WebTools: QR Codes/Short URLs

How to use WebTools to create Short URLs and associated QR Codes

WebTools is a great resource at the disposal of UIUC and here, we will be exploring how to use its Short URL feature to generate short URLs and matching, scannable QR codes.

These QR codes can be scanned with many smartphone cameras and quickly direct users to the web address linked to the QR code. Some phones do not recognize QR codes by default, but with the addition of QR reader applications, will work in a pinch. These QR codes are handy for event advertising, surveys, and more. The generated QR codes can be displayed digitally (i.e., on a television or monitor display) or printed and placed like fliers, posters, and/or notes.

You can also create Short URLs which can be used as placeholders for much longer web addresses. This not only looks cleaner, but it's better for accessibility.

Steps to create a QR code linking to an existing web address

  1. Go to WebTools in an internet browser and login using your NetID and password.

  2. Scroll to bottom of tools page, and click the Short URLs tile w/ the chain link logo.

  3. In the Short URLs page, you can browse and search URLs that have been created. With your own content, you can create and delete, organize with folders, assign access via groups and roles etc. We will focus on creating new Short URLs. Click the +Create button.


  4. Next, you will select the domain and administrator of the Short URL you are creating.

    1. Typically, we'll be working with the "go.ischool.illinois.edu" domain.

    2. You may use your own NetID or you may select a group. On the previous page you may recall the "Roles" button next to "+Create". This "Role" button will allow you to create any groups you like, provided you have individual NetIDs to enter.

  5. Select Create Short URL either at the top right or the bottom center of the page.

  6. Enter the name for the Short URL, which will be the actual Short URL hyperlink text.

  7. Enter the long URL being linked to.

    1. NOTE: The long URL tends to be a copy+pasted web address from a browser address bar, but there may be limitations as to what can be linked this way. For example, if you have logged into an account and are linking something from that page, people who do not have the same account access will not be able to access that content.

  8. Now, you may choose simply to make a Short URL by hitting Save in the top right. Be sure to copy the Short URL at the bottom of the page and testing it out on some web browsers.

  9. Additionally, the option to create a QR Code becomes available after you save the Quick Link. You may check the QR Code Generator box and then clickSave again.

  10. If you have checked the box and clicked Save, then you should see your new QR code at the very bottom of the page (you may have to scroll down). You can always come back to this QR code later but for now, save the image of the QR code and place it wherever you want people to see and use it. You can display it on monitors, smart phones, social media, and other digital displays or you can display it on printed materials such as brochures or signage. The QR code scales up and down pretty well.



KeywordsWebTools, QR Code, Short URL   Doc ID126710
OwnerAdam H.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-03-17 13:47:54Updated2024-01-09 18:51:59
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
CleanURLhttps://answers.illinois.edu/ischool/webtools-qr-codes-short-urls
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