How to Insert a Text Link in an Email With Mac OS X Mail

Use clickable text links instead of pasting an entire URL in the email

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Inserting a link to a webpage is easy in Mac Mail: Copy the website's URL from your browser's address bar and paste it into the body of your email. Sometimes, though, the way Mac OS X and macOS Mail formats outgoing mail conflicts with the way the recipient's email client reads it. Your link arrives, but it is not in clickable form. The way to prevent this is to link a word or phrase to the URL. Then, when the recipient clicks on the linked text, the URL opens.

How to Create a Hyperlink in Mac Mail in Rich Text Emails

Ensuring your links are live in your email may not be obvious, but it is easy. Here's how to do it in Apple OS X Mail and macOS Mail 11:

  1. Open the Mail application on your Mac computer and open a new email screen.
  2. Go to Format in the menu bar and select Make Rich Text to compose your message in rich text format.  (If you see only Make Plain Text, your email is already set for rich text. The two options toggle.)
  3. Type your message and highlight the word or phrase in the text of the email that you want to turn into a hyperlink.
  4. Hold down the Control key and click the highlighted text.
  5. Select Link Add Link in the context menu that appears. Alternatively,  you can press Command+K to open the same box.
  6. Type or paste the URL of the link you want to insert under Enter the internet address (URL) for this link.
  7. Click OK.

The appearance of the linked text changes to indicate it is a link. When the email recipient clicks the linked text, the URL opens.

Creating Hyperlinks to URLs in Plain Text Emails

Mac Mail won't place a clickable text link in the plain text alternative of the message. If you are not sure the recipient can read emails with rich or HTML formatting, paste the link in the message body directly instead of linking text to it, but take the following steps to prevent Mail from "breaking" the link:

  • Place the URL on a line of its own.
  • If the URL is longer than 69 characters, use a service like Bitly or TinyURL to make the URL shorter. Mail breaks lines at 70 characters. If the break occurs in the middle of a URL, the link can become non-clickable.

As an alternative to sending links, you can also send web page content from Safari.

Edit or Remove a Link in an OS X Mail Message

If you change your mind, you can change or remove the hyperlink to which a text link points in OS X Mail:

  1. Click anywhere in the text that contains the link.
  2. Press Command-K.
  3. Edit the link as it appears under Enter the Internet address (URL) for this link. To remove a link, click Remove Link instead.
  4. Click OK.