The need to manually paste links in some apps and not others

Having copied a Hookmark link and switched to selected text in the app where I want to place it, sometimes the link dialogue is already populated with the link string, sometimes it has to be pasted manually. Some examples.

In Nisus Writer, it always used to be that web URLs automatically made their way from the clipboard to the link dialogue whereas Hook links did not. Recently both are pre-entered when the dialogue comes up. (Did Nisus change, or Hookmark, or maybe the relevant Hookmark script?

In Numbers (v 13) the link dialogue is always blank and URLs have to be entered manually (also the HM link has to be categorised as a web page). It’s a minor thing, but is there any way to streamline the connection with 3rd party apps to ensure the URL on the clipboard is automatically entered in the link dialogue?

Forgive me if this has been covered. It’s a difficult thing to pin down in a search. Thanks.

What link dialog box? could you pls send a screenshot?

I did this

  1. on this web page, Hookmark > Copy Link
  2. Hook to New > Numbers
  3. In numbers : paste
  4. in numbers: click on the link.

works fine. Pasting a hook://file/ URL also works.

There’s no dialog box involved… What am I missing?

Hook to New>Numbers may work differently; I’m talking about linking to text in an existing Numbers cell. The sequence would be

  1. Select target
  2. Invoke Hookmark and Copy
  3. Switch to Numbers and select title text
  4. Command-K to bring up link pop-up dialogue
  5. Paste and OK (Open Link)

This all works fine, it’s just that in Nisus and I believe elsewhere, there is no need to paste: the link URL is already inserted. It’s really no big deal, I am just curious why this little bit of extra friction is necessary in some apps and not in others.

Thanks for explaining. In the case of Numbers, I can paste directly into a cell, and Numbers will accept the link as a link. I don’t need to use that dialog box. But if I do choose to use that dialog box, whether I have a web URL in the clipboard that I have copied from Safari itself or from Hook, the “link:” field is blank, I need to paste it.

In the screenshot below, I had copied directly from Safari address bar:

and Numbers did not pre-populate the link:// field. How do you get Numbers to prepopulate it?
However, if you do encounter a situation where software does not like a hook:// link, you can use Copy As Universal Link, if Safari is your default web browser.

Good thing is that Numbers accepts custom links, like bike:// in its link fields.

My biggest takeaway from this thread is that a direct paste into Numbers (and Nisus, TextEdit etc) now produces a link titled with the target filename as opposed to the long form URL. I had not caught up with that refinement. What needs to happen to extend the behaviour to apps where this is not the case (NotePlan, The Archive…)?

When one uses the Copy Link command, Hookmark puts various forms of the link in the clipboard. The receiving app processes the clipboard. Most apps behave predictably, but some apps go differently and change their behavior over time.


  1. Slack ( as I recall) originally did not accept custom links. It would just take the text. this affected all Mac apps’ links ( x-devonthink-item URL, omnifocus:///, etc.) . Now it takes them.
  2. Messages (as I recall) used accept formatted links fine, now you need to use Copy As Markdown Link before pasting into Messages. (This implies that not all Apple apps behave the same.)
  3. Some web apps do not like custom links ( bike://, x-devonthink-item URL, omnifocus:///, hook://, etc). For them we have provided the Copy As Universal Link command; but as it stands universal links are only well behaved in Safari. (I don’t know if one can create extensions in Chrome , Firefox, and/or other browsers to respect universal links).

The diversity is not particular to Hookmark. It’s just that Hookmark’s core function is to create and serve links.

Then there are plain text fields and apps (e.g., BBEdit). there typically the receiving app will just take the URL. Use Copy As Markdown Link if you want both URL and link name in plain text fields/apps.

Having said that the vast majority of apps process links as one would expect them to. E.g., if you paste links in, Numbers, Pages, textedit you get the same result.