I'm working on a table used to display personal details. An email address is captured, and the requirement is to:

  • Let users with a mail client configured click on a link to send an email
  • Let users without a mail client configured copy the email address

A mailto link will meet the first requirement but fail the second (the user would need to edit the mailto link). We are limited in space so just displaying the whole email address is not an option. Looking for any elegant solutions - best I have so far is to have a mailto link 'Email Fred' with a 'Copy address' link next to it, but interested to see if there are any better approaches out there.

  • How common is it for your users not to have a mail client configured? On any general purpose mobile or desktop system, at least, this seems like it would be pretty uncommon. And for those who don't, all modern browsers already have a built-in way to copy the email address from mailto links (on the right-click/long-press menu).
    – calum_b
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Assuming the user interface model can detect a "configured mail client"...

Configured mail client

Clicking the address in the table will launch the appropriate mail action.

No mail client

Clicking the address in the table will:

  1. Copy the address to clipboard
  2. Show an unobtrusive tool-tip-like animation that informs the user the email address was successfully copied to the clipboard. Fade the tool tip away after an appropriate duration.
  • Are you saying this is a default behaviour? If so, on what platform(s)?
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 5:13
  • Default behaviour of what? This is a platform for UX and design. You'll need to implement it using the software development tools you have available. Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 5:26
  • To clarify, this is a web service (I mentioned a mailto link in my original post)
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 7:27

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