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Adobe Acrobat's Link tool is one of my favorite tools in the program, and it's been with the program forever. It's just a simple little tool that lets you drag out a rectangle and turn whatever is underneath that rectangle into a link. So let me show you how that works. The Links tool is inside the Tools panel, believe it or not. Go down to Content, it's down here under Add or Edit Interactive Object, the Link tool. When you select it, you get a little crosshair and as I said, all you need to do is drag a rectangle around something that you want to be a link. It can be as little as a tiny little letter, it could be as large as an entire graphic, it could even be over a completely empty area, if you want to make a secret link for some reason.
But let's say that we wanted this little subhead or sidebar to turn into a link if somebody clicked it. I am just going to drag out a rectangle on top; you don't have to be perfect, because you can always come back and resize it. As soon as you release the mouse button, you get the Create Link dialog box. It wants to know about the Appearance of the link. It should have put a rectangle around it to let people know that it is a link. I usually prefer to leave it as an invisible rectangle and use the page design to convey that what this thing is, is a link, like a different color type or a sidebar hanging out with the drop shadow.
Then when somebody clicks on it, what should happen? Should the inside area of that square that you dragged out, should it Invert, should it get a brief outline, should nothing happen, let's just leave it at Invert for now. And then what happens when somebody clicks the link? This is the important part down here. Your choices are, Go to a page view; it means another page in the document. Open a file, another PDF or basically any file; Open a web page, which is essentially the same as creating a hyperlink, something that I covered in a different video; or creating a Custom link, and we'll talk about that too as well.
Let's try, Go to a page view. Select page view, and the idea being, when somebody clicks here, I want them to go to a detailed page later in this brochure that's all about the tour. So I'll say, Go to a page view, I click Next, and I'll get a little dialog box that says, Use any means necessary, scrollbars, mouse, zoom tools to select the target view and then press Set Link. It's very simple. So let's say that I came over here and it was actually the picture of the avocado that I want people to get to, so I'm going to zoom in, and so I get over there to the avocado here, that's the one I want, the link to bring people.
So I'll click Set Link, and to signify that the link has been set, I see this little blue rectangle surrounding it along with resize handles, if I want to resize the link. And then to test it, I'll switch to the Hand tool or the Selection tool, you know, the usual tools that somebody with Reader or Acrobat would be using to read this, hover over it, and I'll see that the cursor changes into a pointing finger. I click and bam, it jumps to the avocado. So that is called the Page View Link. And if you want to edit a link, what you do is you just either select the Link tool again, or you select the Select Object tool and then you'll see an outline appear around all the links in the page and you can just double-click it to edit it.
So if I want to change the action, Instead of going to Page 2 with this Custom Zoom level, I can do something different. But let's, actually instead of editing this, we'll make a new link. Let me zoom out and I'll use the Link tool, and this time we'll go around Taste of California, this header. Here you go. Dialog box opens, this time we'll choose Open a file, right? So we choose Open a file. It says, what is the file that you want to open? This file is inside the folder called hyperlinks, and I'm going to have it open this other PDF.
And so, it wants to know what happens when it opens, should the Window be set by the user preference, should it be in a New window or should it be added to the Existing window? In other words, should that PDF that I am opening replace this PDF, or should the user be prompted about what they want to do? So I'll just say, New window, click OK, and let's test that out. We switch to the Hand tool, click, and there, it opens up and it's in a new window, see there's my old document. As I said it could be an Excel file that opens up in Excel, it could be an image that opens up in Preview on the Mac or Picture and Fax Viewer on a PC, or Photoshop.
Of course, it depends that the user needs to have that program installed in order to open it. Let's try another kind of link. I'll grab the Link tool, this time I'll go on the little logo, for Taste of California. Let's Open up a web page. This is a very simple one; you click Next, what's the URL? So you just type in the URL. That is essentially the same as creating a hyperlink, by the way. In the hyperlink video I mentioned that you would select text, right-click and choose Set a Link, but in the end it set a link just like this. So if I wanted to set a link with the Link tool, instead of using the Text tool, I could just drag out a link around a URL, say Open a web page, and then the Custom link though is actually really cool.
Let's say, I want to do a custom link around the headline. I have the Link tool still selected, this time I'll say Custom link. Go to Next, and now in addition to the Appearance, I have this list of Actions, and Actions I'm going to talk about in a bit more detail in a video devoted to actions. But basically an action is something that you can have Acrobat do in response to clicking a bookmark, in response to clicking a page, opening a PDF or somebody clicking on a link. There are all sorts of really cool actions that can enliven your PDFs.
As you can see, you can Play a sound, you can Reset a form, you can set a bookmark to automatically search the document. So if you choose Execute a menu item, then Acrobat presents you with a list of all the menu items saying, which one do you want it to happen? So if I say, well, I wanted to go to the next page and click OK, and you see executed menu item Next Page. You can continue adding multiple actions to the same link if you wanted to. I am just going to leave it at that, say OK, and now let's check it out. We'll use our Hand tool, click on there, and it jumps to the next page.
So using the Link tool is one of the most flexible ways, and easy ways, to add interactivity and interest to your PDFs.
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