# Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today, I was approached by someone with a request that sounded very simple.  She had a large Word document and she wanted to create an Excel spreadsheet in which each cell contained the name of a section in the Word document.  A hyperlink in each cell should open the Word document and navigate the user to the corresponding section.

Years ago, I did something similar using Office 97 or Office 2000, so I knew it was possible.

I opened the Word document and inserted a bookmark at the top of each section.  Inserting bookmarks in Word is pretty straightforward:

  1. Select the first line of the section
  2. From the menu/ribbon, select Insert Bookmark
  3. In the Bookmark dialog, type a name for that bookmark.

 

I became confused when I tried creating the hyperlinks in Excel.  Inserting a hyperlink in Excel hasn't changed much through the versions:

  1. Type some text in a cell
  2. Select that cell
  3. From the menu/ribbon, select Insert | Hyperlink
  4. Find and select the file to which you want to link.

This is where I became confused.  The "Insert Hyperlink" dialog contains a big button labeled "Bookmark".  Naturally I clicked this button to specify the bookmark within the Word document.  Unfortunately, clicking the button displayed an error.  According to Excel, Word documents don't support bookmarks, although my personal experience and the on-line help says that they do.

 

The secret is that you should not click the bookmark button in order to link to a bookmarked location in a Word document.  Rather, you should append the filename with the pound symbol ("#"), followed by the name of the bookmark to which you wish to link.  For example, I wanted to link to a bookmark named "Section1" in a document named "BigWordDoc.docx", so I entered "BigWordDoc.docx#Section1", as shown below.

Apparently, the "Bookmark" button is used for cells and defined names within an Excel document.

  

I'm not sure if Excel's "Insert Hyperlink" dialog has changed in the last few versions, but this strikes me as a flaw in the user interface.  The visual clues don't help me accomplish this task - they actually took me in a different direction.

Here is a working demo of an Excel spreadsheet with links to sections of a Word document: OfficeLinkDemo.zip (17.92 KB)

Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:56:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, April 2, 2008
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A couple years ago, I had a chance to speak at a Day of .Net event in ann arbor, MI.  I enjoyed it so much that I signed up as an attendee at the same event last year.

Day of .Net is a single-day conference focused on Microsoft developer technologies.  It is free and takes place on a Saturday which makes it a lot easier to schedule for working professionals.  The speakers tend to be well-known technologists who live within a few hundred miles of the event.  I've been impressed with the lineup at the events I attended. 

The local flavor of the event also gives attendees a great chance to network with similar professionals in their geographic area. The focus tends to be on technology, rather than on strategy, so these things attract more hard-core developers and fewer CIOs and CTOs.

In the next few weeks, three Day of .Nets (or is it Days of .Net?) are scheduled within three hours of my home.  April 19 is the Central Ohio Day of .Net in Wilmington, OH (between Columbus and Dayton); May 10 is the West Michigan Day of .Net in Grand Rapids, MI; and May 17 is the Cleveland Day of .Net in Cleveland, OH.

Depending on my sons' basketball tournament schedules, I hope to attend two of these.  Click the links below for more information.

Central Ohio Day of .NET   WM Day of .Net May 10, 2008 - I'll be there!   Cleveland Day of .NET

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 12:41:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, April 1, 2008
 #
 

Today is the first day of the fourth month, which means you should not believe anything you hear, read or see between now and midnight.

I found a great listing of the greatest April Fools pranks in history, based on cleverness and the number of people duped: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 11:05:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)