Creating Hyperlinks

A hyperlink is a word or phrase in an electronic document that, when clicked, immediately takes the reader to another page or document on the internet with related content. When using and creating hyperlinks, follow these guidelines:

  • Unless otherwise directed, writers should link to only federal, state or service websites — .gov or .mil addresses.
  • Embed a hyperlink within concise, descriptive text rather than writing out the complete URL in the text. This enables a screen-reader user to easily understand where the link leads without waiting for the reader to pronounce every character of a URL.
  • When creating a hyperlink, do not link single words. A user may overlook the link. Hyperlink several words or an entire phrase when possible. The linked text should be concise yet descriptive. Avoid nondescript link text such as "click here." Avoid linking to excessively long text or sentences. Longer links are more likely to break across lines and cause difficulty for the reader.
  • Writers contributing content for MC&FP websites and applications will most often use hyperlinks when referencing Defense Department or military service policies and regulations, or when they want to direct the reader to another resource, such as another website.
  • Do not use links to content that has no government origin or is in the public domain. Nongovernmental resources may be acceptable for use in rare circumstances and must have permission of the author or publisher.
    • In addition, prior to posting, the content use must receive approval from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs); in some instances, approval by the Defense Department's Office of General Counsel is necessary.
  • When hyperlinking email addresses, write out the full email address and hyperlink the entire address if the email address does not contain personally identifiable information.

For more information on MC&FP link policy, visit Military OneSource.

Follow these steps to create a hyperlink in Microsoft Word documents:

  1. Highlight the text that will become the hyperlink.
  2. Right click on your mouse and select “Link” from the menu that appears (or use the keystrokes Ctrl and K to pull up the “Insert Hyperlink” option).
  3. A window labeled "Insert Hyperlink" will appear on the screen with an address box at the bottom in which you can enter the URL (web address) for the hyperlink.
  4. Either type or copy and paste the URL directly from the website into the address box in the "Insert Hyperlink" window.
  5. Once you enter the complete URL in the box, click "OK" at the bottom of the "Insert Hyperlink" window.
  6. The hyperlink text should now appear in underlined blue font in the document.
  7. Click on the hyperlink to confirm that it directs the reader to the correct webpage or document.