Extracting URLs from Hyperlinks

Mezga has a series of cells that contain hyperlinks. These hyperlinks consist of words such as “click here” or “more information.” In other words, each hyperlink contains display text that is different from the underlying URL that is activated when the link is clicked. Mezga would like to know if there is a way, without using a macro, to extract the underlying URL for each of these hyperlinks and place that URL into a different cell.

Without using macros, you can do this:

  1. Right-click a hyperlink. You’ll see a Context menu appear.
  2. From the Context menu, choose Edit Hyperlink. Excel displays the Edit Hyperlink dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit Hyperlink dialog box.

  4. Select and copy (Ctrl+C) the entire URL from the Address field of the dialog box.
  5. Press Esc to close the Edit Hyperlink dialog box.
  6. Paste the URL into any cell desired.

Note that this is for a single hyperlink. If you have a whole bunch of hyperlinks in a worksheet and you want to recover the URLs, you need to do this for each and every hyperlink. Obviously this can get tedious very quickly.

The cure for tedium-like them or not-is a macro. With a macro, getting at the underlying URL for a hyperlink is child’s play. All the macro needs to do is pay attention to the Address property of the hyperlink. The following is an example of a macro that will find each hyperlink in a worksheet, extract each one’s URL, and stick that URL in the cell directly to the right of the hyperlink.

Sub ExtractHL()
    Dim HL As Hyperlink
    For Each HL In ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks
        HL.Range.Offset(0, 1).Value = HL.Address
    Next
End Sub

Instead of a “brute force” macro, you could also create a user-defined function that would extract and return the URL for any hyperlink at which it was pointed:

Function GetURL(rng As Range) As String
    On Error Resume Next
    GetURL = rng.Hyperlinks(1).Address
End Function

In this case you can place it where you want. If you want, for example, the URL from a hyperlink in A1 to be listed in cell C25, then in cell C25 you would enter the following formula:

=GetURL(A1)