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What AOL Users Don't Know About Email Links

every day I receive email from AOL users with a URL link.

Most of those emails confirm that AOL ignores the standards that let the rest of the internet work.

I wrote this article to help AOL users learn how to deal with one of those problems: making clickable links in email.

Note: this article applies only to AOL users sending Plain Text email. If an AOL user sends the email as HTML email, then this article does not apply.


How do AOL users make clickable links?

When an AOL user wants to send an email with a clickable link, the AOL user must enclose the link in HTML code, like this:

<a href="http://www.JamesSHuggins.com">Click here</a>

When another AOL user gets the email he sees this:

Click here

Unfortunately, when everyone else in the whole world sees it, they see it in its native form like this:

<a href="http://www.JamesSHuggins.com">Click here</a>

See: no clickable link.

What AOL users don't seem to realize is that AOL does things in non-standard ways. AOL routinely ignores the conventions that let everyone else communicate. AOL does things in its own, non-standard way.

Using the HTML wrap is necessary for AOL; it is not necessary for almost everyone else. And, for many users, the AOL wrap actually makes things worse.

What can an AOL user do?

Actually, a very small change would help everyone.

All the AOL user needs to do is to put one space in front of the URL and another space behind the URL, like this.

<a href=" http://www.JamesSHuggins.com ">Click here</a>

Then, when another AOL user gets the email he still sees this:

Click here

But, the space lets the rest of the world see this:

<a href=" http://www.JamesSHuggins.com ">Click here</a>

That simple change, a space in front of the URL and another behind the URL will let other email programs recognize the URL and turn it into a clickable link.

So, if you are an AOL user, learn this little trick.

We may not know why AOL keeps refusing to follow everyone else's standards. But at least this way, you can help make up a little of the difference.

The extra text menu links (previously here) are being removed in the site redesign.
Browser and search engine improvements have eliminated the motivation/necessity for them.

This page created:
before
Fri, 25.Oct.2002

Last updated:
23:54, Wed, 12.Feb.2014

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