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Create and customize an e-mail link

This document includes instructions for creating a basic e-mail link and explains how to add settings to the message window generated by the e-mail link.

Note: This TechNote describes the parameters you can add to a static e-mail link. 

In the process of creating an ordinary e-mail link, you indicate the e-mail address to which the message is sent. When your website viewers click the link, their e-mail program launches (if it is not already open). Then, a new message window opens, so that they can compose their message and send it to your pre-designated e-mail address.

At the top of the message window, the e-mail address that you pre-designated appears in the To field. However, the other fields of the message, such as Subject, Cc (carbon copy), and Bcc (blind carbon copy), are blank. Further, the body of the message is blank, too.

You can add parameters (the subject and body text, and the e-mail addresses for the Cc and Bcc fields) to the e-mail link. You add parameters by entering additional information in the Link textbox on the Property Inspector.

Steps for adding parameters to the e-mail link
  1. Create the basic e-mail link
    To make an e-mail link, type mailto: and your e-mail address in the Link textbox of the Property inspector. Browsers then recognize the link as an e-mail address rather than a URL.

For example: If your e-mail address is myname@mysite.com, type the following in the Link textbox:

mailto:myname@mysite.com

  1. Add the first parameter:

This TechNote covers these additional parameters: Subject, Cc, Bcc, and Body. These parameters are added to the normal mailto: designation in the Link textbox on the Property inspector.

The first parameter you add must be separated from the mailto: and address with a question mark. To have "Hello" appear in the Subject field of the e-mail message window, you would add:

?Subject=Hello

If you added this parameter, the link information in the Link textbox appears as:

mailto:name@domain.com?Subject=Hello

  1. Add additional parameters:
    Each parameter added after the first is separated from the preceding parameter with an ampersand (&).

An e-mail link that has both the Subject parameter and the Cc parameter is similar to:

mailto:name@domain.com?Subject=Hello&Cc=jane@domain.com

With Subject, Cc, and Bcc parameters added to the e-mail link, the information in the Link textbox is similar to:

mailto:name@domain.com?Subject=Hello&Cc=jane@domain.com&bcc=joe@domain.com

  1. Add more than one e-mail address to the Cc or Bcc parameter:

When more than one value is added to a parameter, they are separated with a comma. For example, when carbon copying more than one person, insert a comma between the e-mail addresses of the Cc parameter as demonstrated below:

mailto:name@domain.com?Cc=jane@domain.com,joe@domain.com

  1. Add spaces and special characters:
    Type any spaces or extended characters in parameter values in their respective character code or as an HTML entity. 

For example, the HTML entity for a space is   as in:

mailto:name@domain.com?Subject=Hello there

Note: It isn't always necessary to include the HTML entity for a space as you type in your parameters. Even if you enter the proper character code or HTML entity into the parameter, the character doesn't appear in the e-mail message window. Test your parameter using special characters in different e-mail programs to verify that the special characters you want to use appear as expected.

Additional resources

The process of adding parameters to or customizing e-mail links can be automated with some of the extensions available at the Macromedia Dreamweaver Exchange. To peruse the available e-mail extensions, type e-mail in the search box.


Doc ID
(tn_12872)

Last updated
2011-01-03

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