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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
So it's a normal day here in Anne-Marie land, I am working on a project for a client. They have sent me their Word file which I have on my Desktop. So I will go to File > Place and grab it and I will turn on Show Import Options because I want to make sure that I want to bring in the styles, because this was written by somebody that I trust and they know how to do styles right. So I click and place it and aah! What is this horrible blue stuff? When I zoom in, I can see that these are actually links.
I get this request from people all the time. How can I prevent InDesign from importing all of these links in Word files? And that's from the people who know what they're doing. People who are new to InDesign are like, why is some of my text blue? And that's because when you bring in a Word file with styles, it also brings in any of the hyperlinks. And Word, by default, will convert any kind of URL that you enter into a hyperlink on the fly, same thing for email address, it's a feature, not a bug, and very few Word users know how to turn that off.
I will show you how to turn that off, so you can tell your Word using colleagues in a little bit. But first, let's say that you've already placed it into InDesign. How do you quickly get rid of these hyperlinks? There are actually two things you need to do. You need to get rid of the hyperlink and then you need to get rid of the styling because whenever Word automatically creates a hyperlink, it also creates a character style for that hyperlink. So if I click inside here, now the Word list, don't worry about that. It's just a hyperlink cell that we need to get rid of. The Word list is actually this bulleted list down here.
But getting rid of the style is not going to help until we actually get rid of the link. So let's do that. All hyperlinks are listed in the Hyperlinks panel in InDesign. Go to the Window menu, down to Interactive, and choose Hyperlinks. If you click on a hyperlink, it will become highlighted in the Hyperlinks panel. See that's the Mail To link. Here's one that the savvy Word user actually selected text and turn into a hyperlink. So they did this on purpose. By clicking it, you can see that they are linking to a blog post.
They don't come in as named hyperlinks, ones coming in from Word all just come in with the name Hyperlink or Hyperlink 1, 2, 3 and so on. So if you've already created your own hyperlinks, in the document, those will be listed along with this and you should be able to easily tell the Word ones from your own because the Word ones have this generic name. To get rid of a hyperlink, just select it and then press the Delete key. All it does is it gets rid of the hyperlinkedness, it doesn't really get rid of the text. So I click Yes and it's no longer a hyperlink. In fact, let's click here mrankin, his email address, delete the hyperlink and now it's no longer a hyperlink, nothing gets highlighted but the formatting remains, that character style that I showed you.
We will get rid of that in a minute. If you know that all these hyperlinks are from Word, you can Shift+Click all of them, here just the two that are left, and get rid of them all at once. So now the hyperlinks are gone, now we need to get rid of that character style. So just find the character style called Hyperlink, choose Delete Style, and then replace it with None. You don't want to retain that formatting. So we will turn off Preserve Formatting. There you go! There's one little surprise that the hyperlinks left for you that you should probably delete as well.
If you go to the Swatches panel, you will see at the very bottom it brought in this Word RGB blue color, which is what it used in that character style definition. So you might want to select that and delete that swatch as well, so you don't use it by accident. Now let's jump over to Microsoft Word where I have this document open. Now I am using the Mac version of Word, but this will work in Mac or PC versions. Now before I get rid of the hyperlinks though, I want to show you how they came to be. So if I just click here in the text and I start typing a URL like lynda.com, as soon as I type a space, it turns into a hyperlink, and you can see it when I hover over there.
So it is a feature not a bug, so don't blame your Word using colleagues too much, because it's really hard to turn off and a lot of people don't even realize it can be turned off. But if you go to the Tools menu, down to AutoCorrect and this also available in Preferences, in both Mac and PC, it's under the Tools menu. Go to AutoCorrect, and in AutoFormat as You Type, you want to turn off replace as you type Internet and network paths with hyperlinks, and then click OK and now I can type lynda.com, http://lynda.com, space, and it just stays as regular text.
So turning off that Tools preference, that AutoCorrect as You Type doesn't fix existing hyperlinks, but from now on, it fixes them. And you can make that change as an application default in Word as well so that they are not constantly creating hyperlinks when they don't really want them there. You can still swipe over an existing URL, right-click, and add a hyperlink if you wanted to, just entering the URL right up here, but it won't do it automatically. And then to quickly get rid of all the hyperlinks in a Word file before you even bring it into InDesign, this is what I usually do, just go to the Edit menu, choose Select All and then press Command+6 on the Macintosh or Ctrl+6 on a PC.
Boom! Clears out all the hyperlink stuff, let's save this, and in a new document, I will place that same file, same settings, and there's no horrible blueness. So that's how you clear up hyperlinks that come from Microsoft Word files, both from within InDesign and in Word before that ever sees the light of day in InDesign.
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