Click to Dial

Sales: Click-to-Dial with VoIP and Spreadsheets

Click to Dial using Spreadsheets

Sales can feel complex at times, and sometimes companies will be looking for single tools to just solve a single problem. In this post we share how to set up click to dial using a spreadsheet and skype or an IP phone client.

That said, using a spreadsheet as the base for your calls isn't the best idea. It's not easy to report on what has worked and what has not. And later on in the process you'll want those prospects in a CRM system either way. If you're not sure which CRM system is for you, you can arrange a call to get some advice.

Alternatively here are a few of the best CRM system suggestions, taken from our overview of sales tools. Click through the links below to go grab your free trials:

Recent Posts from YourSales:

A QUICK NOTE: At YourSales we do outsourced sales worldwide – especially for companies that sell SaaS, IT infrastructure and related service offerings to businesses. You can contact us using the button below. That said, we don’t sell any of the products mentioned in this post. This is free advice that we will send no invoices for. So – just enjoy it, and feel free to ask questions.

The inspiration to this post comes from a post from years ago.  We'll go further down the click-to-dial-with-excel rabbit hole.

If you’re like me – a starting entrepreneur with a need to make many calls – you may have found as well that the Skype offering for calling is not entirely bad. In fact it’s pretty good. If you can live with the mess Skype makes of receiving instant messages on multiple devices, this might in fact be a solution for you.

You may even have picked it already. If that’s the case the following might be for you.

Not long ago, I received a relatively large file of names and contact details of people I needed to connect with. While I could have just copied the numbers to my favourite VOIP app on my computer, I really needed click-to-dial (aka click-to-call) as I find it to be way more efficient when calling a list of people.

The question was: How can I use the Excel list as a click to dial list with Skype or an IP phone client?

Here's How to Set up Click to Dial

First I needed to format the number correctly so they would be understood by the VOIP app. Skype for instance doesn’t place calls for numbers that include spaces. I went through several suggestions on how to remove the spaces, but eventually the process that worked was this:

  1. Click the top of the column that contains the numbers in order to mark the entire column.
  2. Right-click anywhere on that column and select “Format Cells”.
  3. Select “text”.
  4. Go through the numbers. You’re looking for any numbers that contain “+” or otherwise look like anything else than a string of numbers.
  5. When all is checked, you move on.
  6. Add a column next to the original column with the numbers (you can add it anywhere, but this makes it easy to keep the overview).
  7. In the first row with a telephone number you wish to call (let’s assume your original number is in cell A2), add the following formula:=HYPERLINK(“callto:”&SUBSTITUTE(A2;” “;””)). This will remove spaces and create a hyperlink with the callto: HTML tag, which both Skype and an IP phone client can pick up. You need to select which of the two apps actually get the call. What’s more, if you have several voip numbers in your IP phone client, you need to configure which of the numbers is used in which cases – something I have given up on. Just can’t be bothered.
  8. Click the link to test if it works as it’s supposed to. It should – and you’re now ready to copy that formula to all cells next to a number you wish to dial. Hide the original column to clean up and keep the original data. Now use your new column for your work.

Have fun and good selling!


Comments 51

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    1. Post

      Hi Pavel,

      If you follow the guide it should work. Otherwise you can respond to my email with the Excel sheet you have issues with.

    2. Post

      Alright so thanks for the question Pavel. I’ll send back your sheet shortly, but I’ll just take a few minutes to break down the logic of my response here.

      Essentially Pavel gave me a sheet with a column with telephone numbers. They were formatted in slightly different ways, but he’d already turned it all into text. This data is in column C.

      I added three columns, where I did the following to the initial data, which is in cell C2:
      * in D2 I remove any + signs: =SUBSTITUTE(C2;”+”;0)
      * in E2 I remove any spaces from the data in D2: =SUBSTITUTE(D2;” “;””)
      * in F2 I create the hyperlink using the clean data from E2: =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&E2)

      And now I’ll go send the sheet back to you, Pavel.

  1. I have Excel 2010 and I can’t get this to work.
    I’m trying it on cell.
    I have Skype Click to call and if I enter callto: in a cell and start with a letter it works and Skype tries to dial it. If I start with a number Skype opens but has no number in the field to dial and I have to type in the number.
    I tried entering just =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&E2 and I put clean data in e2 but it didn’t work. Any suggestions?

