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Chris L.
Chris L., Support Specialist
Category: Microsoft
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Experience:  Certified Expert with over 10 years experience.
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Why recently in Word 2007, does # ***** some hyperlinks become

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Why recently in Word 2007, does # ***** some hyperlinks become %20-%20 in IE11 and " \l " in the field code?
Hello my name is ***** ***** certified computer professional with over 10 years experience. I will be happy to help you.

Hello I am sorry you have had to wait so long to get some help. Most questions are answered in a few minutes.

As far as your issue, if I am understanding correctly the character # ***** ***** displayed as %20 in the actual url?

Usually this has more to do with the web server than word 2007.

Please let me know if the links all lead to the same place or are different and if possible provide me with a link so I can can take a look myself.

Before I can provide any potential solutions I would like to be 100% clear on the issue.

Thanks and sorry for the wait.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Chris!

Sorry I have been busy but offer two links that display this problem differently. It also occurs from Excel but not from an htm file. I have just reset IE11 but it did not help. The links are:- AND


Hi Geoge,

They both look fine in IE on my end.

So is the issue only within office and excel?

What I mean is when you click on the link in excel for example does it not work?

I will test it further on my end but let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I agree the fault appears to be in my Office. It was OK with an earlier W7 and with Vista. A link in Excel did the same thing.

I actually happen to have a PC with office 2007 in my office and tested and no issue.

It could of been from an update I suppose but I am pretty sure I am up to date and not seeing it.

Did you go through the steps of creating a blank spread sheet or word doc and pasting in that?

Also do you use any third party add ons for office, those could always interfere.

You are probably running some sort of security software and it is possible it is causing the issue, have you tested that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have long used Norton IS and have nothing fancy for Office besides its file validation add-in. I have tried the link in a blank doc and it fails there too.

Is the field code wrong too?

%20 is usually a space and not a # ***** is a bit confusing to me. It is as if it is not seeing the # ***** all.

I have seen norton cause all sorts of issue however I have never seen this one so it would be a first for sure.

Do you want to do a remote session where I connect and have a look? May be a bit easier that way.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have had two remote sessions; one with BT because of the error message and one with eHow I noted. I don't mind but am not keen.

I add one thing: Google found this link while I was waiting and I may have missed on Microsoft because I selected 2007. But this Tech Assist Box thread does have a very similar problem and I was wondering whether to change the registry! The title is Word 2013 hyperlink converting # ***** %20-%20 at

No problem. Yes as I was saying %20 means a space like for example if I had a url that was page.html it would show as

The thing I was going to check is that you don't actually have any spaces in your URL. We do not need to do remote if you have had two people do it already.

Also if you would like you can upload a copy of your spreadsheet or word doc and I can see how it is on my end. If it does the same think then we will know that there is something off with the formatting.
Also I just looked over that article about the default browser. That is worth a try for sure.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will change default browser to Google Chrome but was hoping you would tell me how to send you the docx file.

Checking the correspondence, I have pasted you two links that definitely do not have spaces in them!

If you can upload one or both of the documents to Once you upload they will give a link which you can pass to me and I will download them and have a look.

Also try now making internet explorer the default browser.

By the way. Do you remember exactly when this issue started? We may be able to do a system restore to before the issue began.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Chrome gives the exact same two error messages.

I found this error maybe a week after reinstalls when all the updates were in. A bit late for RPs. I could reinstall Office and check from the beginning. This may be the only way left save the registry change I fear.

I will try to upload the file.

Well a system restore would revert the registry back to an earlier time. It would not affect your personal files like documents. It is just rolls back system files and the registry to an earlier date. It is an option we can try.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The link is, Blog by George C.A.Talbot on Tory MPs; We'll vote to leave EU, BT, A5.docx

I will check when the last Office update went in but I would rather reinstall it dumb as that is.

Can I ask how I should get a new W7 HP program to install in my PC. I don't like the one I bought a year ago.

You can also uninstall the update.

George, I am looking at your document and are you saying that the link in footnote 6 does not display for you like this ? I just tested in word 2010 and word 2007 and it is fine.

So we could uninstall the update. Just click start choose control panel, click uninstall a program and on the left click view installed updates. Then right click and uninstall whichever you want to remote.

