I'd like to create a hyperlink in my Google Document that will pop up the "new email" dialog of Outlook and populate the TO: line with multiple recipients.

If this were a regular HTML page or a desktop Word document, I could just use either of these URLs in the hyperlink:

mailto:[email protected];[email protected];[email protected]

Outlook, when launched, will correctly resolve these names using the Address Book in outlook. The semicolons are important-- Outlook seems to require semicolons to delimit addresses.

But in a Google Document, when I try to create a link with the former syntax, Google won't even let me save the link. When I try the latter syntax, it will consider it an invalid link and won't open Outlook.

Any idea how I can get a hyperlink with either of these URLs in my Google Doc?

I realize that the semicolon delimiter may be outlook-specific, and that's OK since this is an internal page used only inside my company.

  • I expect that doing multiple recipients in a mailto: link, while it will often work, violates a couple of RFCs. (For instance...) That's probably why Google is preventing it.
    – ale
    Aug 14, 2013 at 13:19
  • Do you want to attach the document itself as well? Aug 14, 2013 at 21:00
  • @JacobJanTuinstra - nope, I just want to provide a link in the document that readers can use to open an email to several recipients. Aug 15, 2013 at 18:06
  • @AlEverett - in addition to RFC compliance, perhaps another reason may be that Google Docs' support of Outlook is crappy, probably inadvertently although perhaps strategically. For example, when I want to share a Google Document, I can't copy an address list in Outlook and paste it into the addresses box in Docs, because Outlook uses semicolons to separate addresses while Google uses commas as a delimiter. Grrrrrrrr. Aug 15, 2013 at 18:10
  • Well, Google and everyone else. Microsoft likes to deviate from standards. But I take your meaning; it's not really in Google's interest to accommodate Microsoft. I don't think that's what's going on here, though.
    – ale
    Aug 15, 2013 at 18:40

3 Answers 3


I'm afraid that this isn't possible. (At least, not right now.)

A quick perusal of the Google Drive support forums shows other people also wanting to have more dynamic mailto: links in their Google Documents. (Surprisingly, this might be easier to do with Google Spreadsheets and the =hyperlink() function.)

Anyway, I did some experimentation.

A mailto: link with one Email address will work.

mailto:[email protected]

However, it has to be an email address. Using a name (so that Outlook will search for it in your address book) doesn't work.

I also tried a couple of other tricks to get multiple addresses in the link.

mailto:[email protected][email protected]

That doesn't work. Nor did separating email addresses with commas instead of semi-colons, so that's not an issue.

So, it appears that in a Google Document you're limited to the very simplest mailto: link.

Assuming you're "locked in" to the Google eco-system, your options at this point are to either put email addresses into the document as plain text (so people can copy-paste directly to their email client compose window) or create an email alias for each group of people who should receive email messages from a document. (That last is certainly impractical for even small shops.)


In Outlook:

E-Mail Options > Advanced E-Mail Options > When sending a message > Allow comma as address separator

  • 2
    How does this address the original question?
    – ale
    Feb 14, 2014 at 16:53

There is a solution to this problem! I will do my best to give the line by line instructions, here, but you must be sure to have the "formula bar" showing, or unhidden in Google Spreadsheet.

The first part is standard, and you probably already know how to do this:

  1. Enter text in the cell

  2. Highlight that cell, and click the "Insert/Link" menu option

  3. Type "mailto:email_address" in the "Link" box field.

  4. Click "Apply"

The second part is how you add multiple recipients:

  1. Highlight the cell, again, and notice the =HYPERLINK string in the formula bar

  2. In the formula string, after the "mailto" protocol, add addresses using a comma (no space) inside the quotation marks.

  3. Do not edit the second string of text in quotation marks, unless you wish to edit what is seen in the cell.

  4. Click enter, and test your hyperlink.

  • 2
    That's great for a Sheet, but what about for a Doc?
    – ale
    Jan 16, 2015 at 0:01

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