  2. Post

    Thank you for your comment, NancyZ. I have a few questions and comments.

    Since this post the skype click to call plugin was updated. Is that what you’re using?

    Are you using the format “=HYPERLINK(“callto:”&E2)”? Note the bracket at the end, which was missing from your comment.

    Finally, can you be more specific? Which data did you start with and what should the end result be?

    1. Brand new 8.1 computer, with latest click to call installed). I stayed up that night and tried a zillion combinations of number format, cell definition, syntax, you name it for hours. Had syntax correct in Excel, just wrong in post. I solved it finally. If info in cell started with a letter, it invoked Skype but not with number. Had =A2 in a cell – that’s how I found out. Had all USA telephone numbers, only. Answer is: add +1 before the telephone numbers. Works like a charm. Then it was far simpler. All I needed in the cell (Excel 2010) was callto:+1…
      No other syntax was needed. Just took all my telephone numbers that were 123-456-7890 and added callto:+1 to the beginning of them and voila! Without the +1 it would open Skype but with no telephone number inserted, so I would have to copy and paste the number which made the whole point moot.. Skype was empty.What ‘tricked’ me was that in Outlook it works with what I thought was no +1. It turns out that the +1 in Outlook doesn’t show/isn’t displayed in the number field but is there behind the scenes generated by the address definition of USA for country so I thought the +1 wasn’t needed. USA is generated in Outlook as either the country defined or the default if no address entered if I have specified USA as my location and have specified a USA area code as mine.

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    2. Pavel, I don’t know if you are still out there as your other posts are about 2 years old. If you are, I want to know, in regard to your previous attached instructions on hyperlinks to enable skype to work with Excel phone numbers, once I get your formula input how do I select between Skype and Bria so that the hyperlink uses Skype?

      1. Post

        Hi Pavel,
        Thank you for your comment. Could you share a few more specifics related to your problem, such as:
        – your operating system and version (i.e “Windows 10)
        – the process you’re specifically trying to follow

        Thank you in advance.

  3. Hello, thank you for this information. I am getting ready to start a new contract job which will require making lots of calls and working out of a spreadsheet. I have OpenOffice installed. I added your formula.
    When I click it says “No apps are installed to open this type of link”…

    1. Post

      Hi Steve, which operating system are you using? It sounds like a Windows 8/8.1 error. Do you have skype installed? If you do, but just didn’t associate skype with callto: URI’s, do the following:

      Open Skype: then go to → Tools → Options… → Advanced, and then check the “Associate Skype with callto: links” checkbox.

      Do let me know if this helps.

    1. Post

      Hi Nigel, thanks for you comment. Can’t tell. Don’t know how the URI’s work on MacOS or how Mavericks and Excel work on MacOS.

  4. Pavel – Using Excel 2013 and 8.1 I can get Skype to dial with the below:


    What I am unable to do is remove the tele# form the formula and have the formula recognize the tele# number in a cell like:

    =HYPERLINK(Callto:A2”) where A2 has the tele#.

    Any suggestions?



    1. Post

      Hi David, thanks for your comment.

      Being very non-technical, I would probably go through a few SUBSTITUTE operations to end up with just the data you need to place in A2.

      I’m not quite certain what it is specifically you’re unable to do, though. Could you be more specific, please?

      Jakob, YourSales

      1. Jakob –

        I figured out a workable solution.

        A1 is 10 digit phone number, no spaces, dashes, parenthesis 2223334444
        B1 is callto:+1#, where the hashtag/pound sign is a place holder (total of 10 digits)
        C1 is =HYPERLINK(REPLACE(B2, 10, 1, A2))

        This generates a hyperlink: callto:+12223334444 in C1…. and generates the magic that is click to call/click to dial on an Excel spreadsheet thru Skype. Glory! Glory! Glory!

        I didn’t know what SUBSTITUTE, REPLACE, etc. did, much less that it existed in Excel until a couple of hours ago. Thank you for your original posts, your response to my inquiry, and your nudge along the path to a solution. Glory! Glory! Glory!

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  5. I am having a REALLY hard time with this. I am not real savvy on excel as it is, I have tried watching youtube videos, but I just can’t get the phone numbers to turn into a hyperlink with skype. I have installed skype and it’s up and running. Please help me! 🙂 I’m about to pull my hair out…just kidding…kind of.


