Two Quick Email Tips To Save The Day

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 16, 2009
Updated • Jan 3, 2015

Here are two quick email tips that helped me save precious time over the years. The first tip works with any desktop email client running on the Windows operating system while the second tip works in any email client including desktop email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook but also online email clients such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail.

If you want to quickly send an email in the Windows operating system you have to start your email client, click on the write button and start writing the email. A much faster way is to press [windows R], type mailto: and hit enter. This opens the new email message window of the default email client on the computer system.

It is even possible to add parameters like [] which would automatically add the recipient, the subject test and the body text test2 to the email.

There is probably a reference somewhere on the Internet that has a list of all possible mailto commands but I could not find one right now. It would be great if you would post it if you know its location.

The second tip is more useful for recipients who sometimes have troubles if their email program divides a link on multiple lines making it lead to a non-existing page as only the first part of the link will be executed. Users who send emails should put long lists in <> brackets to avoid this.

This tells the client that the link enclosed in the brackets is a single link and not multiple links. Most modern email clients should interpret those links correctly regardless though.

Got any more email tips that you want to share? Let us know in the comments.


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  1. Dotan Cohen said on June 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

    In KDE the user just hits Alt-F2 for the runner dialogue, and enters the name of the person he wants to email. This opens a Kmail or Thunderbird Compose window ready to go.

    If you have the Virtual Identity extension in Thunderbird, it even configures your From address automaticaly!

  2. Rarst said on June 17, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Seems like rather full guide on format:

    I’ve coded in mailto links on for easy sending download links to someone (or yourself). :)

  3. Nick Staroba said on June 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I have 5 shortcuts made for emailing my 5 coworkers. Each email shortcut is formatted so that all my introductory and salutary words are put in automatically as well as the email address of the recipient.

    I placed these shortcuts in a “Shortcut” directory under Start > All Programs and tied shortcut keys to each one. Now when I need to email my boss I just hit CTRL + SHIFT + 1 and all I have to fill out is the subject and my exact message. Saves me a lot of time and is oh so convenient.

    I found this site with some info about mailto links:

    Perhaps I’ll post a full explanation about this on my own blog…

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