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Hyperlink issue when exporting from Word to Indesign

New Here ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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When hyperlinked text is imported to InDesign from Microsoft Word, sometimes it won’t appear in the hyperlinks panel, nor is the hyperlink able to be edited. This makes fixing the link on the text impossible.

 

I tried removing the link tags through story editor, but it doesn’t really work. So in order to ‘clean’ the text, I’m having to cut it out of InDesign, paste it into Notepad, and then reinsert it into InDesign, and then relink it.

 

Is there a more straight forward solution to this issue?

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How to , Import and export , Print

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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Are you using Place, or cutting and pasting? The latter can be problematic with links (including things like foot and end notes).

 

Place the whole doc in a temporary text frame and then cut and paste from there, if you have to. (Or even an interim ID doc — that is, if you need to cut and paste chunks and aren't trying to import/place whole articles at once.)

 

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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I think your issue is with importing hyperterxt links from MSWord. As in, InDesign really doesn't do that well at all.

 

Of course in .doc files, the illusion of hyperlinks is just that. MSWord's .doc files are purely text-based, word processing files. The supposed hyperlink will be indicated with blue-colored text and/or underlining, but there is no link. Only text. Even though the coloring that indicates there should be one.

 

That's often the case with .docx files too. At least theoretically, .docx files can contain hypertext properties, including links. But when you bring that into InDesign, depending on which version of the program you're using, they won't exist at all. Or even worse, something may come across but it will be malformed. Your Links panel isn't lying to you. If you don't see a link in the panel, it means no link is there. All the text formatting indicating a link is there, but clicking on it will only select the text and there's no underlying hypertext function. You can always check how hyperlinks are working in your InDesign documents by creating an Acrobat PDF file and testing the links in the resulting .pdf file.

 

But your question was how you can easily clean up the errant hypertext appearance and place your own correct hyperlinks.

 

I'd suggest this workflow:

 

  1. Create a character style that mirrors your regular paragraph style exactly. Same size, same font, same non-hyperlink color. Name that style No Hyperlink. This may seem to be redundant, but it is not.
  2. After knowing from your resulting test PDF file which links don't work (don't be surprised to find it's all of them) highlight each errant hyperlink in succession and —
  • Go to the Character Styles panel and change it to No Hyperlink, removing the illusion that a hyperlink is there, then
  • Go to the Links panel and select the New Hyperlink... menu command from the flyaway menu. Direct the link where you want it to go and how you want to have it formatted.

 

The end result will be that not only does it look like a hyperlink is there, but you'll know that a hyperlink actually is there.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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Not to argue in general — that importing from Word is a minefield of unexpected results — but I don't think I've ever quite encountered what you're describing above. If a Word file has a hyperlink, .doc or .docx, it tends to import and place in ID just fine. I've encountered many link problems, especially with the fraught Word to ID to EPUB ones with things like end notes, yes. I've beaten my head against the wall with many 'broken' and faulty Word docs in general.

 

But saying .doc files don't store or carry hyperlinks is just wrong; I just tested a couple (including some old, genuine .doc files) and had no problems bringing the links into an ID place and the Hyperlinks list.

 

I think a great deal more of these problems come from the recent evolution of Word to the cloud-based, Office 365 model. I have routinely taken to asking clients and users to save final versions of Word docs in ANY prior format, or doing that conversion-save myself, because stuff straight out of the new MS model causes so many inexplicable problems.

 

But again, in many years of dealing with all kinds of broken and mismanaged Word docs (before this last year or two), I don't think I've ever encountered this phantom/empty link problem you're describing.

 

I suggest the OP try saving to a pre-365 format (I don't have a system with it up right now, but believe there are Word 2016, 2013, etc. save options) and see if that cures the empty-link issue.

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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Not taken as an argument at all. I do think we may have different experiences.

 

I have Office 365 and I agree it has formatting issues. I've had similar issues to the OP, and have felt her pain. I may appreciate the price point for running MSOffice for my small operation, but I am not a big fan.

 

When I save back to Word 97-2003 document (*.doc) I get text, not hypertext. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I use it — though I prefer to use Rich Text Format (*.rtf) to be sure I get minimally-formatted text and not assorted debris within MSWord documents.

 

If your experience is different, I respect that and appreciate your good fortune. I have not had that.

 

Randy

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2024 Jan 12, 2024

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Hi Patrick,

I found your post as I was looking for a solution to a similar problem. I subsequently found some success with this: In InDesign, I chose to "Place" the Word file, selecting the "Show Import Options", and then selecting "Preserve Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables". After I "Shift+Entered" to place the text, I was able to place my cursor on the hyperlinks, right click, choose 'hyperlinks' from the right-click menu, then choose 'edit hyperlinks' to edit the URL, appearance, etc.  While these hyperlinks never populated in my InDesign hyperlink menu in list form, the content was availble in each hyperlink location using this method. When I exported from InDesign to INTERACTIVE PDF (it defaults to a print pdf if you don't change it in the drop down file type), it brought with it all the hyperlink content to the new pdf.  Hope this works in your case. 

 

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