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Hyperlinks are one of the most fundamental features of interactive documents. You can use them to jump to specific pages or places within the document or to web pages or other destinations outside your document. It's hard to imagine an interactive document without at least a few hyperlinks in it, so let's see how they work. At the bottom of my content pages, I have this information down here on the left-hand side, and I'd like to make that a clickable hyperlink that goes to the Roux Academy web site. So I will double-click on N-Nav master to go to that master page and then I can select this little group of items here.
I will go to my Hyperlinks panel and in the URL field, I will click and I'll type in the address, rouxacademy.com, and hit Enter or Return. And you can see there is one little drawback to this method: that I didn't get a chance to name the hyperlink; it's just called this generic Hyperlink. Although if I do mouse over it, I can see the address. To test this hyperlink, I can go down to the bottom of the panel and click on Go to destination and it opens the Roux Academy web site in my browser.
I also want to make a hyperlink on the last page of the document, so I will navigate there. And in this case, I would like this text right at the bottom, www.rouxacademy.com, to be a hyperlink. So I will select that text, I will go back to the Hyperlinks Panel menu, and choose New Hyperlink from URL. And this time it named it according to the text that I had selected. I can preview this in the SWF Preview panel. I will press Command+Shift+Return or Ctrl+Shift+Enter on the PC and click on that text.
And again, it opens in my web browser. I will close the SWF Preview panel, go back to my Hyperlinks panel, and I will actually trash this hyperlink because I want to show another method for making it. I will click in a text frame and in the Hyperlinks Panel menu, I will choose Convert URLs to Hyperlinks. Now here I have a dialog box that's somewhat like InDesign's Find/Change dialog box. I can tell InDesign to search for whatever it thinks is a hyperlink throughout the document and create it. So first of all, I can set the Scope. I can search either the entire document or the current story.
If I had a selection of text, I could also search that. For this, I will choose Story. I can also apply a character style to the hyperlink, and for now I'll just choose Find. And you can see that it went down and found what it thinks is a hyperlink. I will click on Convert and Done, and again you can see that it didn't give it a descriptive name, but I can still mouse over it to see that it worked. Another thing to be aware of when you use this method is that this isn't particularly intelligent.
It doesn't distinguish between a real, valid URL and any range of text containing a period and no spaces. So if click off and show my pasteboard, I can see over here I just have picture.jpg. Let's use the same feature, Convert URLs to Hyperlinks, search the story, Find, and you can see InDesign highlighted this text, and we will say Convert. And sure enough, it tried to make a hyperlink to a URL called picture.jpg, which of course isn't really a valid URL.
This could cause you particular problems if you had selected to apply a character style to every URL that was found. So as we have seen here, there a lot of ways to add hyperlinks to your interactive documents. Some methods are quick and easy but don't give you very descriptive names for keeping your hyperlinks organized. Other methods take a little more time but keep things tidy. So experiment with the different ways and see which best fits your workflow.
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