    1. Post

      Hi Tiffany,

      Thank you for your comment. This might help you get a little further:

      Paste the following into a cell in Excel:

      It should turn into a hyperlink. Click it. A call should be placed with Skype.

      If not, check the following in Skype:
      tools – options – advanced – “use skype to call callto: and tel: links on the web”, make sure there’s a tick in each box.

      Hope this helps! Do tell us how you did 🙂

  6. I’m brand spanking new to this whole Skype concept, so please keep that in mind. I have figured the whole “click the link in Excel” concept, but when I click the link my Skype says “[Number Dialed] is not in your Contacts” after it hangs up. I have a sub for the U.S. and Canada, and I should be able to place land line calls too. What am I missing? Is there an option in Skype I should know about?

    1. Post

      Hi Drew, thanks for your comment.

      I’ve seen comments around the web suggesting that something like this might happen.

      Could you share which version of skype you’re using?
      Are you placing calls using the “+1” international dialing code for the US & Canada?

  7. Help,
    I want to use GOOGLE VOICE, to call phone numbers in a Excel or in Google spreadsheets. I formated the numbers like this: (801) 555-5963 and also 801-555-5963 and DO NOT HYPERLINK to click and call.

    I’ll appreciate your HELP…………

    1. Post

      Thanks for your comment, Robert.

      I’ve tried to find out if it’s possible to set “tel:” or “callto:” link types to use Google Hangout, which is all I can use Google Voice with.
      It doesn’t seem to be available yet.

      POSSIBLY – IF you’re on Windows – MAYBE you can use reg.exe to make Google Chrome available in the list of applications that can be used to place calls using the tel: hyperlink. In that case you should be able to have Hangouts in Chrome place the call. That’s a lot of “maybes”. Personally, I’d probably just go with Skype and a North America subscription while you wait for Hangouts to include that feature.

      Good luck !

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  8. Is there anyway you can help me hyper link my spread sheet so that i can call through skype?
    I am using excel 97 and i can not figure it out

    1. Post

      Thanks for your comment, Rey, as well as for subsequently sharing your file.

      There were a few issues.

      First, the csv file you provided needed to be converted to xls. I imported your data as text into a new spreadsheet. That gave something to work with.
      The csv file was a bit messy in terms of what it used to separate columns, so you might find that not all data fits the column it’s in – but the phone numbers do!

      Then, I used this tip to remove all those empty rows.

      Finally, I went through the process explained above to create a separate column with the clickable names. I’ve assumed that you’re calling from the US TO the US, and haven’t any country codes, but it could easily be added as part of the HYPERLINK formula.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Not sure what I am doing wrong, but none of the substitute, replace or hyperlink formulas work. Excel 2003 keeps showing the error message that there is an error in the formula. Even ‘=HYPERLINK(“callto:8777144476″)’ doesn’t work and triggers an error message.

  10. I finally made it work, even without removing empty spaces and hyphens:
    Phone numbers are in the format 012-3456789 in column A,
    I added an extra column (B) with the country code for Holland: +31
    Column C contains the contact names
    In an extra column D with the formula ‘CONCATENATE’, B and A are combined:
    =CONCATENATE(B1;A1) ->+31012-3456789
    This result from D is than integrated into an additional column E: =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&D1;C1)
    In E, finally, the contact name is shown as a callto link and when I click on it, the number is dialed in Skype.

    Thanks again for your explanation.

    1. Post

      Hi Mattias – thank you for your comment 🙂

      Could you describe what happens in slightly greater detail? Where exactly do you get error 501?


  11. Hi ,

    I haven’t been able to figure this out. Perhaps you can help me.

    Using your formulas I have created hyperlinks in my Excel 2013 CSV spreadsheet.
    When I click on the hyperlink Skype opens but there is no number in the “Enter Number” field.
    How do I get the number to appear in the “Enter Number field?

    Technical Specs:

    I am using Excel 2013
    Skype on a windows 8.1 computer.
    The Skype Click to Call for Windows app is installed.
    Both the “Use Skype to call callto: links on the web”, and the “Use Skype to call tel: links on the web” boxes are check marked.
    I am working with a csv spreadsheet.
    Phone numbers are in cells P748 & P749.
    The following formulas are in cells Q748 and Q749 respectively:
    =HYPERLINK(“callto:1+”&SUBSTITUTE(P748,” “,””))
    =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&1&SUBSTITUTE(P749,” “,””))
    Both Q748 and Q749 appear on the spreadsheet as hyperlinks.
    When I click either of them, Skype opens but the phone numbers are not populated into Skype.

    1. Post

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for participating here.

      Could you share your document? Have you tried just moving to an .xls or .xlsx format? Just save as .xls and try it.

      1. My Excel sheet used to and now doesn’t. Try this vid
        He’s saying two things – one limit to 100 per page and 2ndly, saves it as some other type file to his Desktop for example or anywhere really. Let. me know if his approach works for you. Looks rather interesting.

        And he only had numbers like this (123)-446-7890
        After he saved they were all “Skyped”

  12. Hi, Thanks for the promt reply!

    I just converted the spread sheet to both an XLS and an XLSX document. No change. They both open my Skype client, but neither transfers the phone number.

    866 353 2418 Callto: 18663532418

  13. Unfortunately when I paste the cells into the reply box it is automatically converted to a clik to call number.

    The phone number is in cell A1 and the formula is in cell B1
    Here is the formula copied from formula bar of cell B1
    =HYPERLINK(“Callto: 1″&SUBSTITUTE(A1,” “,””))
    Here is how cell B1 appears in the in spreadsheet.
    Callto: 18663532418

    1. Post

      Hi Thomas,

      I’ve created a slightly different HYPERLINK formula that should do it for you. Here it is:
      =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&”+1″&(SUBSTITUTE(A2;” “;””)))

      I’ve tested it out this evening, and it seems to work well and delivers a number to Skype that Skype will dial.

  14. Hi Jakob,

    Not only are you PERSISTENT, You are a GENIUS!!

    This DEFINITELY opens Skype and dials the phone number:

    =HYPERLINK(“callto:”&”+1″&SUBSTITUTE(C2,” “,””))

    Where C2 is the cell containing the phone number.

    Thank You!!!

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  15. Hi,

    I know this text is quite old but i wil ask my question anyways. I made an excel sheet in office 2007 with a full list of customer to call. Everything is working perfectly. I also installed the skype office toolbar which also works with the click to call option. So far so good everything works!

    But i recently started to work with partners that require to use my excel sheet in the google drive with sharing option enable and the click to call fonction doesn’t work with skype anymore. My entire sheet with all formulas works very well BUT not the click to call option.

    My Question: Is there a way to use the click to call fonction when using google spreadsheet just like i an using my excel spreadsheet? I already tried a few of the formula given in your response in the page but none have work out.

    Thanks you!

    1. Post

      Hi Olivier,

      Thank you for your comment and your question. Good to hear click to dial has historically worked well for you.

      The short answer to your question is: No.

      The slightly longer answer is:
      On Google explains that only certain link types are allowed, callto, tel, sip, and skype not being among those links.

      If it would work, the formula might look something like this:
      =HYPERLINK(“callto:+31646233271″,”callto test”)

      Using that formula should show “callto test” without hyperlink, unfortunately.

  16. Great posts!!! Thanks!

    I have Excell 2010; a tapi “based” phone system…Outlook and Act will allow me to click on a number and dial there any way to have excell do the same thing????


    1. Post

      Hi Mike – thanks for your comment. I’m really very much in the deep end now. TAPI systems isn’t something I know much about working with from a configuration standpoint. In an effort to help out, I did find an apparently free software called “Excel Dialer Pro”. Apparently it’s a TAPI or VoIP software, which can dial from Excel. Sounds like it might be what you need, but I don’t have the setup to test it. Check it out at

  17. it is my understanding that the click to call feature in the latest version of Skype has been disabled or deleted. Please advise if true, options and work around. if not true I cannot find where to activate the feature.

    1. Post

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It’s correct that the feature “Skype Click to Call” was retired back in October of 2016 as per this post:
      The solutions Skype suggest on their website are fairly useless – or not solutions at all.

      Instead do this:
      – Open Skype for Desktop on Windows
      – Go to Tools
      – Choose Options
      – Choose Advanced
      – Tick the two top boxes that relate to the URI types callto: and tel:

      If your specific software doesn’t provide callto or tel URI’s, you should be able to use this extension to do more or less what the old skype extension did, except this will work for other voip clients too:

      I haven’t tested the extension. Please let me know if this works for you!

      1. I want to dial below number in from excel 2013 using CISCO IP Phone.
        I’m using below formula but its not working. I’m unable to make above numbers clickable.
        Please reply at

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