I am using an iPad with the Smart Keyboard, but my question applied to all devices running iOS.

How do I create hyperlinked text in apps such as the Mail.app or Notes.app on iOS? I tried using the text selection menu, as well as the standard Command K shortcut, but neither of them seemed to give me the result I wanted.

  • 1
    Try taking a look at Microsoft's OneNote. I abandoned Apple's Notes app long ago as it was too limited.
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 12:06
  • As soon as I press done in Notes or save a draft, the iOS data detectors automagically link detected content like URL and phone numbers. Are you looking for that for an answer or is there more to what you wish to accomplish with Command K. That isn't implemented on iOS as a standard shortcut which I think is clear / agreed.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 2:11
  • Pretty obvious that isn’t what the OP is about. It’s about assigning a URL to some plain text, incredible that after all these years iPadOS and iOS can’t do this Mail and Notes. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


EDIT: I found the direct link to the Shortcut discussed below. Personally tried the Shortcut and it works flawlessly!

There seems to be a way to do it using Shortcuts. Visit this link and then use Find on Page to look for "Create Hyperlink". It looks like it will take a little effort to get it up and running, but once it's created should be fairly easy to use as long as you have the Shortcut enabled in the Share menu. I'll keep searching for an easier option/Shortcut method.


Before using ⌘K make sure you have selected the text you want to hyperlink.

This is not possible on iOS.

Alternatively you can try using a different notes app.

  • There's no need to select text since Command K doesn't even exist in iOS mail and notes as a shortcut. This is easily achievable in notes and mail with a save step. See my answer.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 2:25

I just type away in Notes and Mail on iOS and trust that the text processing / data detectors will automagically convert / link / mark down the URL when you press Done in notes or save the draft in Mail.

I've never needed to use Command K on iOS for any of the apps. Other apps of course have more enhanced processing of links. Pages for one immediately converts a link and has link settings when you tap once and release on the link.

iOS pages app showing the link settings

Outlook as well has a tap and hold insert menu that lets you add a link in an analogous way to some OS on the Command + K

One slick way to get fancy styled notes is to open notes and then open Pages as a multitasking pop up to make the adjustments. In the second image I replaced the text for Apple's web site with the text WOOOO and then copied / pasted that into Notes.

Notes can handle the full equivalent of markdown [WOOOO](https://www.apple.com) and render it properly. It just lacks the UI controls to generate such links with a presentation different than the simple data detector label with the link.

pages link with alt text

  • This answer implies that Notes and Mail interpret Markdown and convert an [anchor text] and (url) tuple into a hyperlink showing just the anchor text. That doesn’t ever happen far as i can tell from trying and reading the User Guides. The Question isn’t looking for an underlined url, looking for a text & hidden url hyperlink. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 13:49
  • @wide_eyed_pupil the markdown is basic in that it doesn't do hover text or any of the other things besides a display text and a non-displayed link when the data detector engaged when this was written, but no longer seems to work for me on iOS 16.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 16:36
  • thanks for confirming it no longer works @bmike. been driving me nuts, its not 1992 anymore :-) I'ts not possible to use "command K" on iOS / iPad without an external keyboard too… Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 0:38
  • an app that stores clipboard and creates links quickly from text on the clipboard (asking for url) or url on clipboard (asking for the display text) would be valuable to me. I'll start looking for such an app. Otherwise MS Outlook I guess… i have a free student account ATM. Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 1:40

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