How to Control the Target Behavior of Links in Flow

How to Control the Target Behavior of Links in Flow

Using Salesforce Flow, you can perform countless tasks. Sometimes, you might want to create a link to a record in the flow. For example, in a screen flow, you can show a link to a record so users can navigate to it by clicking the link. In some cases, you might want to display other types of links. For instance, a link of a website or a specific page in Salesforce. After creating the link, it is possible to add a display text component to a screen and display the link that you created. To do so, highlight the text that you want to turn into a link and enter the resource that you created. When the users click on it, their browser will open the destination link in a new tab. What if you want to open it in the same tab? There is no parameter to control the target behavior of hyperlinks. However, there is a way to achieve this.

Read this post to learn how to create a dynamic record link in flow.

Create a Record Link Using the Api Global Variable

Api global variable stores the Enterprise Server URL and Partner Server URL values.

Api global variable

There are multiple Enterprise Server URL and Partner Server URL options in this global variable. However, they all start with the url of the environment. Therefore, you can use any of them in order to create the record link.

Create a formula resource and add one of the Api global variables. Next, use some functions to get rid of the unnecessary part. Finally, add the variable that stores the record's Id to the end of the formula.

Record link formula

Here is the formula used in RecordLink_Formula resource:

LEFT({!$Api.Partner_Server_URL_550}, FIND( '/services', {!$Api.Partner_Server_URL_550})) & {!recordId}

At the end of this step, you have a text that shows the record link. If you use it like this, the browser will open the link in a new tab. As you can see, there is no parameter or configuration to control the target behavior.

Record link formula

Text Template Resource and HTML

Text template resource has 2 modes: Plain Text and Rich Text. If you create a text template in rich text mode, it is still possible to switch to plain text. When you switch to plain text, you don't lose all the formatting that you did. You simply see them as HTML tags. Then if you switch back to rich text, you will see the formatting that you did before. It is because plain text supports HTML tags. Therefore, it means that you can directly build a text template using HTML tags in plain text mode.

If you are familiar with HTML, you can use the <a> tag with the href attribute to create a hyperlink. The href attribute is used to specify the destination of the link. The text or image contained between the opening and closing <a> tags is what will be displayed as the clickable link. In addition to the href attribute, there are a few other attributes that you can use when creating a hyperlink in HTML. One of the available attributes is target. It specifies where to open the link and it is exactly what you need to control the target behavior of the links.

Create a Text Template to Control the Target Behavior

1- Create a new text template resource and add this HTML code in Plain Text mode.

<a href="{!RecordLink_Formula}" target="_self">Click here</a>
HTML to control the target behavior

If you want to create the hyperlink for a specific page, replace the {!RecordLink_Formula} with the link that you want. For instance, here is an HTML code to open Salesforce Time.

<a href="" target="_self">Click here</a>

2- Add a display text component to the screen element. Instead of adding a link to a text, simply add the text template that you created in the previous step.

Text template to control the target behavior

At the end, the message will look like this and it will open the link in the same tab.

End of the flow

It is important to note that the text template itself is already clickable. Therefore, you shouldn't add an additional hyperlink from the display text component.

It is possible to apply a different behavior by providing a different target value. Here are the available target attribute values.

_blankOpens the linked document in a new window or tab.
_selfOpens the linked document in the same frame as it was clicked.
_parentOpens the linked document in the parent frame.
_topOpens the linked document in the full body of the window.
framenameOpens the linked document in the named iframe.


  1. This didn't work for me. I followed your instructions and when I clicked the flow button it didn't do a hyperlink, it showed the entire text template w/ formula. I must have done something wrong
    Click here
    The URL formula was correct.

    • Well clearly it should have worked because it turned it into a hyperlink in my comment when I copied and pasted. So maybe I am just missing a step for it to do it in flow.

  2. I figured out my issue! I had it as the default, Rich Text. Followed your instructions to put it in Plain Text and it worked like a charm. Thank you!

      • Actually, I am just now remembering that we used to do this process by just putting retURL in the button that triggers the flow. It does the same thing and wouldn't refresh the page. Do you know how your solution could refresh the page? I just tested it and it does not refresh.

        • This is about controlling the target behavior, I am not sure if it refreshes the record. There are some custom actions that you can install from UnofficialSF. It is possible to use a custom action to refresh the page.

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