Converting a URL within a string to an active URL?

Hi Folks,

I'm working on some output at the moment that returns plain text, but within that there may be a url (without HTML tags though).

I'd like to convert these into 'proper' urls, so they are clickable at the point of output.

I've found something from another piece of code (TwitterCOM) that appears to do this, however I don't seem to be able to find a way of referencing it.  CFScript is something I've never really used before.

My output is relatively simple, with the string refenced by #i.text#, so I assume I need to use a CFSet to convert, then output the cfset result instead.

I've attached the cfscript I found, though obviously it was written for a different project so I'm not sure if theres something in there specific to the other bit that is stopping it from working for me.
function activateURL(sActive) {
    var nextMatch = 1;
    var objMatch = "";
    var outstring = "";
    var thisURL = "";
    var thisLink = "";
    do {
        objMatch = REFindNoCase("(((https?:|ftp:|gopher:)\/\/)|(www\.|ftp\.))[-[:alnum:]\?%,\.\/&##!;@:=\+~_]+[A-Za-z0-9\/]", sActive, nextMatch, true);
        if (objMatch.pos[1] GT nextMatch OR objMatch.pos[1] EQ nextMatch) {
            outString = outString & Mid(String, nextMatch, objMatch.pos[1] - nextMatch);
        } else {
            outString = outString & Mid(String, nextMatch, Len(sActive));
        nextMatch = objMatch.pos[1] + objMatch.len[1];
        if (ArrayLen(objMatch.pos) GT 1) {
            // If the preceding character is an @, assume this is an e-mail address
            // (for addresses like
            if (Compare(Mid(String, Max(objMatch.pos[1] , 1), 1), "@") NEQ 0) {
                thisURL = Mid(String, objMatch.pos[1], objMatch.len[1]);
                thisLink = "<A target=twitter HREF=""";
                switch (LCase(Mid(String, objMatch.pos[2], objMatch.len[2]))) {
                    case "www.": {
                        thisLink = thisLink & "http://";
                    case "ftp.": {
                        thisLink = thisLink & "ftp://";
                thisLink = thisLink & thisURL & """";
                thisLink = thisLink & ">" & thisURL & "</A>";
                outString = outString & thisLink;
                // String = Replace(String, thisURL, thisLink);
                // nextMatch = nextMatch + Len(thisURL);
            } else {
                outString = outString & Mid(String, objMatch.pos[1], objMatch.len[1]);
    } while (nextMatch GT 0);
    // Now turn e-mail addresses into mailto: links.
    outString = REReplace(outString, "([[:alnum:]_\.\-]+@([[:alnum:]_\.\-]+\.)+[[:alpha:]]{2,4})", "<A HREF=""mailto:\1"">\1</A>", "ALL");
    return outString;

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_agx_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Just do a find and replace and change the variable "sActive" to "string"

BTW: I'm not sure why credit wasn't included on TwitterCOM, but the author is:

* This function takes URLs in a text string and turns them into links.
* Version 2 by Lucas Sherwood,
* Version 3 Updated to allow for ;
* @param string      Text to parse. (Required)
* @param target      Optional target for links. Defaults to "". (Optional)
* @param paragraph      Optionally add paragraphFormat to returned string. (Optional)
* @return Returns a string.
* @author Joel Mueller (
* @version 3, August 11, 2004
can you provide a sample of the text you are converting?
As already mentioned, we'd need to see your code, but to clarify...

>> however I don't seem to be able to find a way of referencing it.  CFScript is something
>> I've never really used before.

That snippet is the same as a CFFUNCTION, only written in cfscript instead of cfml.   So you call it like any other function.  Just pass in the URL you want to "activate"

<cfset result = activateURL("")>

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Gurpreet Singh RandhawaWeb DeveloperCommented:
Check this UDF

it can Solve ur pupose!

just include it using the cfinclude tag and usage is given in the link i have provided, it will wrap with links all the http:// it finds in the string
RedBullLeeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the prompt replies :-)

The string returned could be as simple as this;

<cfset thestring='Visit for info'>

And it's returned like this;


(The actual string and output is obviously slightly different as it comes from a var loop, but the concept is the same - I've just simplified it).

I've put the cfscript in a seperate cfm file and cfincluded it at the top of the page.

When I use this;

<cfset newstring = activateURL("#thestring#")>

I get the following error;

Variable STRING is undefined.

(again, the actual variables used are different - but none of them are just 'string').

@myselfrandhawa - many thanks for the recommendation, I'll check that out too.  I'd like to try to get the code I found working if possible, if I can understand how to make it work, there are a few other parts within the package that will be useful to me too.
Umm.. did you read the question ? That is the function he is ALREADY using ...
Gurpreet Singh RandhawaWeb DeveloperCommented:
yes! i am sorry, mistakenly written again
>>. Variable STRING is undefined.

There's a bug in the UDF.  Let's see which one of the experts fixes it first ;-)
Gurpreet Singh RandhawaWeb DeveloperCommented:
Just write it like this

<cfset newstring = #activateURL("thestring")#>

rather than this

<cfset newstring = activateURL("#thestring#")>
Gurpreet Singh RandhawaWeb DeveloperCommented:
remove the double quotes please
RedBullLeeAuthor Commented:
Thanks _agx_, that did the trick perfectly.  I understand it a bit better now too :-)

I've added the credit to the top of my function file too, thanks for also pointing that out.
>> I've added the credit to the top of my function file too

   Much appreciated :)
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