Pasting hyperlinks with descriptions into SharePoint

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

I would consider this an advanced tip, since it involves the use of Microsoft Access but when you have a lot of links to enter and modify on SharePoint, it might be worth looking at. The hyperlink field in SharePoint is actually made up two parts: the description, and the URL. Using the Quick Edit menu when pasting the links replaces both the URL and the description. If you want the description to be different, you can click on the hyperlink icon, which then shows a little dialog box, where you can make the change.

SharePoint: Hyperlink Field

While this method works really well for the occasional link, I was working on a list that contained 104 links that I needed to update in this fashion. I imagined there had to be a better way, and thankfully there are a lot of people smarter than me out on the world wide web. I found this great article which explained the process for importing those links into SharePoint.

While the solution gets there in a very roundabout way, it saved me a ton of time.

Step One: Create an Excel file

First you need to create the list of descriptions and links in a Microsoft Excel file. You probably start here anyway if you are dealing with a lot of links.

In another field, use the CONCATENATE formula to add a #, a comma, and a space between the description and the link, so the link looks as follows:

DSA Home#, https://virginiatech.sharepoint.com/sites/dsa/home/

Excel screen shot showing one row with two columns: Column 1: DSA Home, Column 2: Hyperlink to dsa home site. Below that is a formula showing =CONCATENATE(column1, "#; ", column2)

Open your SharePoint list in Microsoft Access

Once you have your spreadsheet is up, go to SharePoint list in question and from the LIST tab, choose OPEN WITH ACCESS.

SharePoint: Open with Access

Access will ask you to save the file. If you want to save it permanently, you may want to save it back to SharePoint. Else, saving it to your hard drive works for a temporary need.

If you’re working in the new version of the list view, you may have to switch to classic SharePoint view.

Use the shift and arrow keys on your keyboard to select the fields you want to change, and then paste the content from your Microsoft Excel file into Access.Hyperlink Field Access Sample

If you need more help, view the video on the article page for more details.

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