Email hyperlinks created in InDesign do not work in PDF

Enthusiast ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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I am using the most current version of InDesign and Acrobat on Windows 10.

 

To create an email hyperlink in InDesign I choose URL and type mailto: in front of the email address with no spaces. I am not using Shared Hyperlink Destination.

 

When I export to PDF the email links don't work correctly. Instead of opening the email application, they try to open a web page.

 

In InDesign, even though I specify URL and put mailto: in front of the email address when I re-open the Hyperlinks panel and choose Edit Hyperlink, the link has changed back to Email and the mailto text has disappeared. I have not made this change -- InDesign is doing it automatically behind my back.

 

How can I create an email hyperlink in InDesign that actually works in the exported PDF?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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Hi @jay fresno,

I tried this on CC2021(MAC) and it worked for me. Did you check what hyperlink is shown in the pdf when you hover the cursor over the text in the pdf, is it correct?

-Manan

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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The hyperlink is correct in the PDF when I hover the cursor over it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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You write that you choosed URL. Did you try to change URL to E-Mail?

Screenshot 2022-07-25 at 06.52.07.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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Hi @Willi Adelberger,

Using Email causes issues as mentioned in the article below. I have not tried if this has been fixed in the latest versions on InDesign though.

https://creativepro.com/a-fix-for-indesigns-email-hyperlink-problem/

-Manan 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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You did not write that you use email, you wrote that you used mailto:

That is not the same.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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I just tested what the OP wrote to the best of my knowledge. Though, could you elaborate on what do you mean by "there is a difference between mailto and email?"

-Manan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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mailto: is written into the link field and is here wrong.

Email is a function, when you select any text, go to the Hyperlink Panel Menu > New Hyperlink. I have added a screenshot above.

There you see a pull down menu, select email.

That is the way to go.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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I have tried both URL with mailto: in front of the email address and also tried choosing Email and entering the email address without typing mailto: in front of it. 

Neither method works. If I use URL and mailto: in front of the email address, Acrobat tries to open a web page. If I use Email and don't type mailto: in front of the email address, nothing happens when the link is clicked.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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How is this to be used? Seriously, mailto links are an awful way to do anything to send emails. Where is this PDF going to reside? How will it be distributed?

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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The PDF will be posted on the web. There are several emails listed so that people can click them and send email for more information.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Well then, I would highly advise against this. What if the user doesn't have an email app? Do the recipient enjoy spam, because mailto links are a spam magnet. I have not seen one good reason to use them in many years.

 

Since this is for the web you should create a proper web-based form and use that to send emails.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Another strange phenomenon.. Even though I choose URL and type mailto: in front of the email in the Hyperlinks panel in InDesign, InDesign automatically changes the settings to Email and removes mailto:.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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There's nothing strange about it if you take a step back and think about it. It's just handling what you want to do in the background. But again, you are going to be way too dependent on the browser and the user's email settings.

 

At the risk of repeating myself, this is a really horrible way to handle this and I urge you to reconsider...and yes, even if the client requested it you should educate them on the issues. You're doing them no favors with this.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Okay, I get it that email links in a PDF are not a good ideal. But that is aside from the fact that it is a feature that simply doesn't work the way it's supposed to.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Hi @jay fresno ,

 

Sorry to hear about the trouble. Could you please try the suggestions shared here https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/hyperlink-to-an-email-is-not-working/m-p/8784384... and let us know if this helps or if you need any further assistance.

 

Regards

Rishabh

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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When you open the PDF in Acrobat and click one of the mailto links, does it launch your email application?

 

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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No. It opens my default web browser, Chrome, and the web page is empty.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Is there an app associated to an email on the computer you are testing? Probably it is somehow set to the browser or not set at all that is causing the issue, as the url on hover seems to be right.

-Manan

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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The email application on the computer is Microsoft Outlook 2019. 

Perhaps there is an incorrect setting in Outlook or in Chrome, but I wouldn't know where to find it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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And now you know exactly what will happen to many of your users. I get that you want an answer but this is not an InDesign issue. The link is "working" properly and it will "work" differently on each person's device.

 

I would love to help, but I've given you the best advice I can. If you choose to pursue this, all I can do is wish you luck because you're going to need a lot of it.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I now understand that the email links in Acrobat are unreliable. 

I don't understand why the feature is even in the software since it may or may not work. (Retorical comment, made in frustration with a buggy feature that has caused a lot of wasted time.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2022 Jul 25, 2022

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It is NOT a buggy feature. It works as intended.

 

I thought I explained this to you very clearly but I'll try again. I was not discussing mailto in PDF; I was discussing it in general. It would be no different if you tried to use it on a website. It is way too dependent on the user's default settings and that is something you have zero control over. It's a more than 20-year old way of sending emails and it's outlived its usefulness.

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