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Q. (cont’d) Thank you! I use MS Word and am looking for a way to turn off the underline.
A. In the case of Word, here are some tips (based on Word 2002; in Word 2007, you’ll need to click on the Office Button then Word Options then Proofing to find the AutoCorrect Options):
In the menu, in any open or blank document go to Tools > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat As You Type and uncheck the box next to “Internet and network paths with hyperlinks.” Then click on the AutoFormat tab and uncheck the same box (i.e., the one next to “Internet and network paths with hyperlinks”).
This will prevent URL syntax from automatically becoming a link in any future work you do in that installation of Word, but it will not unlink those “live” links that are already in a document.
To unlink a URL in Word, right-click on it, and from the drop-down menu, choose “Remove Hyperlink” (which will remove the hyperlink attributes, making it regular text with the attributes of the surrounding text; it will not, as the nomenclature sort of implies, delete the hyperlinked text).
Or you can select text that contains a hyperlink or several hyperlinks and type Ctrl+Shift+F9 (i.e., hold down Ctrl and Shift and the F9 key)—this should eliminate the field associated with the link, turning it into plain text. In some documents you may also have to remove the hypertext character style, which can be done through the Format menu under Styles and Formatting.
Q. Can you tell me which is preferred—underlining or not—when citing URLs in endnotes?
A. The idea of underlining links is a good one—especially in web browsers. In a research paper or other manuscript, however, it is usually unnecessary. (If you’re writing for a class, ask your teacher or professor for his or her preference.) Your word processor may underline URLs by default, but you can change this.