Create a custom unfurl action for your integration

Link unfurling refers to the automatic previewing of website links shared in online platforms—Like chat applications, social media platforms, or messaging services.

When you paste or share a link in a supported platform, the platform will automatically retrieve information from the linked web page and display a preview of that content.

When making an integration in GitBook, you're able to tap into this action, and display or embed content-rich blocks and previews.

Unfurling in GitBook already works

Before you dive in and create an integration for your platform, embedding your service might already be supported in GitBook.

Underneath the hood, GitBook uses the service iFramely to unpack and unfurl links pasted in the editor.

If the iFramely service doesn't support the unfurling your link out of the box, it defaults to displaying the link as text instead.

If the link you're trying to unfurl doesn't work out of the box, or if you'd like to create an official integration for GitBook, continue reading!

Create integration

Creating an integration in GitBook allows you to add extra functionality to the way you're working. You can connect tools, build workflows, and further customize GitBook pages you create.

To build your first integration, head to our Getting Started Guide!

After you have the boilerplate set up, we can take a look at an example code block for unfurling a link.


import {
} from '@gitbook/runtime';

const UnfurlExample = createComponent<{
    url?: string;
    componentId: 'unfurl-example',

    async action(element, action) {
        switch (action.action) {
            case '@link.unfurl': {
                // The pasted URL
                const { url } = action;

                return {
                    props: {

        return element;

    async render(element, context) {
        const { url } = element.props;

        return (
                        url: url

export default createIntegration({
    components: [UnfurlExample],

After pasting in the code above, don't forget to configure the link unfurl action in your Integration's manifest file. See the Link Unfurling section for more info.

How it works

Let's have a look at the workflow for a user when they use the unfurl example above. After the integration is installed, the flow is as follows:

  1. User finds and launches your integration

  2. A modal appears and prompts to paste a link

  3. After pasting a link, the @link.unfurl action runs, and returns props to the component

  4. The component is rendered with the props we passed to it in step 3 (In our case, we render a webframe)

Because we're tapping into the @link.unfurl action before the component is rendered, we can add additional logic to get more information about the link before rendering it on the page. Depending on your intended use-case, you might want to obtain information from the url such as an id, URLSearchParams, or something else.

In the example above, the render method is rendering the pasted link in a webframe, creating an embedded link on the page.

To power your integration even more, you can also use GitBook utilities, like dynamically binding your webframe to other components, or posting messages to the GitBook page as a whole.

Additionally, in the render method you can control what to display—Like when data isn't found or a link might be private.


After you're done working on your integration, don't forget to publish! Publishing your integration as unlisted or public will allow others to use it outside of your organization.

If you're interested in submitting your integration to our Marketplace, head to our Marketplace Overview to learn more.

Wrapping up

GitBook allows you to extend the way you work by offering a flexible way of enhancing it's native workflows. On top of working with the workflows and actions mentioned in this guide, GitBook's Integration Platform provides a set of tools that give you even more control over your content.

From our REST API to creating custom blocks in GitBook, you're able to integrate many of the tools you already know and love directly into the sites you're working on.

Make sure you head to GitBook Integrations to learn more.

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