Linkify UserScripts Turns Plain Text Links Into Clickable HTML Links

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 11, 2011
Updated • Dec 8, 2012

Some websites display links - usually those entered by users - as plain text links instead of clickable HTML links. This may be by choice, for instance to avoid sending the site as a referrer to the linked website, or by accident if the scripts running on the website are configured improperly.

Plain text links from a user perspective are not nearly that ambivalent. Instead of clicking on the link to open it, users either have to copy and paste it or use other means to open it in their favorite web browser. This means that it will take longer to open those links.

The Firefox Internet browser has a nice feature that can be used to open non-HTML links. Just select the link text, right-click it and select to open the link in a new tab. The browser can identify plain text links automatically to display those options in the context menu.

firefox open plain text link

While that's a great workaround if you encounter those links on an irregular basis, it may become an annoyance if you happen to encounter plain text links regularly.

That's where the free userscript Linkify comes into play. The script turns plain text links automatically into clickable HTML links on all http pages (it is not working on https websites).

The script supports http, https, ftp and email address links that are displayed in plain text instead of the HTML code version.

This is the plain text link of the screenshot above.

plain text link

And this is the very same link after installation of the userscript.

html link

As you can see, the script has modified the plain text link on page load and turned it into a clickable link.

I have tested Linkify Plus under Firefox with Scriptish installed. It is likely that the script will also work under different web browsers, Opera or Chrome for instance. Please note that Linkify Plus can only work its magic if JavaScript is enabled for the particular website you are visiting.

You can install Linkify Plus directly from the official userscripts website.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Zinc said on October 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I’ve been using a FF extension called “Linkification” for ages…not updated anymore but if you edit the XPI and change the maxversion to 7.x…it works fine.

  2. JohnJ said on October 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Excellent! I encounter a need for this quite often.

  3. odio said on October 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    nice :]

  4. Transcontinental said on October 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Nice, but here I remain attentive to avoid too many scripts rolling on *all* pages ( // @include http* ) because as a sum it does slow down overall page rendering. Not enough pages concerned by this script and alternative with built-in Firefox function would make me avoid this script.

  5. Midnight said on October 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Good one, Martin. I can surely use this, as I send a lot of Links in my e-mails and clicking on Insert/Link is time consuming.

    Amazing what can be found on ghacks!! :)

  6. rob said on October 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

    without extensions in chrome if you highlight the link and right click it, the context menu gives you a choice “go to (link)”. things like this should be a built-in feature of every browser because if you highlight a link you either want to copy it or go there.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Nice, thanks for confirming that Chrome supports this too.

      1. Anon said on October 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        Firefox also support this, at least Aurora i.e. v9.x, which I am using.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.