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Last Update: 1 March 2000

8.7 Mailto URL

The Mailto URL allows mail to be sent do a designated target. The format for Mailto is straightforward:


where user is the user name of the person you wish to mail to and host is the name of the machine.

The mailto URL is not supported by all WWW browsers, in particular experimental versions of Mosaic produced by NCSA. As far as I can tell, mailto's are supported by all commercial web browsers.

Netscape Enhancement

With Netscape Navigator 2.0 and greater, you can include mail headers within the mailto URL. For example, to send a letter with the subject line "Happy Lobsters" you would use the URL:


Note that the space character is URL encoded as %20. Note also that this mechanism works only with Netscape Navigator 2 and greater, Internet Explorer 4 and greater, and Opera 3.6 and greater. Other browsers will think the subject part is part of the mail address. THe online notes from my book, The HTML 4.0 Sourcebook, have more documentation on this very useful extension. Note that accessing this link will open the page in a new browser window.

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Last Update: 1 March 2000