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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Hyperlinks are essentially buttons. They're hot areas that you can click that take you somewhere. Maybe they take you to a web address or maybe they send an email or take you to a different place in your document. Now, you can apply a hyperlink to either text or an object in InDesign. Let me show you how. First I'm going to zoom-in on this orange frame and I'm going to add a hyperlink to this word, Moo! It seems like an easy one to add one to. To make a hyperlink, I need the Hyperlinks panel and I can find the Hyperlinks panel by choosing the Interactive workspace from either the application bar or Window > Workspace.
When I have the Interactive workspace open, it's easy to find the Hyperlink panel. It's right here. It looks like a little abc with a finger pointing at it. Now to make this into a hyperlink, I choose New Hyperlink from the Hyperlink panel menu. There are various kinds of hyperlinks I can make here, including a URL, file, email, a page link and so on but in this case, I'm just going to stick with the URL because I'm going to make this go to moo.com. Now InDesign gives me this cryptic checkbox, Shared Hyperlink Destination.
You want that turned on if you're going to be using this link a lot of times in your document. But in this case, the link only shows up once in my document so I'm going to turn it off. I want to encourage you to leave this checkbox off most of the time unless you're making a hyperlink that's going to be used over and over again in your document. Leave it turned off or else you're going to find yourself working with a bloated document and it's going to slow you down. Now InDesign gives me a couple of other options here including the option to apply a character style to whatever text is being selected here.
I like that so I've turned it on and I chose a character style out of this pop-up menu. I cover character styles in a later chapter but I'll tell you now that this character style that I've made is making the text italic and making a blue underline. That way it pops off the page to my viewer as a hyperlink, as something that I can click on. The last item here is Appearance and this is kind of a silly one in my opinion because there's really two options. There's Invisible and Visible Rectangle and if you choose Visible Rectangle, you'll get a really, really ugly visible rectangle around your hyperlinks and everyone will scratch their head and wonder why you chose this incredibly dorky looking rectangle.
So I do not recommend doing that. I always use Invisible Rectangle and that's what I recommend you do too. Okay, I'm going to click OK and you can see that I have applied a hyperlink here. It looks like a hyperlink because I've applied that character style but I can also see it's a hyperlink because down at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel, I can see it says Moo! That's the text that was selected so that's what it calls it here in the Hyperlinks panel. If I hover my cursor over it, I get a little tooltip that shows me what it's actually pointing to, that moo.com address.
You also will notice that there's a URL item here, there's a little field here that you can use to type in your own URL. For example, I can select the word California, come over here and type in, so I'll make sure that the http:// is there and then I'll just type http://california.gov. The problem with doing it this way, and I'll hit Return or Enter to make it turn into a hyperlink, but the problem with doing it this way is that I don't get the option to set a character style and I don't get the option to make it a shared hyperlink destination or not.
It always turns into a shared hyperlink destination. So because I don't like using that very much, I tend not to use this Hyperlink panel very much, but again, that's up to you. Now what should I do when I see a hyperlink like this where the URL is actually typed out in the document. Well, it turns out that those links are actually even easier to make. I'll deselect that and show you how. I'll go to the Hyperlinks panel and choose from the panel menu, Convert URLs to Hyperlinks.
Up comes this dialog box, which is kind of like a Find/Change dialog box actually. It lets me search my document or this one story, if I have a story selected. It lets me apply a hyperlink to all the URLs it finds. I'm going to tell it to apply the hyperlink style and then I can either choose Find and then convert one at a time or in this case I'm feeling kind of trusting so I'm just going to click Convert All. It found 7 instances of URLs in my document so I click OK and then Done and you can see that it made the hyperlinks for me.
Now, let's go ahead and make one more kind of hyperlink. I'll zoom back to fit the page in the window with Command+0 or Ctrl+0 on Windows, hit Escape to switch to the Selection tool, and I'm going to select this image, this graphic frame here with a lemon in it. As I said, I can apply hyperlinks both to text and also objects on my page. To do this, I apply a hyperlink to this object just the way I did it to text. I'll go to the Hyperlinks panel, choose New Hyperlink and then type in the URL, if I were going to go into a URL, right here.
In this case, I'm going to go to a page instead. I'm going to tell it to go to Page 8 of this document. If I had more than one document open here, it would give me a choice of which document I wanted to link to but in this case, I'm just going to Page 8 of this particular document. I'll click OK and it makes the link for me. Of course, if I later decide that I don't want that hyperlink anymore, I simply choose it in the Hyperlinks panel and click on the little trashcan in the lower right corner. It ask me if I want to remove the selected hyperlinks and yes, of course, I do.
If there's any chance your documents will be read on screen, you owe it to yourself and your readers to create hyperlinks that help them navigate your document or jump to other resources. In the next movie, we'll take a look at a second form of navigation, bookmarks.
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