Clickable email subject lines

"I wish to link subject line at the top of my e-mail to the full text at the bottom of e-mail.  Can you tell me how I do this?"

The Subject Line is Sacrosanct

Firstly, you cannot do anything funny with the subject line on an email.  It has to be plain text, all the way.  It is also the most important place to put your message: often it is the only thing a recipient sees.

Clickable Headlines

However, if you wish to have a headline in the body text which links to a paragraph further down the page, this is achieveable.

The Techie Bit

The techie explaination for this is to use a "hyperlink" pointing to an "anchor".  In HTML, the language used to create web pages and fancy looking emails, the <a> tag is used for both hyperlink and anchor.


<h1><a href="#bodytext">this is the text of your headline</a></h1>
<p>this is a paragraph of text.  it has no anchors in it.</p>
<p><a name="bodytext"></a>This is another paragraph.  it has an anchor in it. </p>

Note that the name attribute of the anchor is the same as the href attribute in the link, but with the addition of a "#".

Email Programs

Now... how to implement this in your email client.

Thunderbird will allow you to put in anchors and hyperlink directly to them.  The anchor and hyperlink buttons are in the basic formatting toolbar when creating a new mail.

Outlook 2000/2002/2003/xp will not allow you easily create anchors, nor any sort of out of the ordinary formatting.  However, if you know HTML, it is possible like this:  The basic approach is to create your html email as a separate html file and then create a signature file and use your html email as the signature file. Then you open a new email message and add the new signature file. This prevents Outlook from helpfully converting all your precious html code into text.

To create a signature file in Outlook:

   1. Select Tools from the top menus, then Options, then the Mail Format tab in the Options pop-up that will appear.
   2. Down on the lower right of the Mail Format tab is a Signatures button. Click that button and a Create Signature pop-up will appear.
   3. Click the New button on the Create Signature pop-up and a Create New Signature pop-up appears. Give your new signature a name and select Use this File as a Template and browse to your HTML email.

Then create a new email message, click in the body of your email message, select Insert from the mail dropdown menu and Signature then your new signature file.

Gmail will not allow you to code HTML, nor create anchors.

Outlook Express allows you to view the HTML of your email directly, so you can code your anchors there.  However it does not have a handy tool like Thunderbird. 

Further reading: