Hyperlinks are the most fundamental feature of interactive documents. With InDesign you can make any text, graphics, or frames into links to pages or specific locations within a document, and to web pages and other destinations outside your document. This video shows how to create and manage hyperlinks in the Hyperlinks panel in InDesign.
- [Teacher] Hyperlinks might be the most fundamental feature of interactive documents. It's hard to imagine an interactive document that doesn't have at least a few hyperlinks in it. With InDesign, you can make any text, graphics, or frames into links to pages or specific locations within a document and to webpages or other destinations outside of your document. So let's take a look at InDesign's hyperlinks features. You create and manage hyperlinks in the Hyperlinks panel, which I can see and open right here.
So with text or an object selected, like if I click on this text frame, I can click the New Hyperlink button at the bottom of the panel to open the dialog box to make a new hyperlink. And here, I can choose what kind of link I want, the destination, I can apply a character style and set other attributes. So in the Link To menu at the top, I can select a URL, or a specific file, and in order for this kind of hyperlink to work, the person clicking on it would have to have access to that file on their local computer or network.
If you choose this, then the folder button appears here, where you can point to the file. You can also make a link that creates an email message. And the next three choices create links to content within documents. So you can link to a specific page, and here you'd pick a document, a page, and a zoom setting. You can also pick a text anchor, and again, you'd start by picking a document and then choose one of the text anchors in that document from this menu. And finally, you can pick a shared destination.
Shared destinations allow you to reuse hyperlink destinations that have been saved in this or other documents. Okay, so let's make some hyperlinks in our exercise file. I'll Cancel out of here. Here on the cover, I want to have hyperlinks that the reader can click to jump directly to the articles. And notice that each article title is in its own text frame. I wanna make each of these text frames into a hyperlink that'll take the readers to the articles. And to do that, first we need to create some hyperlink destinations.
These are the places where the reader will go when they click the hyperlink. So let's navigate to the beginning of the Sugar Boiling article, which is right here on page 3. From the Hyperlinks panel menu, I'll choose New Hyperlink Destination. I'll leave the type as Page, and I'll change the name to something more descriptive, like The Art of the Boil, and click OK.
Now I'll jump back to the cover, I'll select that text frame, and go back to my Hyperlinks panel, and click the button to create a new hyperlink. I'll choose Link To Shared Destination, I'll make sure I have this document selected, and here's the destination that we just created, The Art of the Boil. So I'll click OK. And now in the Hyperlinks panel, I can see the source and the destination of this hyperlink. So the source is what you click on, and the destination is where you go.
And you can actually use the Hyperlinks panel to test your hyperlinks. So if I click on the page number, I'll jump to the source, it gets centered in the window and selected, and if I click on the destination, that jumps me to the page where folks can read the article on The Art of the Boil. Now let's try a different way to make the other hyperlinks on the cover. So go to page 6 in the document, and select the text Top 10 Caramel Recipes. In the Hyperlinks panel, choose New Hyperlink Destination, and notice that the type is automatically set to Text Anchor and the text that we have selected is filled in here, so just click OK, let's go back to the cover, select this article title with the Selection tool, and make it into a hyperlink.
From the Link To menu, we'll choose Text Anchor, and since right now this is the only text anchor in the document, it's automatically selected for us. Let's click OK, and now we have that hyperlink, and you can see it's pointing to a text anchor. Now we'll repeat the process for the third title here, Pulling Taffy. So first, go to page 9, select Taffy Tips and make it a text anchor, so we'll go to New Hyperlink Destination, type this text anchor, click OK, jump back to the cover, and this time, let's try something a little different.
We use the Type tool and select the text in the text frame, then create the hyperlink. And I'm doing it this way because I wanna show you this setting here, Character Style. Notice how the character style Hyperlink was automatically applied to the text that we had selected. In this case, we don't want that. So let's just choose Same Style from this menu. This will leave whatever text formatting was in place before we added the hyperlink. Also note that this is a so-called sticky setting, so whatever you set the last time you used the dialog box sticks until you choose a different setting.
Click OK, and now we have our three hyperlinks on the cover. Now so far, all the hyperlinks we've created point to locations within this document. So it's time we made one that goes elsewhere, like to a page out on the web. So let's go to page 5, and zoom in on this first paragraph of text in the middle column. Here, I wanna hyperlink to the Wikipedia page on loaf sugar because that's kind of an unfamiliar term to most people.
If I switch over to my web browser, I have the Wikipedia page on loaf sugar loaded here. So I'll click and select the URL, copy it, go back to InDesign, click on the New Hyperlink button, I'll choose Link To URL, and for the URL, I'll paste in what I copied from my browser, I can deselect Shared Destination since I know I'm not gonna use this hyperlink anywhere else, and to indicate that there's a hyperlink here, I wanna add a character style.
In this document, I've created one called URL. I'll click OK, and now you can see the formatting for the hyperlink. In the Hyperlinks panel, I can see the source text, loaf sugar; the source page, page 5; and I can also see the destination URL up here. And I can tell by the green dot on the right side that the URL is a working hyperlink. Now by default, InDesign tests every hyperlink and reports the status in the panel with colored dots here.
If the URL was broken, I'd see a red dot. And if I had no internet connection and InDesign couldn't test the link, then I'd see a gray dot. And I can test this hyperlink or just jump over to the webpage if I wanna see it by clicking the green dot. I'll switch back to InDesign. And finally, I'll mention that while it is great that InDesign can check and report the status of URL hyperlinks, it can degrade InDesign's performance if you have a large number of them in your document. If you find that InDesign stalls when you're working in the Hyperlinks panel, then try going to the panel menu and deselecting this option, Auto Update URL Status.
You won't have a live display of the status of your URL hyperlinks anymore, but you'll save processing power for everything else. So as we've seen here, there are a few different ways to add hyperlinks to your documents. You can use text or frames to link to URLs, create email messages, and also navigate to specific parts of your document.
- Overview of interactive document types, including PDF and EPUB
- Creating interactive objects
- Setting up hyperlinks, cross-references, and a table of contents
- Working with media
- Publishing documents with Publish Online
- Creating EPUBs
- Following workflows for interactivity: interactive PDF, reflowable EPUB, and fixed-layout EPUB