Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
If an email program sees something that looks like a link, it will add code to underline it and make it clickable. Sometimes, that doesn't work perfectly.
I emailed myself a public link from Dropbox's public folder, but when I received it, the lettering of the URL was correct but not underlined and in blue letters like you get when you normally type or copy/paste a URL. You can normally just click on it and it will take you to that link. Now, in Hotmail, I have to select the link, right-click and go that way (presumably copy/paste). All other URLs I get in messages, especially Ad emails, seem to work. Is this normal?
In this excerpt from Answercast #45, I look at how email programs deal with links and what you can do if your links are not coming through as "clickable."
Normal? Yes. I'm gonna to say that it is. I don't think that there is anything is broken here.
The fact that something gets underlined in blue and becomes a clickable link is something that Hotmail (or whatever program you're using to display that email) chooses to do for you when it displays the email.
So, if it sees something that looks like a link, (in other words:
it starts with http://
and possibly it ends in .html or .php or a couple of other common file extensions),
Then it will say, "You know what? This looks like a link and I'm going to highlight it so that the person can click on it if they want to."
If it doesn't look like a link then it is very possible that Hotmail will just say, You know what...
This thing may start with http://
But it doesn't look like a link.
The rest of it doesn't look proper.
It doesn't end in the right file extension;
Or it has funny characters in it,
We actually don't know the specific algorithm Hotmail (or any mail displaying application) might use to determine whether or not something should be highlighted as a link.
So the short answer is, unfortunately, to do exactly what you're doing. Use copy/paste to make that link useful. Copy it to your browser's address bar and paste it in there. Hit Return and have the browser go to it.
The other approach (if this is something you are sending to someone else, or something you might be getting a little bit more often) is you might consider running it through a link shortener.
Most URL shorteners work in Hotmail (and in other email programs);
In that they are typically displayed as clickable links.
So, that's the approach. I really don't think that anything bad is going on
here. It's just this kind of vague and potentially inconsistent definition of
what it means for something to "look like a link."
Next from Answercast 45 – I get the New Hardware Wizard frequently for no reason. How do I fix that?
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