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Hyperlinks not working in Automatic Replies in Office 365 or Out of Office in Outlook 2016

Last Modified: 2020-04-14
When add the message below Office 365 Automatic Replies or to Outlook 2016 Out of Office, the hyperlinks do not display as hyperlinks.  This is critical for us as we are closed and need this information to get to our customers.

Thank you for contacting spcaLA. At this time, all spcaLA pet adoption centers, businesses, and facilities are closed to the public. This temporary closure is in effect until May 15, 2020 unless the Safer at Home order is rescinded earlier or extended further.  Stay up-to-date, visit spcaLA.com/covid19 for important announcements.

·      Adoptions:  Available by appointment.  Please visit spcaLA.com/covid19/adopt to get started.
·      Pet Supplies: Contactless pick-up is available by appointment.  Please visit spcaLA.com/long-beach-marketplace to get started.
·      Lost Pets: If you believe your lost pet is housed at the spcaLA South Bay Pet Adoption Center, please call 424-269-3961.  More info.
·      Donations: Please help us care for the animals by donating at spcaLA.com or via the spcaLA Amazon Wish List.
·      Pet Behavior Questions: Please email us at training@spcaLA.com, or view our Animal Resource Library.
·      Resources for Pet Owners: Agencies listed on our financial assistance and pet rehoming pages may be of assistance.
·      Violence Prevention & Humane Education: spcaLA Friends for Life Camp Registration opens April 27th. More info.
·      Volunteers: All spcaLA volunteers are excused at this time.

The well-being of our staff, volunteers, animals in our care, and the community at large is our greatest concern. Please rest assured that animals in our care continue to receive nourishing food, safe shelter, veterinary care, enrichment, and plenty of TLC.

Please follow all recommended health and safety guidelines issued by public health authorities and state and local governments.  Stay safe and be well!
Watch Question

Gary BenjaminBusiness Analyst

I believe it is the mail client that automatically converts text into hyperlinks and they may not all have the same rules to recognize hyperlinks. For example, a client might only recognize links starting with www and ending with one of .com, .org, or .net.

Your link, for example "spcaLA.com/covid19" does not start with www, so may not be recognized as a hyperlink.

Notice that this website does not recognize your link as a hyperlink


Try using this instead (note that this website does convert these to hyperlinks)




In your case, the second link is the better choice since I see your website supports https.
Gary BenjaminBusiness Analyst

I did some more investigating, and have two other options for you.

First, your website is set up to accept links like the following


which will be translated by email clients as the non-secure link


(Although out of scope for your question, you can ask your webmaster to insert a script on your site that opens the secure https page whenever someone links to the non-secure version.)

Second, both Outlook.com and Outlook desktop have the option to insert a link using the "insert link" function on the ribbon, which looks like two interlinked ovals. Using that function you can insert a link that goes to this URL


while displaying friendly text like "Covid-19 Adoption Questionnaire"
J.R. SitmanIT Director


That is helpful.    However, I did a gotomeeting with my assistant and when he copied and pasted the info above, the links worked.   To me that makes zero sense.

Any thoughts?
Gary BenjaminBusiness Analyst

I assume you are saying that your assistant copied the text of my first message and that all three links, including "spcaLA.com/covid19", were converted to hyperlinks.

I copied and pasted my first response into a new email message in the desktop version of Outlook that comes with Outlook 365 and the first link wasn't converted to a hyperlink, but the other two were. I checked both the outgoing and incoming versions.

Same thing for a test message I made in Outlook.com that I sent to myself.

Please clarify your assistant's environment for me. What program did he paste the test into and please verify my assumption that it was "spcaLA.com/covid19" that was successfully converted to a hyperlink.
J.R. SitmanIT Director


He opened the email I sent him with the info in it.   He pasted it into Word and verified that all the hyperlinks worked.   He then opened Outlook and pasted the info from the Word doc into the Out of Office.  

I did the exact same thing from my computer however, I was doing it while connected to our office via a Citrix connection.  Mine did not work.  

It's probably one of those environmental issues that we'll never find a cause to.
Business Analyst
This one is on us!
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J.R. SitmanIT Director


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