Web Publishing Guide

Web Publishing Guide

Outlook Copy & Paste Problem

A hidden problem occurs when copying and pasting links from Outlook to other browser-based editors like the ones in OU Campus/OmniUpdate, Canvas, and Course Studio.

Example: The text of this link says it to goes to Google.


But the URL (web address) behind the link sends the user to the FHDA district's Outlook browser-based email system for processing:

https://email.fhda.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=(a long string of numbers and letters)&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.google.com%2f

The editor who pasted the link into the web page or document has been fooled into thinking the link works. When the editor tested the pasted link, Outlook was still open in another browser window. Outlook processes the URL and redirects to the correct link. But if the editor had closed Outlook before testing the pasted link, the web browser would have displayed the Outlook login page, waiting for the editor to log in.

When other people try the link, they'll also be directed to Outlook. However, they won't get past the Outlook login page because they do not have the editor's login information. This can be especially confusing if a student is trying to access a site that requires a login, such as a textbook publisher's site, as the student will confuse the Outlook login page for the intended site's login page. Any login information they have been given for the intended site login will fail to get them logged into Outlook.


How To Check For The Problem

To check whether a link is affected by this problem, hover the cursor over the link. That will display the URL of the link in the status bar at the bottom of the web page. If the URL begins with "https://email.fhda.edu/owa/redir.aspx...", then the link has the problem.

Portion of Outlook email window, link, and link URL

You could also try the link after editing, first ensuring that you are logged out of Outlook web mail. A bad link will take you to the Outlook login page, not the ostensible target of the link.


Fixing The Problem

In some web-based editors, there is an option to paste as "plain text". This discards any URL attached to a link copied from anywhere, not just Outlook. The page editor in OU Campus has that option. If the link is a line of text like this, pasting as plain text will remove the URL underlying the link, and the text will need to be remade into a link, per the method used in the page editor.

In OU Campus, to check the URL of a link:

  1. Place the text cursor anywhere in the text of the link
  2. Open the Insert/Edit Link tool dialog pop-up window
  3. Check the URL of the link, make corrections as necessary

OU Campus WYSIWYG editor and link tool dialog box

Web Publishing Guide
Contact: Web Team

Last Updated: 11/6/17