How to Create Links in Microsoft Word – How to Make an Ebook Series

by Rob O'Byrne on October 24, 2012

How to Create Links in Microsoft Word is part of our ongoing How to Make an Ebook Series as part of our Professional Ebook Conversion and Kindle Formatting Service.

In today’s world, one of the most popular reading platforms is no longer crafted from the pulp of deceased trees, may they rest in peace. One of the most popular reading platforms is the Kindle, and although it doesn’t have the pleasing smell of a new book, nor can you lend it to a friend when you’re done, or use it to start a fire if you hated it (Sorry, Mrs. Meyer, the 3 minutes of warmth your burning book provided me was far more pleasing than the 45 minutes I spent in agony before I gave up reading it), the Kindle does allow for a lot more technological options.


External Links

Part of any professional ebook conversion or Kindle formatting service is to include links in your book—links that lead to web pages that you want your readers to follow. It may be a link to your blog, or it may be to a website that’s helpful and informative on the topic you wrote your book about. It may be a link to your email address, or a link to your favorite book-reviewing website. It may be a link to a YouTube video in which Smurfs dance with Care Bears to music performed by the cast of Glee. The sky’s the limit here.

Of course, it doesn’t do you much good if you don’t actually know how to insert a link. Well, it’s easy. On your Word doc, you probably have your link written out. For example:

Now, just highlight the URL and click Ctrl+K (or Command+K on the Mac). For those who aren’t savvy about keyboard combinations, just hold down your Ctrl key and press the letter “K” on the keyboard. That should bring up some options, only one of which you need to worry about. At the bottom there will be an address bar. Make sure you type in your correct web address in that bar, and click “okay.” There; it’s linked.


Linking the Table of Contents

But we’re not done linking. An even more important aspect of every ebook conversion and Kindle formatting service is  that it provides links for the Table of Contents, which we will refer to as ToC. Hyperlinking the ToC is especially important for nonfiction books. Your readers need to be able to navigate quickly and easily to any section of the book they want to.

There are a few prerequisites to hyperlinking your table of contents. I’ll list them in numerical order from most important to least important.

  1. Have your ToC typed out. Make sure it’s on its own page and after the copyright page.
  2. Make sure it’s left aligned. Don’t center it or give it a first-line indent.
  3. Make sure your ToC is bookmarked. This is easy, easy, easy. Just click your cursor at the beginning of where it reads “Table of Contents” on your ToC page. Then, go to your “Insert” tab on Microsoft Word’s top toolbar. Click on “Bookmark.” Now, enter the name of your bookmark, which should be simply TOC. Click “Okay.” You’re done with that.
  4. Make sure every chapter title is in Heading 1 style, and all your sub-chapters are either Heading 1 or Heading 2 style. Every section of your book that you want hyperlinked in the ToC must be in a Heading style, so don’t cut corners. If you don’t know what a style is, that’s okay, because that’s the subject of next week’s blog!

Let’s link your ToC to the corresponding chapters in your book. Let’s say your first chapter is “Chapter 1: It was a Dark and Stormy Night.” Go to your “Insert” tab on your toolbar and highlight your chapter title.

Very important: Highlight only the text. Don’t highlight any blank space after the text.

1. It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Once that’s highlighted, click on “Hyperlink” on your top toolbar.

Once the window opens up, you’ll see a column on the left. On that column, select “Places in this document.” All that means is that you’re making a link to something in the document. Pretty straightforward.

Once there, it will give you a list of everything you have in Heading 1 style. Just double-click the corresponding heading on the list, and there you go. It’s hyperlinked. Rinse and repeat with all of your chapter titles.

It will turn your chapter titles in the ToC to blue text, and you can press Ctrl+right-click to follow it.


That’s it, in a very small and easily understandable nutshell.

The next post in the How to Make An Ebook Series is about styles. Styles are the most important tool in your toolbox to create a professional-looking ebook for any ebook conversion or Kindle formatting service. Not only will I open that toolbox and show you the best tool, I’ll show how to best use it in the most efficient and time-saving manner known to all of mankind.

Best of luck with your ebook conversion and Kindle formatting.

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