PuTTY wish url-launching

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summary: Launch URLs displayed in the PuTTY window by clicking on them
class: wish: This is a request for an enhancement.
difficulty: tricky: Needs many tuits.
depends: scripting
priority: low: We aren't sure whether to fix this or not.

One of the most common features we are asked for is the ability for PuTTY to recognise URLs displayed in its terminal window, and pass them to the configured default web browser when you click on them.

This is not a very well-specified feature, since it can be hard to determine exactly where a URL ends and the following text begins. Therefore, it would seem sensible to implement this as a script, after we get a scripting language written. That way, the regular expressions used for URL recognition would be available to the user so that if they didn't quite work right they could easily be tweaked.

In the meantime, you might find WinURL a useful tool. It allows you to select a URL in PuTTY (automatically copying it to the clipboard), and then click on the WinURL icon in the System Tray (or press Windows-W), and have the URL automatically launched for you. It's not quite as good as a one-click launch, but it's a lot better than pasting into a browser window by hand.

There is a third-party patch to PuTTY to add this feature, called Nutty (see our Links page). We won't be incorporating it into PuTTY as it doesn't take account of several of our design principles:

See also: osc8, which varies this idea by allowing the terminal application to specify a destination URL unrelated to the displayed text.

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Audit trail for this wish.
(last revision of this bug record was at 2023-07-14 09:12:54 +0100)