Link handling

The buffer can contain clickable links. These can be created implicitly, by recognizing a URL or other pattern in the buffer. Links can also be created explicitly, using a special escape sequence, or by emitting HTML.

Two styles of links are supported:

Automatic creating of links

DomTerm will scan the output for text that "looks" like a URL or a mail address, and turn it into a clickable “subtle” link.

The links are only visible when you hover the mouse over them. (This is because what is a link is a guess, and so we don’t want to clutter the display with links that aren’t explicitly created.) You can change the styling: The class attribute for these links contains both matched (because they are generated by pattern matching), and subtle (because you don’t want them styled except when hovering).

By default the only recognized URL schemes (the part before the colon) are http, https, ftp, file, and mailto. If the preference open.file.application or mentions a URL scheme in a condition (see below) that scheme is added to to the set of recognized URL patterns.

A string starting with www. is treated as it it starts with http://www.. A string that looks like an email address (matching the regex pattern ^[^@]+@[^@]+\.[^@]+$) is treated as if it starts with mailto:.

Many programs emit error messages that start with filename:line: or filename:line:column. These are turned to links of the form file:/filename#position=line or file:/filename#position=line:column:. If filename is relative, it is made absolute if the process directory is set. (The directory can be set using the escape sequence "\e]7;file://hostname/directory\a". See the shell function print_path_url above.) You can specify an editor or other handler for these special links, as described below.

Specifying handlers for clicked links

If you click on a link (with a full URL, not one starts with ‘#’), then the request is sent to the backend, which will invoke an appropriate viewer, such as a browser.

Which application to use depends on two preference variables: open.file.application and Both are conditional lists of templates, separated by semi-colons or newlines. When opening a file: link both template lists are used (first open.file.application is tried then; otherwise, only is tried. Here is the default, in settings.ini multi-line format:

open.file.application =
 |{with-position|!.html}atom =

The following templates are supported:


Invoke the Emacs editor on the specified file and optional (line,column)-position. Equivalent to "emacs %+P '%F' > /dev/null 2>&1 &".


Ask the Emacs server to open en editor window on the specified file and optional (line,column)-position. Equivalent to "emacsclient -n %+P '%F'".


Invoke the Atom editor on the specified file and optional (line,column)-position. Equivalent to "atom '%F'%:P".


Open the specified web browser (chrome and google-chrome are the same). Equivalent to the browser’s executable path followed by " '%U'".


Open the default browser or other registered application.


Skip the template unless one of the conditions succeeds. There can be multiple {condition}-groups, in which cases all must succeed.

A condition can be one of the following:


Succceeds if using atom-domterm.


Succceeds if the URL ends with #position=position.


Matches if the URL-scheme is scheme. This is the part before the first colon, such as http:. The default uses !mailto: to supress using firefox or chrome for email addresses.


Matches if the URL has an "extension" matching ext. For example .html matches html files.


Suceeds if condition fails and vice versa.

custom template

Using ‘%’-escapes to create a system command. The following escapes are supported:


Substitute the URL (the href attribue of the link).


Substitute the value of the (line,colon) file position from the #position=position or the URL.


Same as respectively :%P or +%P if the position is specified in the URL. Expands to nothing otherwise.


Only succeeds for file: URL, which is converted to a file name. You should use quotes: command '%F'.


A literal ‘%’.

After expansion, if there are any unquoted shell special characters (any of <>|&$), then the command is executed by a shell. Otherwise, it is executed directly (in the background, as a daemon).