How do I create links from the middle of 1 PDF to another?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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I have a collection of FrameMaker books that are delivered as PDfs, all installed locally in the same directory.

I want to add hyperlinks/x-refs that enable users jump from, say, page 10 of docs\Document1.pdf to page 5 of docs\Document2.pdf (i.e. deep linking - making a hyperlink open another PDF at page 1 is easy and  works fine). 

I've been trying out various combinations of x-ref links to to paragraphs and cross-reference markers in the target document, but although the link in the resultant PDF can be clicked, it doesn't go anywhere. The links do

work OK when I have the source and target docs open as FrameMaker docs, but not when saved as PDFs.


Can anybody tell me the correct way of adding x-refs/hyperlinks in Frame 10 so that I can link from the middle of one pdf to the middle of another pdf in the same directory?


I'm runnng:
FM10
Acrobat Distiller + X Pro
Windows 7


Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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  1. The target files all have to be at either directory-relative or fully qualifed URL locations. If you use root reference ("/dir/dir/..." on Unix-like systems, or drive reference "C:\dir\dir\..." on DOS-like systems), the links are going to fail whenever used by anyone not an identical file system configuration.
  2. You need to enable and use Named Destinations, and understand how FM tinkers with them.
    See: http://www.microtype.com/ImprovePDF12.html
    and search this forum with terms like:
    pdf deep linking
    named destinations

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LEGEND ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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There are basically two aspects to this.

First, as Error indicates, you do standard FM linking using either cross-refs or by creating named destinations & goto hypertext links to those between the FM files in the books.

The second, critical, aspect of this is that you need to have all of the linked .book files open (you don't necessarilly need to have all of the .fm files open) when creating the PDFs. FrameMaker will properly handle the cross-book links.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2013 Apr 11, 2013

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Arnis: I did try to open 2 books + all of their fm files in FM10, and then I put a newlink in the target fm file like this:

Link in an fm file in the source book

gotolink target.fm:nameddestination1

newlink in an fm file in the target book

newlink nameddestination1

And this didn't work, even though all book files were open when I saved the books to pdf. I'm going to have a go a making a named destination in the target fm next.

I need to solve this problem because I need to remove a lot of theory information in a reference book (that's got way too big), and deep link to a new theory book. I wish Adobe had made this simple!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2013 Apr 11, 2013

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Has anyone here had positive results with the timesavers tool (which stops adobe changing the target address when a PDF is generated apparantly, so that hard coded links work).

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Community Expert ,
Apr 11, 2013 Apr 11, 2013

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Shlomo would claim, yes, due to the large number of people using TS.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 11, 2013 Apr 11, 2013

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Paul,

Did you first test the link in FM (hold down the ctrl + alt keys and click the link)? If that doesn't work properly, then it's not going to work in the PDF either.

If that works, did you check the actual link properties in the PDF file with the Acrobat link tool? Is the link going to where you think it should (check the path)? The links are generated based upon the relative path locations to the book files. If they are in separate folders when you create the PDFs and then you consolidate the PDFs into the same folder later, the links will fail. You have to do a bit of planning first on how cross-file links are setup.

I heartily endorse the TimeSavers tool from Shlomo and have been using it since the last century...

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 12, 2013 Apr 12, 2013

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Arnis

I do store each book+fm files in their own folder, but save all the books as PDF to a common /docs folder. So I wouldn't expect the ctrl+alt link test to work when I have the fm files open (the target is in another folder) . 

I have just checked the link in the pdf and it does have the full path, e.g.

H:\Latest_docs_help\PDF Source\productname\ReferenceGuide\productname.pdf

Destination name: M8.newlink.nameddestination1

They will all be delivered in a common \docs directory, so I guess they should be something generic? Like in source.pdf a link to:

docs\productname.pdf 

Destination name: M8.newlink.nameddestination1  (with nameddestination1 being in productname.pdf)

Really, what I want is:

1. a procedure to manually add a fixed target in the target PDF (from the fm file)

2. a procedure to manually add a link to that target from another PDF (from the fm file)

(I have emailed Shlomo with a view to buying the Timesavers tool btw)

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LEGEND ,
Apr 12, 2013 Apr 12, 2013

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If you're going to be delivering all of the PDFs in a common folder, then you need to have the FM books (but not the necessarily the FM files) in the same common folder as well before you create your PDFs. Simply specifying a different output folder doesn't re-align the internal links amongst the FM files. The links are built relative to the book files, not the output PDF file locations. So if you move or consolidate things later, you can break the links.

[Caution: physically moving the book files at the system level will also cause problems - you're changing the relative paths, especially for generated files such as TOC, IX. You're better off to recreate the book files in the correct location.]

As I said before, if the ctrl+alt test in FM doesn't work, then the link won't work in the PDF either.

Also keep in mind, if the links cross the root of a drive, then FM will make them absolute, rather than relative links. This really impacts cross-file links and where you place the PDFs.

If you follow the proper procedures, then FM provides the linkages that you need.

If you are getting TimeSavers from Shlomo, please ask him for some details about how to properly set up cross-linked books.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2013 Apr 15, 2013

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Thanks Arnis; I didn't know that the book files should be in the same folder as the PDFs for the links to work. I'll experiment with the location of our book files, and consult Shlomo. One way or the other I'll figure out the best workflow/procedures for our particular needs, as we do need to get deep links working reliably.

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