Learn@Illinois Moodle - Autolinking and Preventing Autolinking

This page goes over how to prevent autolinking on the individual, activity/resource, and course site levels.


An autolink is a link that is created automatically when the title of an activity or resource is typed in the course site. If I add a PDF file to my course and name it "Syllabus", every time I used the word "Syllabus", it will link to that PDF. It is not case-sensitive, but extra spaces, non-standard spaces, and punctuation will thwart autolinking.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that common words or phrases not be used as titles. For example, in a biology course, an instructor might rename a resource about evolution from being called "Evolution" to "Unit 1 Lecture: Evolution". This way, they can be deliberate about when they would like the system to create an autolink (every time they type the phrase "Unit 1 Lecture: Evolution") rather than triggering an autolink inadvertently (every time they use the word "evolution").You can turn autolinking off on the individual level, activity/resource level, and course site level.

Preventing Autolinking on the Individual Level

In this example, assume we have an activity named "Attendance". I want to use this word, but I don't want it to link to the activity.
  1. Highlight the word "attendance". 
  2. Click the Prevent automatic linking button.
    Highlighted text and Prevent automatic linking button screenshot
Note: This will add a bit of code to prevent this from autolinking. You not be able to see this from the editing page (unless you look at the HTML), but once you've saved you will see that no link has been created.
(For the HTML savvy, the proper code is <span class="nolink">attendance</span>)

Preventing Autolinking on the Activity/Resource Level

This method prevents anything within an activity or resource from autolinking. This may be helpful in a quiz, for example, when you don't want students to link to other resources. 
  1. Click on the activity/resource you want to alter. 
  2. In the Administration block, click on Filters
    Click Filter screenshot
  3. On this page, find the filter called "Activity names auto-linking" and select Off

Preventing Autolinking on the Course Site Level

This is the same as above, only you will select the filters on the course site homepage and not in the activity/resource. Once set at the course level, nothing in the course site will be autolinked. 


For more information about autolinking:



Keywords:link, autolink, prevent, preventing, preventing autolinking   Doc ID:71335
Owner:ATLAS-TLT .Group:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Created:2017-03-03 14:28 CDTUpdated:2018-07-12 14:40 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
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