Creating & Using Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks let you connect to data in other files even if these files were created by other Windows applications.

  • the linked file is opened automatically in an appropriate Windows application when you activate a hyperlink.

The process for creating a hyperlink is specific to each Windows application but the general approach is usually the same.

  • select objects that the hyperlink is to be activated by.
  • use a command to specify the linked file name.

For example, in MS Word 97 you can select characters then pick Insert + Hyperlink to specify a drawing file name to link to.

  • if you pick Browse you will have to select All files (*.*) as the Files Of Type to browse for AutoCAD drawing files.
  • you can specify a View name as the Named location in the file to restore when you link to drawing files that have saved views.
  • you will launch AutoCAD & open the specified drawing file when you left-click on the linked characters in the Word document.

You can create hyperlinks in doc files to make it easier for you (& others) to open appropriate drawings & other data files.

  • for example, a manager could organize action items for a design team & assign the required changes using hyperlinks.

Use the Hyperlink command to create links in AutoCAD drawings.

  • select the graphical objects that you would like to use to activatethe desired hyperlink.
  • type the name of the desired file as the Link to file or URL or pickBrowse to look for the files that are accessible from your system.

You can specify complete addresses to files when you insert a Hyperlink or you can simply include the file name only

  • if you use only file names AutoCAD looks for files in the same folder as the current drawing or in the default base address.
  • if Use relative path for hyperlink is checked the Path will be the same as the Link to file or URL.

You can change the default base address that AutoCAD uses for all relative links inserted within the current drawing.

  • for example, the base address could be a path to a folder on a network drive or a URL like http://www.[].
  • to change the base address of the current file, invoke Dwgprops and enter the Hyperlink base on the Summary tab.
  • the base address is stored in the HYPERLINKBASE system variable of the current drawing.
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When you use relative addresses with the base address saved in the drawing file it is easier to move files to new locations later on.

Hyperlink Cursor & Tooltip

When you hold your cursor over objects that have been linked with a hyperlink you will see a hyperlink cursor & a hyperlink tooltip.

  • the tooltip will list the hyperlink file name
  • you will see the Hyperlink description (optional) instead if you entered a description when the hyperlink was created.

You can turn off the hyperlink cursor and the hyperlink tooltip on the User Preferences tab of the Options dialogue box.

  • however, you will not be able to use the hyperlink shortcut menu when you turn them off.

You can activate a hyperlink by selecting the linked objects when no command is running & then picking Hyperlink from the shortcut

  • then select Open [hyperlink] to open the linked document in the appropriate Windows application.
  • you can use the same shortcut to Edit Hyperlinks.


  1. Launch AutoCAD (if it is not already running). Close all open drawings (if there are drawings open). 
  2. Open the T209_1.dwg drawing file in your personal folder. 
  3. Pick Tools + Run Script. Select your personal folder to Look in and select T209.scr as the script File name. Then pick the Open button to run this script. 
  4. Pick Insert + Hyperlink. Select the title block near P1 and press <enter> to continue.

5)Pick Browse and navigate to your personal folder. Select the T209 Animation.avi file & pick Open there to return to the Insert Hyperlink box. Type Play sundial animation as the Hyperlink description & pick OK to terminate Hyperlink.

6) Hold your crosshairs over any part of the titleblock (do NOT left-click) to invoke the new hyperlink tooltip.

7) Left-click on any part of the title block to select this object.

8) Right-click in the drawing area to invoke a shortcut and pick Hyperlink + Open “Play sundial animation” to launch the Windows application on your system that is configured to play avi files and open the linked animation file.

9) Pick the Play button to see the animation. Then Close this application to return to the AutoCAD window.

If a media player has not been installed, configured & associated with avi files on your system you may not see the animation.

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More practice?

» 10) Select the layout tab called 4 in the AutoCAD window.

» 11) Pick Insert + Hyperlink. Select the objects in the viewport on this layout using an implied window shown. Then press <enter> to continue.

12) Select the T209 Spreadsheet.xls file in your personal folder and type Calculate New Angles For Another Latitude as the Hyperlink description then pick OK.

If you have Excel…

13) Activate the new hyperlink. Change the latitude to 40.75 North (New York, NY) to compute the sundial angles for a new latitude. Close Excel without saving changes to return to AutoCAD.

You could use this information to create the sundial artwork for a different latitude

  • the artwork for the current drawing is for a 45 degree latitude.

If you have MS Word 97…

» 14) Save then Close the current drawing file in AutoCAD but leave AutoCAD running.

» 15) Open the T209_MSWord97.doc Word document in your personal folder.

» 17) Verify that when you click on the new LINK here hyperlink in this Word file the T209_1.dwg drawing file is automatically opened in AutoCAD.

» 18) Close the T209_MSword97.doc file without making changes then Close MS Word itself.

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