Which HP program are you talking about?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry! You have been misled by my formatted links!! The link is in the date time that follows my name. The footnote is for the printed copy.

Ah I see, yeah it shows up and works perfectly both in word 2007 and word 2010 with chrome as the default browser.

Honestly George I wouldn't let this issue hold you up from working on it as we have confirmed it is only your computer so while I can see it is an annoyance your document will still work for others.

If you do want though maybe uninstalling the latest updates would be a good move next but I think we have determined your document is fine and I don't think that reinstalling office would help much. Of course you can try but it can be a hassle. I would uninstall updates before removing office.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I note your view about update/reinstall and agree with the rest.

I repeat my closing question. How should I get a W7 HP source DVD/download today? I had great difficulty a year ago getting the W7+SP1 DVD and I have never trusted it. It may be causing the current trouble in a way that none save a source code expert could fix!

If you want a Windows 7 HP DVD that will can be difficult and you will likely need to by one.

For example you pic one up on Ebay

Microsoft does allow free downloads of windows 7 with SP1 provided you use your own license. You should have a current license already so this will work.

If you go to the following page:

Scroll way down to the bottom and you will see links to download the iso files. They have a bunch of different countries so get the English (USA) one. You just need to choose the correct version, for example professional or home premium and 32 or 64 bit. You can find the current version you have by clicking start right clicking computer and choosing properties.

Just download the matching iso file and then create a bootable CD from that iso (I can give you instructions if you dont know how) and you will have a full windows 7 with sp1 CD.

If you have a moment please rate my service by clicking on one of the faces below, positive ratings are appreciated. You can always return to this page to talk with me any time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Chris that looks good info re my general problem so many thanks.

Re the RPs, I find that 29 Office updates went in 24 AUG but the last RP is 31 AUG! I had a feeling that 8 GB was too small!

I'll give you a good rating next time but urge you to press M for tools to trouble shoot! It should be possible to trace the link's progress from doc to server but I have not found any that does!

One last point, can I access this thread after my last reply?

Yeah I think that it is just that your version of word is viewing the # ***** the url as a space. It really could be a number of things causing that, update, norton, windows issue of some kind. For sure not a common issue this is actually the first I have heard of it the way you are describing it. I have seen issues like this because of server configuration of the actual web server but never in office until now.

Let me know how it goes with removing that last update. Make sure you reboot after you do.

Yes you can always access this thread even after rating.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I cannot remove the last Office updates. The RP has gone.

Just one last question: Alt+F9 will show the form field for my links in the doc. Does it have a # ***** the " \l " that I get. It would narrow the problem but I ask only for interest I think we are done and it is well past my bed time.

It has the \l

Heres the copy and paste
HYPERLINK "" \l "comment-1570339642"

If you do decide to system restore that will take care of the updates that may have happened.

Its a good solution for odd problems that seem to come out of nowhere and cannot be tracked down easily If you try that here is how.

Open System Restore by clicking the Start button and browse to

All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore

Follow the steps in the wizard to choose a restore point that is before when the problem started. If you only see one restore point make sure you choose to show more restore points on the bottom left of the box.

My bed time as well and I am a few hours behind you. Feel free to send me a message tomorrow. Rating me pays me for my time but we can still talk after.

Chris L. and other Microsoft Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Chris - I find this problem has vanished from Word and Excel!

The only major event is Adobe has updated Reader XI to v.11.0.09. A minor event is I checked the field codes for the two docs in Word 2010 in my local library and found they had spaces inside the {}. So I added spaces to my code and found the link worked. Then I saved the doc and reopened it and found the spaces had gone but the link still worked. So I checked the original doc and it worked as did the link in the other doc I used. So something has changed but I know not what!

Re restore points to uninstall Office updates, we differed about the value of this but I did say the system did not have an old enough RP so I would have to do this from unInstalled updates one by one and not all can be uninstalled. However, the recovery has survived a restart so I will leave well alone and update my in Office Question.

Best wishes


That is great news! Way to go.
Now we know for sure it was a bad update!

Best wishes to you as well. If you ever have any computer problems in the future let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hey! I don't know it was a bad Windows update none of which I have changed. Nor have any more been added by WU. I assume it is sophisticated interference for reasons I won't try to explain but that could be my paranoia!

Very odd , but since it is fixed best just move on!