Add a link that goes directly to the middle of a Word document

In powerpoint, I like how when I open up a PPT presentation in IE, it loads it inline and I can page through the presentation and see the exact url to individual slides. So if I want to show someone else just one slide, I can point directly at that slide.

I couldn't figure out how to do this in Word, so I asked around today and found out the answer[1]. The short answer is that linking within Word works the same as inline HTML HREFs, i.e. “http://mysite/myfolder/mydoc.doc#mylink“. The long answer:

1. In the part of the doc (mydoc.doc) to which you want to link, select some text and go to Insert | Bookmark
2. Name the bookmark (say “mylink“)
3. Save it up somewhere on a website
4. In Word, open the HTML file from which you want to add the link
5. Go to Insert | Hyperlink
6. Under “Link To“, choose “Existing file or web page“
7. Browse to the mydoc.doc
8. Click “Bookmark“ and you'll see the link that you specified, mylink. Select it and save the file.

One interesting note: I tried to find instructions on this in Word's help, but in the topic about inserting a link to a bookmark, it didn't mention how to insert that link from outside of a word doc. So I clicked on “No“ under “Was this help topic useful?“ and sent in a comment. Having seen the back-end side of the system, I absolutely recommend that anyone who has any complaints about help in Office send in their comments, either when reading help within Office or on their website.

And although the “No, this wasn't useful“ is the most actionable feedback, I'm sure those folks would appreciate a “Nice job“ once in a while if a help topic answers your exact question.

[1] Chris Pratley was one of the people who responded to my request. I got weak-kneed when I saw his name in my inbox. And I put a dorky “Love your blog, and customers do too!“ in white font on a white background in my response just to be silly, I wonder if he actually saw it... 🙂

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Another Microsoft blogger that I should have known about before: K.C.

  2. adam says:

    Lol.. nothing wrong with silliness – It is almost Friday after all 😉

    Next question (and im guessing no) is there any way to link to a part of a document if you dont have write access to it e.g. if i want to link directly to chapter 3 of the exchange deployment guide.

    Now THAT would be cool.

  3. KC Lemson says:

    Well, the reason I was looking into this in the first place was so that we could do this for our white papers =)

    I don’t know of a way to do it without write access to the target doc, but I can tell you that it’s something we plan on doing sometime this year. One thing I’m not 100% sure about is if it will be done retroactively for previous whitepapers, but the main takeaway point here is that we know the massive whitepapers are a bit much to bite off at one time, and so segmenting content by chapters is where we’re going from here.

    And we’re going to have a draft of a chapter of an upcoming whitepaper available for preview sometime in the next few weeks too, I’ll link to it once it’s up.

  4. adam says:

    That would be great 🙂

    I’ll keep ’em peeled 😉

  5. Shannon J Hager says:

    I had to do this a few years ago for a "knowledge base" for a company. The KB was a small amount of HTML/ASP that linked to PPT diagrams that worked as outlines to visually "map" the word docs. Clicking on a hotspot in the PPT needed to take you to the appropriate section of the word doc.

    They needed all of this so that the completely non-technical manager could do all of the KB’s content management via Word and PowerPoint via a shared network on the web server.

    ah… the things people will do to keep from buying a CMS…

  6. KC Lemson says:

    The link to the preview chapter I mentioned a few weeks ago is up – see

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