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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Sep 26, 2019

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Why some hyperlinks (hypertext links) can fail to work while inside WordPerfect documents (.wpd, .wpt)

Related pages:

•  To create a hyperlink from a word/phrase/symbol to some other part of the current document, to another local document, to a web site, or to a macro see How to create hyperlinks (hypertext links) in WordPerfect [includes some tips if the document is to be Published to PDF]

Here are some reasons why hyperlinks might fail, or appear to fail, when you are working with a WordPerfect document.

For example:
The mouse cursor does not turn into a finger-pointing cursor Finger pointer when directly on a hyperlink.

Or clicking on a hyperlink doesn't seem to do anything.

Here are some known causes of such "failures".

•  The activation state (On or Off) for hyperlinks is stored with the document when it is saved to disk, and it might be overriding your WordPerfect program's setting.

The stored activation state (On or Off) in the current document will take precedence over the current state of the Tools, Settings, Environment, "Activate Hyperlinks" checkbox (which is a global, user preference setting).

Therefore, even if you have enabled that program checkbox option, the current document's stored setting might be overriding it. (See the next item's Hyperlink Toggle which you can use to reactivate hyperlinks in the document.)

Note that you can still create hyperlinks even if the activation state is turned Off. Further, if you use Publish to PDF any hyperlinks in that PDF will still be active regardless of the activation state in the WordPerfect document.

•  Using the Hyperlink Property Bar to toggle hyperlink activation off.

This Property Bar can cause accidental as well as deliberate deactivation of hyperlinks in the document:
Hyperlink Property Bar

If you have edited a hyperlink in the document by right-clicking on the link and choosing "Edit Hyperlink," the Hyperlink Property Bar above will (or might) have appeared. (It might also appear if the Shadow Cursor is enabled; see below.)

You can also manually display the Hyperlink Toolbar:
Hyperlink Toolbar
Right-click on WordPerfect's toolbar area and choose Hyperlink Tools; or use View, Toolbars and choose it from the Toolbars dialog. This toolbar is similar to the Hyperlink Property Bar above so it also has a Hyperlink Toggle button.

Finger pointer The finger-pointing icon on that property bar is a Hyperlink Toggle. (On the images here it is shown activated.)

When you click on it (accidentally or on purpose) the activation state for hyperlinks in that document is set to the opposite state (e.g., Off if currently On).

Importantly, as noted above this state will be stored with the document when it is saved, regardless of the current state of the Tools, Settings, Environment, "Activate Hyperlinks" checkbox. (The latter is a global, user preference setting.)

Hence, if you turned it off and you then saved the document, the hyperlinks won't work when you open the document again, until you reactivate the setting.


The Hyperlink toolbar's left-most button is the Hyperlink Return, a useful button that takes you back to the initial hyperlinked bookmark in the WordPerfect document.

•  Hyperlinks to web sites can fail if you have set a firewall program to block WordPerfect's access to the Internet. (See also the cross reference tip below.)

Another related issue is an incorrect or incomplete internet address (URL) set in the Hyperlink Properties dialog's Document/Macro field, and thus embedded in the document's hyperlink itself. Even if the activation state (and the Hyperlink toggle) is turned on, the hyperlink will fail when you click on it.

[One such incorrect method of entering web addresses -- adding unwanted "<" and ">" around website URLs in the Hyperlink Properties dialog -- was reported on WordPerfect Universe here. A macro was developed to remove such (internally) added items from hyperlink codes throughout the document (mirrored in Footnote 1); but you can simply double-click on the [Hyperlink] code in Reveal Codes to edit it.]

For more on creating hyperlinks in WordPerfect see the Hyperlinks page.

•  If you use the Shadow Cursor (View, Shadow Cursor) and you have set its defaults to anything other than "Active in White Space" (in Tools, Settings, Display, Document [tab]), the Shadow Cursor will typically operate an activated hyperlink at the end of the hyperlink, not at any point before the end of the link (but see below for an exception).

On the other hand if it is set to "Active in White Space" (which means: active only in the empty parts of body text areas), then a single mouse click on any part of the hyperlink should operate it — the same as if you have completely disabled the Shadow Cursor with the choice on the View menu.

But a slightly strange issue can appear if the Shadow Cursor is set to either "Active in Text" or "Active in Both": you might need to click on the hyperlink text twice — once to move the black vertical insertion (or text) cursor (|) from its current location to the hyperlinked text, and then once more to operate that hyperlink. This can be a bit concerning to users since hyperlinks typically are operated with a single mouse click on any part of the link, but it's probably a minor issue (and it's been around a long time so it probably won't be fixed). Just double-click on the link if it doesn't seem to work.

[For some general information on the Shadow Cursor see here.)

•  If the location of the bookmark to which the hyperlink points is on the same screen (perhaps just a few sentences away), the cursor might move there but the screen might not move, giving the illusion that nothing has happened. (Check Reveal Codes to see if the cursor has moved.)

•  If a hyperlinked cross reference to a target takes you somewhere else:

That is, if clicking on the cross reference number does not take you to its target, but instead it activates an immediately preceding hyperlink (possibly with intervening text) to an external document (e.g., a PDF file) or a web address (URL), then you might have come upon abug which has existed since WordPerfect 9 (and is still present in at least WPX6 as of November 2013).

In Reveal Codes these items might look like the following example, where "sample file" is text that is hyperlinked to a PDF file on disk; [Ref Pg] is the cross reference that displays a number; "lorem ipsum" is some more text on the next page; and [Target] is the cross reference's target location:

[Hyperlink]sample file[Hyperlink][HRt]
[Ref Pg][HPg]
lorem ipsum[HRt]

There's a workaround (a small macro) posted on WordPerfect Universe by Roy "lemoto" Lewis here (the last macro in the thread is the most recent one).

"The macro is a workaround. After every URL link, it inserts a Bookmark and a hyperlink to that Bookmark. Thus no crossref. hyperlink can be [immediately] preceded by a URL hyperlink. ..."

[Continued from above...]

Why some hyperlinks to websites can fail:
Bracket "wrappers" added around URLs in WordPerfect's Hypertext Properties dialog

Here's a macro snippet by Kenneth Hobson on WordPerfect Universe (here) to remove all angle brackets ("<" and ">") surrounding URLs from inside the Hypertext Properties dialog's Documents/Macros field.


Two commands were added to produce and display a count of the number of items processed.

To copy this code into your WordPerfect program to create a working macro see here.


    HypertextNext ()
Until(1=2)    //Infinite Loop[...] [exits where no more hyperlinks found]

Messagebox(;"Finished";"Processed "+vCount+" items";IconInformation!)