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InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting and editing hyperlink destinations


InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs

with David Blatner

Video: Setting and editing hyperlink destinations

In the last movie I introduced you to Over here at the top, there's a destination pop up

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InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs
2h 22m Intermediate Jul 23, 2013 Updated Jan 17, 2014

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While PDFs can be used for printing, they also have interactive features that make them great for forms, brochures, and prototypes. In this course, InDesign insider David Blatner tells you what interactive PDFs are, why they're so useful, and how to make them yourself with Adobe InDesign and Acrobat. Learn to make hyperlinks to websites, other pages in your document, and email; add buttons that navigate, show, and hide content; create a form with check boxes and text entry fields; and embed audio and video. Plus, discover how to add polish with calculations, page transitions, and more.

Topics include:
  • Creating a new interactive document
  • Linking to URLs and mail addresses
  • Creating bookmarks
  • Adding buttons with rollover states
  • Adding text, list, and submit fields to forms
  • Embedding audio and video
  • Adding page transitions
  • Best practices for exporting high-quality interactive PDF files
Design Digital Publishing PDF
David Blatner

Setting and editing hyperlink destinations

In the last movie I introduced you to the idea of creating a text anchor destination. A text anchor is a type of shared destination and they're really helpful. But there are two kinds of other hyperlink destinations as well, URL and page destinations. For example, I have my interactive catalog open from the exercise files folder and I'm going to select this group on the first page. Then I'll open my hyperlinks panel and you'll notice that a hyperlink was selected automatically for me. That's because this hyperlink is assigned to this group. Remember, groups act as single objects in InDesign so that you can assign a hyperlink to an entire group of objects.

Now I can see up here at the top of the hyperlinks panel that this is pointing to and it's inside this group of hyperlinks down here. That group is called Main Roux website, and the fact that it's inside this group means that these are all pointing to the same place, the same URL, and that this group Main Roux website is a shared destination. So, let me show you how I made that shared destination hyperlink. Here in the hyperlinks panel menu I'm going to choose New Hyperlink Destination.

In the last movie, I talked about how you could use this dialog box to make a text anchor. But because my text cursor is not currently inside of a text frame, I can't make text anchors now. It will, however, let me make a shared page destination or a shared URL destination. In this case, I'm going to use URL and I'll type my web address here, And I can give it a name. This is important, give it a name that you're going to recognize. When I click OK, it doesn't look like anything's changed, but InDesign saved the shared hyperlink destination inside my document.

And it's just waiting for me to use it. I can find that shared destination that I made right here inside the URL pop-up menu. This shows me all the URL shared destinations. So, there is the LDC shared desitnation that I just created. And if I click on it, you'll see that the URL field updates to show me where this group is going to be linking to. You can see also that this hyperlink has moved outside this group that it was in. Now another way to set the shared hyperlink destination is by double clicking on it to open the edit hyperlink dialog box. If I wanted to make sure that it was pointing to the shared destination I just made, I could choose Share Destination from the Link To popup menu here.

Then I could choose from my various shared destinations from the Name popup menu. So this is important. There's the name of the shared destination, which is in this case is LDC. There's the name of the hyperlink, which is associated with this particular group of objects, which is RAAMD. And there's the destination, this URL, that the shared destination is pointing to. Those are three different things. In this case, I'm going to go back to the shared destination of the main Roux website. Then I'll click OK. Now here's where the power of shared destination hyperlinks comes in.

What happens if I want to edit that URL? What if I want it to go to a different website? Well, you know it's easy to edit this one link. But what if I wanted to edit all of the hyperlinks that point to the same place? All of them that point to the main Roux website. You might expect you could double click on that. But you can't. Instead what you do is you go to the hyperlinks panel menu and you choose, Hyperlink Destination Options. Over here at the top, there's a destination pop up menu that shows me all the different destinations that we've created. Contents is a page destination that I created earlier. LDC is the one that I just created.

In this case, we want to edit the main Roux website destination. So, to edit it I simply select it from the popup menu, and then I can change the name or the URL. I am going to change this to I could also delete a hyperlink destination that I don't need any more simply by clicking Delete. Or some times I find that after working on a document for a long time there will be a whole bunch of shared destinations that I am not using any more. So, you can clean them all up by clicking the delete, unused button. That's really helpful. I don't need to do that right now, so I'm just going to click OK.

And immediately, I can see that it's been updated for this object. This hyperlink is now pointing to And in fact, it's updated for all the hyperlinks throughout the document that pointed to that shared destination. That is a lot faster, a lot easier than having to go through and find out which hyperlinks went to that URL and editing them one at a time. That's it. If this whole hyperlink destination thing seems confusing to you, it is only because it is to everyone, but once you muddle through it a few times, it starts to make sense.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs.

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Q: I am trying to turn objects in a layered InDesign document into buttons, following the lessons in Chapter 3, but they don't show up when I export to PDF. What's wrong?
A: This is a known issue with InDesign, stacked layers, and buttons. The final stacking order in your PDF is actually determined by the order the buttons are created, not the stacking order of the layers in your document. David Blatner has researched and proposed a solution to this issue on his InDesign Secrets blog. Read more about it here.
Q: This course was updated on 01/17/2014. What changed?
A: The author updated three movies in the "Links and Bookmarks" chapter, since the behavior of hyperlinks has recently changed in InDesign CC.
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