I am using Esri's Operations Dashboard and trying to insert a hyperlink into the Feature Details widget. The problem appears to be the '&' symbol. When the hyperlink is clicked, the '&' sign disappears in the url and I receive an error message.

To account for the HTML I entered this:

enter image description here

Which became this:

enter image description here

And resulted in this:

enter image description here

And displayed this error message:

enter image description here

  • It is very difficult to read from your screenshot. Just to confirm you are using this & (&amp followed by a semi-colon) and not by a colon, correct?
    – GeoSharp
    Oct 8, 2015 at 15:48
  • Correct, I am using a semi-colon after the &amp
    – MapinTX
    Oct 8, 2015 at 15:53
  • 1
    Using HTML encoding on a URL isn't likely to work, but using URLencoding is.
    – Vince
    Oct 8, 2015 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


Okay, after much trial and error I have figured it out.

I had to use a combination of URL encoding and HTML encoding.

In the end, there were 3 symbols the software/browser/server was having trouble with: '&', '{', and '}'

For the '&', HTML encoding was needed.

For the '{', HTML or URL encoding was accepted.

For the '}', URL encoding was needed.

In order to get the hyperlink to work I had to delete everything and then go back and enter the new url into the system.

The end encoded result: http://www.mycompany.net/records/personal/details.asp?taxyear=2015&amp ;ppt=A&amp ;acct=%7Bacct%7D

I added the spaces between amp ; so this site would not automatically translate it to '&'. The actual encoded url does not contain those spaces.

And after all of that, I needed to submit the hyperlink, click ok for the widget, then go back into the edit mode again and once more click ok. If I only did the process once, then my hyperlinked field did not translate to the actual account. For some reason, going through the process twice jumpstarted the link and my {acct} was linked to the number.

Thank you to all who helped and Vince, Thomas B, user30184 and Mintx in particular for steering me in the correct direction.


You could use %26 instead of the &

Tool to encode for example http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/

If you can edit in plain html you could use this just for the href.

  • Yes, URLencoding is the way to go here
    – Vince
    Oct 8, 2015 at 16:45
  • Thanks; I didn't know that tool existed. Unfortunately it did not solve my problem. I entered in the encoded string and once clicked, the browser url was missing the '&'s which resulted in the error message displaying again.
    – MapinTX
    Oct 8, 2015 at 18:14
  • You may need to escape the '%' as '%%' or '\%', depending on how the data is processed
    – Vince
    Oct 8, 2015 at 18:18
  • But isn't & used here as a part of a http query string and therefore there should be no need to url-encode it?
    – user30184
    Oct 8, 2015 at 19:09
  • I have tried both %% and \% but neither worked. My '&' is still missing.
    – MapinTX
    Oct 8, 2015 at 19:21

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