MacMost Now 892: Removing Links In Word Processing Documents

When you type a link in a word processor, it often converts that link to clickable text. But if you are writing a document for print, or just don't want the link to be clickable, then you need to change it to normal text. You can do this on a case-by-case basis by simply using Undo. Or, you can change preferences to stop these links from appearing in the first place. Learn how to do this in TextEdit, Pages and Microsoft Word.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 892: Removing Links In Word Processing Documents.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at how to get rid of unwanted links in word processing documents.

Here is the situation. You are using a word processor and you type a URL and you can see what happened here is automatically that URL converted into a link. It became blue and underlined. Now if I move my cursor over it you can see I can click on it. Clicking on it will open the browser and open that page.

But perhaps that's not what you wanted. For instance if this is a document only for print then of course they really can't click on it. It is going to be a printed page. Or perhaps you wanted to refer to the web site but you don't want to make it a clickable link.

So the problem is that you want to get rid of this as a link but keep the text there.

Well, there is a way to do this that is very easy without changing any preferences or anything. That is simply to use Undo. See Undo will undo the last action.

There are actually two actions that just took place. One was me typing those characters. The other was those characters being converted into a link. So when I hit Undo the first time the conversion will be undone. But it won't undo the previous action which was me typing.

Watch what happens when I hit Command Z. There we go. It converted it back to normal plain text. Now I can continue typing and it won't try to convert it again. That's a handy way to just have it stop for that one time you do it. If sometimes you want it to be a link and sometimes you don't then that's the way to handle it.

But you can also go and change things in Preferences. In TextEdit for instance under the New Document preferences I can turn off Smart Links. If in my current document I want that to go away I can go to Edit/Substitutions and turn off Smart Links. Now that won't happen anymore as I am working on the document.

Now the same happens in Pages. If you type a link there it will convert it. I can also use Undo, Command Z, and it will stop it. But I can also go into Preferences in Pages and I can turn on or off automatically detect email and web addresses under Auto Corrections. That will stop it from doing it in the first place.

A common thing that comes up is what if that was turned into a link, I'll Command/Shift Z to redo that, and I now want to get rid of it. Maybe it was a while ago and it is too late to undo and changing it in Preferences isn't going to go back and change this. Well you can select this and then go over to the Inspector here and click on link in the Inspector and you can see there it is a hyperlink; Enable as a hyperlink with the URL that it goes to. I can simply turn that off to convert this back to normal plain text.

Now let's go back to TextEdit and see how we handle it there. It's too late to Undo. I've typed some other things, saved and opened again, so I can't Undo it and changing it in Preferences won't change this specific instance back but if I Control click, or two finger tap on the trackpad, I get a menu here. One of the things that I can go in that menu is Remove Link.

Lastly, let's go to Microsoft Word. We can see Microsoft Word does the same thing. I can Command Z, Undo, to undo that one there. So I can still use that trick even with Microsoft Word.

Now in Word I can turn this off by going into Word Preferences here and under Autocorrect I have the ability to go to Autoformat as you type and turn off Internet and network paths with hyperlinks. So now when I finish with that I can now type and it won't turn into a link.

How do I undo a previous one? Well I can Control click on it and bring up a menu. There are other ways you can get to it as well. Get to this Hyperlink menu where I edit Hyperlink and you can see it is all there. Kind of like it is in Pages and the Inspector except that there is a big button there that says Remove Link and there we go. It is back to normal text.

You will find that a lot of other word processing apps or any apps that handle text have a similar ability. You can use Command Z to get rid of the change to hyperlink right after you do it and you can turn on and off in the Preferences. There is usually a way to get rid of a hyperlink after its already become a hyperlink and you want to change it back later on.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 892: Removing Links In Word Processing Documents”

    Bev Mascara
    6 years ago…love…love your tutorials. I really get it when you teach. thank you so much

    6 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial, Gary. Much appreciated.

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