Instructions for creating hypertext stories in MS Word

Young children who are able to read, type, and use a mouse as well as teens and adults can enjoy creating hypertext stories (that is, using webpage style links in MS Word or most other word processing programs to create Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style stories). Here is a very funny middle school example.

After you get the idea from the above example, you are ready to try your own story. Here are some basic instructions. Please note that different versions of Word (or other word processing programs) will be slightly different, but that things generally work in very similar ways.

1. Type a paragraph to begin your adventure.

2. Create two or three choices for your reader to select from as separate sentences or phrases below the paragraph.

3. Go to 'file' and 'save as'. Save this first page as a webpage (.htm) with an obvious name such as 'start.htm'.

4. Next, create the pages you wish each of your choices to link to from your first page. Save them as webpages as well (.htm) with obvious names that describe the page contents in a word.

5. Now go back to your first page.

6. Highlight the first choice. Right click on it and select 'hyperlink'.

7. Select (or type in the name of) the file to which you wish to link.

8. To check to see if your link worked, save each page. Then, on your start.htm page, hold down the 'ctrl' key and click on your link (Word isn't a web browser, so you must hold down 'ctrl' to make links work). You should jump to the correct linked file. If not, review the common mistakes below.

9. Repeat as needed to create your own hypertext story. You may, of course, also create nonfiction pages. You may also link to pictures (or other files).

I recommend the following rules:

1. Give your file names really obvious names with no spaces, symbols, or capital letters.

2. Save everything to the same folder.

3. Save everything as a webpage with a '.htm' file extension.

4. Always make sure that you create a file for each link. It won't work if there is no place to go.

5. Save your files.

6. You can only edit the files in Word, not in a web browser. However, your computer will likely open up your web browser to look at your files.