Updated Nov. 2017
Did you ever receive an email from someone who shared a link with you and wondered how they made the link so clean and professional looking?
The first time I was cognizant of this was a few months back when my son emailed me some information. The links he sent looked more like titles in a Table of Contents than the messy links that I usually send. See an example below:
Example of Messy URLs Versus Professional Links
I hate having long messy URL’s in my emails now that I know there are better options available.
A Simple Method I Created Uses Pages For Making My Links
I came up with a very simple method to make pretty links which anyone can use. But it involves the use of a 2nd app.
That 2nd app is Pages for ios. For many years Apple charged $6.99 for Pages. But if you’ve ever purchased a new Apple device you would have been able to download Pages for ios free. If you didn’t know about this free option however, it disappeared after some time. But some time in the recent past Apple decided to make Pages free for all ios users.
So you should grab Pages while it’s still free, because who knows how long that will last. Here’s a link to Pages.
Using Pages for ios to Create Hotlinks in Emails
After you’ve opened Pages, select a blank document template to create a new document.
Step 1: Begin with a blank document. It doesn’t really matter what kind of document it is because you’ll delete it at the end.
Step 2: Paste the link you want to clean up into the document
Step 3: Next type out a phrase or the text that you want to become the hotlink.
Step 4: Tap somewhere on the link you pasted to select and the whole link should be highlighted…then tap on the word ‘Copy.’
Step 5: Tap on one of the words you typed in as your replacement text for the messy link to select it then drag the selection tool to both edges of the line to capture the entire line of text.
Step 6: Optional. I like my links to stand out so oftentimes I first apply the ‘Bold’ formatting option to my line
Step 7: Tap on the backwards looking ‘P’ at the top right corner of the onscreeen keyboard. (This P is really a formatting symbol for Paragraph.)
Step 8: Look for the word ‘Link‘ in the pop up menu that appears. If it’s not there, make sure that you’ve only selected the exact text and not any formatting symbols that might appear alongside your text.
Step 9: As soon as you’ve tapped on the word Link a new pop-up menu appears called Link Settings. If this Menu doesn’t automatically pop up, just tap sharply and quickly on the whole text replacement line and a similar menu should display…tap on ‘Link Settings.‘
Step 10: You will replace the link that’s the default one http://www.apple.com with your own link. Before you do this you may want to copy your link into the invisible clipboard.So just position your cursor inside this box and backspace several times until you delete http://www.apple.com. Then paste your own link here.
Step 11: You text should instantly become ‘linkified.’ You can tell you’ve done it correctly if the words are underlined. So now, all that’s left to be done is to copy and paste the link into your email. There is one little trick to this too.
The Apple system Font in ios 10 is called San Francisco. But Pages doesn’t include San Francisco as one of its default fonts. So if you want the font to look very similar to the rest of your email I’d recommend Helvetica Neue Bold in size 13 or 14. You can change the font type the same way you made the original line of text bold. Just select it and use the upper formatting menu (because the lower one doesn’t give you different fonts.) But there’s a 2nd ‘Font selection menu’ at the top left side of the virtual keyboard.
Step 12: Once you’ve pasted your nice looking links into your email, while you still have Pages open, think about if there are any other formatting options you’d like to use to enhance the rest of your email. Because, most of the format changes you create in Pages can be successfully copied into an email…as long as you’re careful and make your copy/pastes cleanly, without stopping somewhere else along the way first.
What do I mean by that? Basically, I mean that if you stop and paste your text somewhere else first you may lose Pages formatting on subsequent pastes. Also, if you copy several lines and paste them into the email, with the intention of ultimately spacing them out throughout your email, you’ll want to make the same complete paste wherever you want the formatted text. You can just paste the multi-lined newly formatted text in each location you want, then use delete to remove lines you don’t need. Because if you pasted the whole block of text in one location and then just tried to copy/paste smaller portions of it from there, copying from within the email will cause you to lose the nice formatting.
This is true because only direct pastes from Pages will save the new formatting.
That’s the whole process in 12 easy steps. I know it looks time consuming…but trust me…it’s not. It’s actually a really quick procedure that can be done in less than a minute. Then all your friends and family will be impressed with your newfound tech savviness.
Please leave any comments or questions you may have for me by scrolling way down towards the bottom of the page and looking for the little comments box.