How to paste a copied URL as a web address instead of a hyperlinked title

You may have noticed that when you copy a web address from the Microsoft Edge browser bar and paste it somewhere, it shows a hyperlinked title instead of the web address. For some cases, this is great – it makes your emails, chats, and documentation look more professional.

For other cases, you’d like to actually see the URL (such as when creating print/unclickable resources or wanting to promote the address itself). Luckily, there’s just a slightly different method to use depending on what you’re hoping to achieve.

Copy/paste keyboard shortcuts to show web address or hyperlinked text

Normally, you can use Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + V (paste). This is what will give you hyperlinked text instead of a web address by default. Your result would resemble NateChamberlain.com.

Use Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + Shift + V (paste address) to show the web address instead of hyperlinked text. Your result would resemble https://natechamberlain.com/.

I prefer the keyboard shortcuts because they can be used everywhere, regardless of the destination app.

Right-click menu options when working in web apps (browser locations)

If you’re not a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you can also right-click to copy:

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Then right-click to paste either option (web address or hyperlinked text). In this menu “Plan text” is the web address and “Link (Default)” is the hyperlinked text with the site/page title.

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Right-click or paste options in other apps (like Office client applications)

You can look in your other apps for paste options like “Keep text only” in Office apps. See the following animation to see two of the paste options action. The first is “Use destination theme” which will keep the hyperlinked text. The last is “Keep text only” which shows the web address.

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You can also find these paste options on the Home tab of Office apps:

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Change the URL copy/paste default behavior in Microsoft Edge

If you want to permanently change how Edge handles copied links, you can go to Edge’s settings and change the default behavior. To find Settings in Edge, click the ellipsis (three dots) in the upper-right corner. Then choose Settings.

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Once in settings, choose Share, copy, and paste from the left-hand menu to change the default behavior.

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Add a thumbnail column for documents and media in a SharePoint Online document library

Mark Rackley recently tweeted about the ability to create a calculated column in SharePoint online document libraries that would automatically render thumbnails for documents. In the GIF from his tweet, it shows how this works for media files.

Naturally curious, I had to see how this worked for documents of .docx, .pdf, .pptx, etc. types. What I found is that it only currently supports some file types:

Supported file types (there’s likely even more I didn’t test):

  • Word (.docx)
  • PDF (.pdf)
  • Emails (.msg)
  • Images (.png, .gif, .jpg, etc.)
  • Media (.mp4)

Not-yet-supported file types:

  • Excel (.xlsx)
  • OneNote (.one)
  • PowerPoint (.pptx)

Create a thumbnail column in SharePoint Online document libraries

1. Add a new column to your document library (library settings > Create column).

2. Set the column name to Thumbnail. As for type, you have two options:

  • Leave type as Single line of text. Thanks to Dario Cassinerio for sharing that Single line of text type works as well as (and more simply than) Calculated set to [Title].
  • Mark Rackley suggests sticking with Calculated set to [Title] (see example screenshot) to prevent users from editing the text field in forms.

3. Click OK.

Supported file types will have thumbnails rendered (like .docx and .pdf in the example below) and others will just be blank (like .pptx and .xlsx in the example below).

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Here is an animation demonstrating the entire process, start to finish using Single line of text as column type:

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And another animation but using the Calculated column set to [Title] type:

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Create one-click, direct download links

Update 6/19/21: The post below requires use of html and, in SharePoint specifically, would require the classic experience. You may instead be looking for how to create direct download links with JSON in modern SharePoint libraries.

You’re sending an email, or creating a new page on your intranet instructing people to download a file.

You can always just link to an image or document and then have people figure out how to download it themselves. But methods of downloading vary by browsers and versions and content types (images vs PDFs, for example) so it’s much easier to just provide a link to users that automatically initiates the download for them regardless of context.

Note: This downloads to their default download folder/location.

Using a direct download link will save them some time by providing a one-click download option. No need to right-click-save-as, or save-and-name.

Simply add the word “download” after the href URL before closing the tag.

...www.sharepointlibrarian.com" download>Download here!</a>

For example, if I want people to download the print icon below I would link it in my HTML-formatted email or on my webpage/intranet using the script following it. The red text could be an image (download button?) or text like “Download the icon.”

<a href="/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/print.png" download><img src="https://natechamberlain.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/print.png"></a>

And for a PDF I don’t want opened in the browser, it might look something like

Download the latest newsletter

<a href="/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/DownloadMe.pdf" download>Download the latest newsletter</a>