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A “user-friendly” hyperlink is one that contains easy to read anchor text, not just the entire URL copy and pasted. For example:
- What is SEO? (this links to //www.werockyourweb.com/what-is-seo/)
As you can see, these both link to the same page, but for the reader, the first is a lot easier to read than the second.
The biggest problem with “unfriendly” (text-only) hyperlinks is that they often span multiple lines in emails, and if someone tries clicking on it or copy and pasting it into their browser window they are likely to only get part of it – which will break the link entirely (and you won’t get to the intended page).
For example you may receive an email with a link like this:
Notice how only the first third or so of the link gets hyperlinked, thereby breaking it. If you click on that link, you’ll end up on a 404 (not found) page instead of where the sender intended for you to go.
How to create user-friendly hyperlinks in Outlook
To add hyperlinks to your emails in Microsoft’s Outlook (2003 edition – if you use another edition post below for instructions specific to your version), you first need to make sure that you are sending mails in “HTML” format.
Set your email format settings
To set the format of all your outgoing emails to “HTML,” take the following steps:
- Click on Tools -> Options -> Mail Format -> in the “Compose in this message format:” selector choose HTML
Now you’re ready to insert user-friendly hyperlinks into your emails
Inserting hyperlinks into emails
Open up a new email message (Ctrl + N), and type the name of the link you wish user’s to be able to see in the email body. Next, select Insert -> Hyperlink in the mail’s menu, and then copy and paste the actual hyperlink (beginning with //) into the URL: field. Voila! Click ‘OK’ and try out your newly created “user-friendly” hyperlink by clicking on it. In the insert hyperlink menu, you can change the “type:” to “mailto:” to create a link that, when clicked, will open up an email message addressed to whomever you specify. Comment below if you are interested in any of the other hyperlink types.
How to create user-friendly hyperlinks in Lotus Notes
In Lotus Notes, user-friendly links, or those with customized anchor text, are referred to as link hotspots. Just as with a regular WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, first select (highlight) the text you wish to turn into a clickable link. Then browse to Create > Hotspot > Link Hotspot. This will pop up a Properties box, within which you can enter the Value of the link (copy and paste the URL (ie. //www.example.com) in here). Voila, you now have your link hot spot, aka link with reader-friendly anchor text, that when clicked, will take you to the destination page you filled into the Value box.
email format security
While “user-friendly” hyperlinks are great in that they cut down on the possibility of links breaking, I should point out that from a security standpoint “plain text” format is the safest. This is because malicious code can be generated and linked to in HTML documents. HTML documents can also become excessively large if content is embedded – this can be prevented by using the “plain text” email format.