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AutoCAD drawings can serve a larger purpose than just being a standalone file on the network. An AutoCAD drawing can also be a vehicle that can take you to other project-related content. It does this through the use of hyperlinks. In this lesson we'll learn how to incorporate hyperlinks into a drawing. On my screen I have a drawing that represents a conceptual design for a child's pedal car. Let's take a look at the layout that's been set up for this drawing. This is a standard four-view drawing inside a company title block. Now most title blocks include a company logo. Wouldn't it be nice if we could turn that logo into a hyperlink that points back to the company web site? This way no matter where your drawing may go, anyone that uses it has direct access to your company. We can do this through the use of a hyperlink.
As an example, I'm going to add a hyperlink to this block that points to the lynda.com web site. I'll start by opening the Insert tab and then I'll move down and click the Hyperlink button. Note we can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+K. I'll then select the object I'd like to assign the hyperlink to and I'll press Enter. For the text to display, I'll type Visit lynda.com and then for the web page I'll type www.lynda.com, and I'll click OK.
Now whenever a cursor moves over this entity, the user will see this globe icon. If I hover over the entity I can see the display text and if I Ctrl+Click on this entity I can visit the website. Let's return to AutoCAD. Another way you can activate a hyperlink is by selecting the object and then right-click and down here under Hyperlink I can visit the web site. As long as we're here, notice that we can also use this menu to edit a hyperlink. If I select this option I can edit my display text, my URL, or I can remove the hyperlink, and you know what, notice that we can also use hyperlinks for more than just websites. We can also link to an external file. Let's try that.
I'm going to close this, then I'll do a zoom extents and over here to the right I have an icon that represents a camera. I would like to add a hyperlink to this object that will display a rendered image of the pedal car design. So I'll start by pressing Ctrl+K to launch the Hyperlink command. I'll select this object and I'll press Enter. For my display text I'll type View a rendered image. I will then click the File button, and I'm going to navigate into the Exercise Files folder. We'll take a look inside chapter_08, and I'll select this file called pedalcar.jpg. Let's click OK.
Now that the hyperlink has been added, let's test it. I will Ctrl+Click on this object to bring up the image. You can use the same workflow to link your drawing to any project-related files on your system. Try using a hyperlink to access a Microsoft Word file or an Excel spreadsheet or even a PowerPoint presentation. If you'd like even more ideas about how you can use hyperlinks in your drawings, watch the Hyperlink command and then press F1 to access context-sensitive help. There you will find a list of all of the possible hyperlink destinations.
From now on when you look at an AutoCAD drawing, look beyond the construction document appearance, and think about that drawing as being a gateway. Using AutoCAD's Hyperlink tool, your drawings can literally take you anywhere you want to go.
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