it and then click OK.
|To remove hyperlinks in text, uncheck the Internet box.|
You’re not finished yet. Once again, click on Tools, AutoCorrect. This time, click on the last tab, AutoFormat, and be sure the Internet and network paths with hyperlinks checkbox is not checked. Click OK and the blue, underlined URL will be turned off.
To reverse that default—and you may find it a handy tool once you use the Internet regularly—just go back and check both boxes.
But what if you open a document someone else prepared and it doesn’t have that feature turned off? Or if you want to retain the feature but also be able to disable it selectively? All you have to do is point your cursor to the URL and then press Ctrl+Shift+F9. This converts the field code for that URL back to regular text without the link. And if you decide to temporarily remove all the hyperlinks in a particular document, but without changing the default for other documents, highlight the entire document by pressing Ctrl+A and then press Ctrl+Shift+F9. Be aware, however, if there are other fields, in addition to URLs, in the document, these actions will convert them to plain text, too.