"Computers are my best friends. When I help people find each other without knowing they used a computer, my best friends and I revel in our little secret!"    -Langel




Putting Hyperlinks in a PDF Document with Adobe inDesign

Monday, August 10th 2009 11:31pm

For the most part Adobe software can be intuitive. Most of the common features are easy to find, but this particular feature eluded me. Here I'll share with you the steps needed to include links in your exported PDF documents with inDesign.

Step 1 - Open the Hyperlinks Panel

From the menu select Window > Interactive > Hyperlinks and the Hyperlink control window will appear.

Step 2 - Create a URL Destination

Before simply selecting your link's text and creating a new hyperlink, you must create the destination in a separate panel. To find the 'New Hyperlink Destination' window open the menu in the Hyperlinks window (down arrow underneath minimize/close icons) as pictured below.

The New Hyperlink Destination window appears. Set Type to URL, give it a proper name so you can recognize it later, input the destination URL (including http://, mailto:, or whatever protocol you desire), and then click OK.

Step 3 - Create the Hyperlink

Highlight the text you want to make into a link. Then click on the 'new item' icon in the Hyperlinks window.

The New Hyperlink window appears. By default, inDesign names your hyperlink with the text you selected. You don't need to change the Document field, make sure Type is set to URL, and select the Hyperlink Destination you made in Step 2 in the Name field. The address should then appear in the URL field. Click OK and your link will be ready for PDF export.

If you use your Hyperlink Destination multiple times in your document you must create a separate New Hyperlink for each instance, repeating Step 3. If you wish to include other links with different addresses repeat Step 2, creating New Hyperlink Destinations for each. The whole process is a bit counter-intuitive but easy enough once you understand the process.

An Alternate Method

According to, there is another simpler method that can work as well. Instead of going through the steps I described above, you can simply highlight a URL, underline it and change it's color. Upon export the URL address will come alive as a hyperlink. But since Jorge is not certain if it is inDesign or Adobe Acrobat translating the stylized URL I would recommend following the proper method to create hyperlinks. Other PDF viewers and converters might not make the link active.

I hope this article is useful to someone. I spent a lot of time scratching my head in confusion over this, even with other articles I found on the subject.

posted by Langel

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