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Links to URLS

In online documents, you can refer readers to another location in the same document, another document, or a Web page URL. Incorporating URL links directly in FrameMaker documents makes less work for you after documents are converted to PDF files.

The first step of creating a hypertext link in text is deciding on a clickable text area. A clickable text area can be a word or a series of words. Making the clickable text visually different from other text helps users to clearly identify hyperlinks in text and tells FrameMaker (and Acrobat) exactly what text string contains the hypertext command. This also tells FrameMaker and Acrobat what area to highlight after the link is activated. If you do not identify text that includes a hypertext command, the entire paragraph is activated as a link.

With that in mind, creating links to URLs is a two-step process. First, I show you how to make text visually different, and then I take you inside hypertext command central to create the link.

Identify Hypertext Linked Text

You can easily identify hypertext areas using Character Formats in FrameMaker. It's a good idea to create a new Character Format that you can assign to hypertext links in text. Be consistent with colors and styles. For instance, although hypertext links in 12 different colors may make for a colorful online presentation, this method may be confusing for a user. Try to stick with one color and style, such as blue and underline.

After you have a Character Format you like, just select the text you plan to use as a hypertext link, and apply the Character Format to selected text.

Now you are ready to insert a hypertext command.

NOTE

If you forget to apply a Character Format before you insert the hypertext link, you can always apply the Character format to text afterward.

Create a Hypertext Command

In this exercise, I take you inside Hypertext command central, and show how to include a URL link.

  1. Click one time within a text area in which you want to insert hypertext.

  2. Select Special, Hypertext.

    The Hypertext window is displayed.

  3. Select Go to URL from the Command pull-down menu.

    "message URL" is inserted in the Syntax field.

  4. Type the URL you want to use as the link destination.

    For example, if you want to link to www.informit.com, the syntax looks like this: "message URL http://www.informit.com."

  5. Check Validate Command Upon Insertion to troubleshoot errors on the spot.

  6. Click Edit Hypertext Marker to insert the hypertext command.

    The Hypertext window remains open.

If you want to spot-test the new hypertext command, click the Make View-Only button in the Hypertext Window. This command is the same as if you used Esc Flk to toggle between View-Only and Editable.

When you have finished, click Make Editable in the Hypertext Window to switch back to an editable FrameMaker document.

After you convert the FrameMaker file to Acrobat PDF, voila! the hypertext link works. To find out how to edit the hypertext link once in Acrobat, see "Edit Hypertext Links in Acrobat 5" later in this article.

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