Does anyone know of a way or a program that will read a received email and recognize a static format of text (in my case it will be "#" followed by 6 integers), and make that a hyperlink to a webpage?

I have to think something similar exists. This would operate in the same fashion that when you type "www.google.com" and then hit Enter or space, it automatically converts this into a hyperlink. That is for a composed email, I'm looking for this in received emails.


You trying to automatically hyperlink to bugs in your bug/defects tracking application?

Easiest thing to do would be to modify the software sending the email to create the hyperlinks itself...

If you still want to do it manually, here's a quick guide I hacked together that seems to work (tested VERY lightly, but it does nominally do what it's designed to do).

Step 1: Enable the Developer tab in the Ribbon

Click Options: click Options

Click Customize Ribbon, then click the Developer checkbox: click Customize Ribbon

Step 2: Go to VBA and put in the code

Click Visual Basic:
Go to Visual Basic

Double click on the ThisOutlookSession module and paste in the code as follows: Put in the code

And now, the code:

Option Explicit

Sub InsertHyperLink(MyMail As MailItem)
    Dim body As String, re As Object, match As Variant

    body = MyMail.body
    Set re = CreateObject("vbscript.regexp")
    re.Pattern = "#[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]"

    For Each match In re.Execute(body)
        body = Replace(body, match.Value, "http://example.com/bug.html?id=" & Right(match.Value, 6), 1, -1, vbTextCompare)

    MyMail.body = body
End Sub

Click the Save icon or press Ctrl+S.

Step 3: Create a Custom Rule executing a Script.

Go to Manage Rules & Alerts: Go to Manage Rules & Alerts

Click New Rule...: Click New Rule...

Click "Apply rule on messages I receive", then click Next: Apply rule on messages I receive

If you want to only run the rule on certain messages, you can select from any of the conditions here. Don't worry about filtering on messages containing "#123456" in the body; we do that in the code. So just filter on, for example, "From:" or the Subject, if you want. This is optional. Select conditions

Choose "Run a script". Click on the text that says "a script" in blue underline in the bottom box. Run a script action

Pick the script we just created, whose name will probably be cut off due to the small dialog, but that's OK.

Pick your script

At this point, you can just click "Next" and "Finish" at the bottom repeatedly until the dialogs go away; you should be done.

Now try and compose an email to yourself (or receive an email from the sender or subject line you're expecting, if you specified a custom condition) and insert a number like:


into the body, and send it.

When you get the mail message, it should have it as a URL to http://example.com/bug.html?id=123456 (where "123456" is replaced with the 6 numbers you chose).

You can customize the script code to point to a different URL by modifying the URL string within the code. You can also do more exotic things with it to either keep or remove the number, or various other things.

This answer took my entire lunch hour, so if you think it was worthwhile, please remember to vote up... Let me know in the comments if you have any difficulties or questions.

Very Helpful StackOverflow question, which at least gave me a feasibility approach for implementing this: Append Subject Header in Outlook (VBA)

  • hey this is great. i spent my lunch hour implementing it. didn't seem to work in the subject field, so I'll keep playing. there are also several instances (variations) of that ID number, I'm going to adjust this to account for spacing, different characters, etc. finally I'm going to try and leave the original number text and have that mask the URL for the hyperlink. thanks again! – ikathegreat Aug 20 '12 at 19:48
  • "Didn't seem to work in the subject field" --> You mean your number is in the subject field? I assumed it was in the body. I don't think there's a way to create a hyperlink in the subject field. But you can look at the properties of MailItem (in the Outlook Automation Object Model) to try and finagle something. Lastly: using the number as hyperlink display text with the link "behind" the hyperlink is much trickier; check this for details. – allquixotic Aug 20 '12 at 20:33
  • 1
    Also, if you're adept at VBA programming and you want to really customize this down to exactly what you need, you may want to ask a question on StackOverflow if it's purely about programming the VBA macro to recognize and/or process the message the way you want it. – allquixotic Aug 20 '12 at 20:36
  • if "run a script" isnt there for newer versions you can put this in regedit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Security DWORD: EnableUnsafeClientMailRules Value: 1 – daniel Sep 28 '17 at 14:08

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