Creating a Dynamic Hyperlink

Mark wonders how to create a hyperlink to a worksheet in the same workbook. The name of the worksheet will change, so he thinks the link will have to be “dynamic.” He would also like the “friendly name” for the hyperlink to change with the worksheet name.

There are a few ways that this can be approached. The first is to create a simple hyperlink to the destination using the HYPERLINK function. The syntax for the function is as follows:

=HYPERLINK(link_location, [friendly_name])

Note that the second paramaeter (the friendly name) is optional, but should be used in Mark’s scenario. If you want to link to another worksheet, then all you need to do is provide the address of a cell on that worksheet, in this manner:

=HYPERLINK("[myWorkBook.xlsx]MySheet!A1", "Jump There")

This provides a hyperlink to cell A1 on the worksheet named “MySheet.” This works great, provided that there is no name change to “MySheet.” If the name is changed or if the referenced cell is deleted, then the hyperlink no longer works.

There is an easy way to get around this potential problem, but it introduces a new potential problem. Yu can create a named range on the destination worksheet, and then use the named range in the HYPERLINK function, in this manner:

=HYPERLINK("#MyRange","Jump There")

Note that the range name must be preceded by a # sign and enclosed in quotes. Clicking the link displays whatever worksheet contains the named range and selects that range. It is more versatile than the earlier approach because it doesn’t matter if you rename the worksheet containing the named range. It does matter, however, if the named range is deleted. (If only a part of the named range is deleted, Excel adjusts fine. It only balks if the entire named range is deleted.)

To get around all of these problems requires the user of helper cells. (You could also use a simple macro or two, but that may be overkill for Mark’s needs.) As an example, put the following into cell A24:

=MySheet!A1

The cell will show whatever is in cell A1 on MySheet. If you later change the name of MySheet (the actual sheet name), then the formula automatically changes. If you insert or delete rows or columns in MySheet, the reference to cell A1 in the formula won’t change. This allows you to always have a valid worksheet and cell reference. In order to get that reference into a form that you can use in the HYPERLINK function, place the following formula in cell B24:

=MID(FORMULATEXT(A24),99)

The FORMULATEXT function converts the formula in cell A24 into a text string and the addition of the MID function pulls off the equal sign from the front of the formula. The formula, as shown, allows for very long worksheet names, up to 96 characters (the other three characters are “!A1”). You can then use the following formula to create the actual hyperlink:

=HYPERLINK("[myWorkBook.xlsx]" & B24, "Jump There")

The hyperlink target is always dynamic and stable, which is exactly what is needed. It should be noted, though, that the FORMULATEXT function was introduced in Excel 2013; it won’t work in earlier versions of the program.

I haven’t spent much time talking about the friendly name portion of the HYPERLINK function. That’s because you could easily change it to reference just about anything you want. You could, for instance, have it reference a different cell which, in turn, displays a value based on whatever formula you desire:

=HYPERLINK("#MyRange",A7)

This example grabs the friendly name from whatever is in cell A7. Change what is in cell A7, and the friendly name updates at the same time.