In Link Checker for Word

How to work with search results

The add-in processes hyperlinks, bookmarks, and cross-references. After the found links are displayed on the add-in pane, it becomes possible to check, edit, unlink, or delete links either individually or in groups. You can also see where exactly in your Word document the link is and reach its destination right from the add-in pane.

To learn how to perform a search for links correctly, visit this page: How to start working with the tool

In the search results, each link is marked with a special icon:
A special icon for each found link
The icons mean the following:

a hyperlink leading to a web page or an email address
a hyperlink leading to another file or its part
a hyperlink leading to a bookmark or a heading within the same Word document
a hidden bookmark generated by Word
a bookmark added by a user
a cross-reference

If the type of a link cannot be identified or verified, the link is marked with

The state of a link may be indicated with an exclamation point (!), a question mark (?), or may not be marked at all. The exclamation point means that the link is invalid. The question mark is used to express concern about a questionable link. If neither the exclamation point nor the question mark is shown, it means that the link is valid.
Icons for invalid and questionable links

The most common cases when links are considered to be invalid or questionable:

  • (!) hyperlink is structured incorrectly; has no access to the source it goes to; or refers to a file or a bookmark that is not found.
  • (?) hyperlink uses the Internet protocol that cannot be checked; has the display text that is different from the text of the referenced range; or has not been checked at the start.
  • (?) bookmark exists, but no cross-reference or hyperlink refers to it.
  • (!) cross-reference refers to an object that is missing.
  • The display text of (?) cross-reference differs from the text of the referenced range.

You can find information on each invalid or questionable link in the Description area at the bottom of the add-in pane.

While using the add-in, you can work either with a single link or with a few of them at a time. It is possible to check, edit, unlink, follow a link, or go to its location in the document; you can also copy the item or items of interest from the search results to the clipboard. All these actions are performed with the following buttons:
The Link Checker action buttons

Check Link(s) is available for hyperlinks and cross-references.

You can verify a link either at the start by choosing the Check external links option or later on by using the Check Link(s) button on the toolbar.

Tip. To select several links in the search results, click each of them holding the Ctrl key pressed. To select all the links on the add-in pane, click any of them first, then press Ctrl+A on the keyboard.

If a bookmark is among the selected items, the button becomes disabled.

Go to Link is available for all types of links.

By clicking the Go to Link button, you make the add-in hit the location of the selected link in the document you are working with.

Follow Link is available for hyperlinks and cross-references.

Use Follow Link to open the web page, get access to the file, or see the object or the bookmark the link you pick is leading to.

Edit Link(s) is available for hyperlinks and bookmarks.

  • To modify a single hyperlink or bookmark, select it in the search results and click the Edit Link(s) button on the add-in toolbar. The Word standard Edit Hyperlink or Bookmark dialog window will appear letting you make the necessary changes.
  • To alter multiple hyperlinks at a time, use the Link Checker editor:
    1. Select the hyperlinks of interest in the search results.
    2. Click the Edit Link(s) button.
    3. The window of the Link Checker editor opens to make it possible for you to change the display text and the address of the selected links:
      The Link Checker editor window
    4. Either type in the text you need or pick the necessary record from the drop-down menus where the display text and the address of each selected link are listed:
      Editing multiple links
    5. Click the Replace button. The editing results are automatically displayed both in the document and on the add-in pane.
      Note. If the selection contains a hyperlink leading to a certain place in the same document, only the display text can be modified. The Refers to field becomes disabled.
      Note. You can always undo the editing operation but running a new search is required to update the search results in this case.

Unlink or Delete is available for all types of links.

By clicking the Unlink or Delete button, you can either unlink hyperlinks and cross-references or delete bookmarks. The operation can be performed on a single link and on a group of links.

Note. You can always undo this operation but running a new search is required to update the search results on the add-in pane.

Copy to Clipboard is available for all types of links.

To make it possible to paste the information on the found link(s) along with the search results table headers to another file, for example an Excel workbook, select the necessary item(s) and click the Copy to Clipboard button on the toolbar or press Ctrl+C on the keyboard.

To simultaneously navigate through the found links on the add-in pane and in the Word document itself, enable the Sync Selection button on the add-in toolbar:
Sync is on.
If Sync is on while you navigate around the search results, each link you select on the add-in pane is automatically selected in the Word document as well.

Note. By selecting a link in the Word document itself you cannot get it selected on the add-in pane even if the Sync Selection option is enabled.

If Sync is off, you can hit the location of a link in the Word document by selecting the link of interest on the add-in pane and clicking the Go to Link button.

By default, the found links are listed in order of their appearance in a certain document area. First, links from the main text are displayed, then those from headers and footers are presented. However, it is possible to sort the search results by State, Type, Link, or Refers to. To change the default order in the necessary way, click the corresponding header of the search results table, and an arrow icon will appear confirming that the links have been sorted:
Sorting the search results
To rearrange the sorting order, click the header once again, and the up arrow will be replaced with the down one or vice versa:
Rearranging the sorting order
To go back to the default sorting, click the Reset Sorting button on the toolbar:
Reset sorting.

The add-in provides an opportunity to filter search results. To get the filter fields displayed, click the View Filter button in the upper right corner of the add-in pane:
Filtering the search results

  1. It is possible to filter the found links by their display text, address, state, type, document area, or by a record from the link description that is given under the list of the search results.

    To filter by Link, Refers to, or Description, fill in the corresponding filter field or paste the necessary record from the clipboard by using Ctrl+V. Then press Enter. The entered values will be saved and listed in the filter field drop-down menu.

    To filter the found links by State, Type, or Document area, select the necessary record from the corresponding drop-down menu.

  2. With the View Filter button, you can both show and hide the filter fields.
  3. To empty the filter fields, use the Clear Filters button.
  4. To differentiate between upper case and lower case while filtering, enable the Case-sensitive Filter button.
    Note. This option works for the following filter fields only: Link, Refers to, and Description.

How to do a new search

To start over, click the New search button at the bottom of the add-in pane:
Click to run a new search.

Note. Running a new search is also necessary to update the search results on the add-in pane after you undo such operations as editing and unlinking/deleting.


Most of the links in my document somehow turned out to be invalid - "WLC0015: An external error" occurred. However, a manual check proves that those, in fact, work just fine. No authorization on the sites is needed - most of the links were doi-links to open-access articles.

I get the following error: WLC0015: An external error occurred. The operation has timed out. I have fixed the link but the error keeps repeating on a new search. How do I solve this?

Hello Nina,

This error means that we can't get access to the site where the link goes to. Most likely, the authorization is required on that site. I am sorry, our add-in can't check links to web-sites where you need to log in and enter a password. So, you have to check this type of links manually. Thank you.

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