About Text2Link

The Text2Link Firefox and Thunderbird extension makes it easy to open URLs and send emails to addresses not marked up as HTML links.

For example, the URL http://text2link.net/ is not marked-up as a link. To view the page at this URL, one must select the URL and copy and paste it into a browser’s address bar. This is much more difficult than clicking on the marked-up version, http://text2link.net/.

Similarly, the email address feedback@text2link.net is also not marked-up as a link. To send an email to this address, one must select the email address and copy and paste it into the compose window of an email application. This is much more difficult than clicking on the marked-up version, feedback@text2link.net. Sending an email is even more complicated when the address is written in a format designed to repel spambots, such as feedback AT text2link DOT net.

The following sections explain how to use Text2Link to:

  • open URLs not marked up as HTML links;
  • send messages to email addresses not marked up as HTML links, including spambot-repellent email addresses; and
  • copy the words and phrases of a link, which is often tricky to do without accidentally clicking the link

Opening URLs

To open a URL that hasn’t been marked-up as a link, select the URL and right-click the mouse. Text2Link adds the following three options to Firefox’s context menu:

  • Open URL
  • Open URL in New Tab
  • Open URL in New Window

Invoking each of these three options will open the selected URL in the current tab, in a new tab, or in a new window.

Text2Link identifies URLs selected with exact selection:

Visit the http://text2link.net website for more information.

with inexact selection:

Visit the http://text2link.net website for more information.

or with paragraph selection:

Visit the http://text2link.net website for more information.

Triple-clicking to select the paragraph containing the URL is faster than making the exact selection.

Text2Link identifies links with a variety of protocols, including:

  • http://
  • https://
  • ftp://
  • localhost://

or with no protocol at all, such as:

  • text2link.net
  • news.bbc.co.uk
  • maps.google.com

Text2Link also identfies links with obscured protocols, such as:

  • h**p://
  • h**ps://

The following image shows the context menu displayed after right-clicking a selected URL.

Opening a selected URL with Text2Link

I often want to visit the website that hosts an image I have found with Google’s image search. However, the URL under the image is not marked-up as a link. With Text2Link, I can triple-click to select the URL and then right-click to open the website in the current page, in a new tab, or in a new window, as shown in the following image.

Opening the URL of the website that hosts an image found with Google's image search

Sending Emails

After selecting an email address and right-clicking the mouse, Text2Link adds the following option to Firefox’s context-menu:

  • Send Email

Invoking the Send Email option opens the compose-new-email-message window of your default email application. The To: line of the new email message will contain the selected email address.

Text2Link identifies email addresses with exact selection:

Email feedback@text2link.net to send your feedback.

with inexact selection:

Email feedback@text2link.net to send your feedback.

or with paragraph selection:

Email feedback@text2link.net to send your feedback.

Text2Link also identifies email addresses that substitute DOT for . and AT for @, such as the email addresses in the following selections:

Email feedback AT text2link DOT net to send your feedback.

Email feedback AT text2link DOT net to send your feedback.

Email feedback AT text2link DOT net to send your feedback.

The following image shows the context menu displayed after right-clicking a selected email address.

Sending an email with Text2Link

Copying Link Text

Copying the words of a link is often tricky; it’s so easy to accidentally click the link while dragging the mouse over the words to make the selection. After right-clicking on a regular, marked-up link, Text2Link adds the following option to Firefox’s context menu:

  • Copy Link Text

Invoking the Copy Link Text option copies the words of the link rather than the destination of the link. (To copy the destination of the link, use Firefox’s Copy Link Location context-menu option.)

The following image shows the context menu displayed after right-clicking a regular, marked-up link.

Copying link text with Text2Link

In this example, invoking the Copy Link Text option will copy the phrase usability metrics onto the clipboard.

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