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Indesign CC - hyperlinks broken upon export to PDF (Acrobat)

Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Hi all,

I've created a PDF from Indesign CC (9.2.1 x64), but when I PDF the document, a number of the hyperlinks (not all) appear broken when opened in Acrobat XI Pro. These hyperlinks direct the browser to the general website (i.e. a 'this page cannot be found' page on www.nytimes.com) but not to the specific article that the hyperlink points to. This problem doesn't happen if I use a different PDF viewer, but unfortunately this PDF is going to be sent out to a large audience, most of whom will use Acrobat.

Does anyone know a solution to this problem? I've been reading up and it looks like it was supposed to be resolved in this version of InDesign, but it obviously isn't.

Thanks in advance

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014
Hi everyone,So by some stroke of luck, I managed to work it out myself.I noticed that as the link was opening out of Acrobat, the browser was temporarily (for about half a second) adding a %20 to the end of the broken links. After a search on Google, I realised that it is because my broken links had a space at the end. While that space normally wouldn't matter (and didn't matter when I was manually copying the link from indesign into the browser), when Acrobat saw the space, it added the %20 and...

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Guide ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Hi Dara,

Are these hyperlinks you have defined in InDesign as hyperlinks? Or just text that starts with www. or http:// ? In the latter case, what could happen is, that Acrobat and Adobe Reader automatically try to detect hyperlinks based on certain patterns in text. However if such a link runs over two lines, only the first part would be considered a hyperlink, which would result in a faulty hyperlink.

In InDesign:

  • Select the text that needs to become the hyperlink source.
  • Right-click and choose: New Hyperlink from the contextual menu that appears.
  • Choose Link to URL (if not yet selected).
  • In the Destination section of the New Hyperlink dialog box, enter the full URL.
  • The Hyperlinks panel (Window > Interactive) can also be used to create new Hyperlinks or edit existing hyperlinks. Additionally it displays a red or green dot to flag the Status of the hyperlink. A red dot means the URL is not available. A green one means the hyperlink is available.
  • Export InDesign file to PDF (Interactive).


Cari

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Hi Cari,

Thanks for your response. The hyperlinks are all set up as you specified, using the <New Hyperlink> option from the drop down contextual menu. Some of them work, some of them don't, but they are all set up in the correct way.

Thanks anyway!

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Guide ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Can you check in Acrobat to see if the hyperlink URLs somehow change? Do the hyperlinks that fail contain any special characters?  Also try updating to the latest version of InDesign so that you've got all updates and patches installed.

Then to verify that nothing is changing across the conversion:

  1. Test the URL for your hyperlink in web browser.
  2. Create a new InDesign document, insert some text and create a URL to the one tested in Step 1.
  3. Export to PDF (Interactive) and review in Acrobat.

If the URL fails in Acrobat then:

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Add or Edit Link
  3. Right-click on the Link, select Properties
  4. Click Actions tab, click Open Web Link, and click Edit
  5. Is the URL that appears here identical to the one you entered in InDesign?

If there are any differences, what are the specific differences? is there a special character that changes for instance?

Cari

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Hi Cari,

I will respond by number just so we don't get confused:

1. Yes the hyperlink works in my browser

2. I created a new indesign document and made two new hyperlinks in it (using links from one site that worked in the original document, one that didn't work) and then exported it to Adobe Interactive PDF. Unfortunately the link that worked in the original PDF didn't work, and the one that was broken is now working. Very strange!

I then went into Acrobat as you suggested and checked the link. The link is exactly how it appears in InDesign. In fact, the webpage that it loads up displays the correct address in the address bar, but the page that loads up just says 'page doesn't exist.' Interestingly if I copy the address (which came from Acrobat file) and paste it into another tab, the page loads up just fine.

I have also compared the hyperlinks that work and those that don't work in the original document. For example, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68676 works, but http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68383 doesn't work. Both links are almost identical in terms of format/character type.

Very frustrating, but thanks so much for your assistance

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Guide ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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OK, so it looks like this issue might not be related to the physical hyperlinks in InDesign or Acrobat as they are as they should be. That leaves the browser... or the internet (maybe the site in question is having issues 😉 )

Can you try clearing browser data and caches etc. for the web browser that is triggered when you click a link in Acrobat? Or use a different web browser as a default?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Thanks so much Cari.

The links definitely work, so I don't think that the websites are having problems. The broken hyperlinks are actually from a number of different domains, so it couldn't be a problem at their end.

I set my default to IE instead of Firefox to open the links, and they are still broken. I also cleared the cache in Firefox (my original browser), but the link failed again.

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Guru ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Latest update for ID CC is version 9.2.2 x 64. Why don't you update it and see if there's any change.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Thanks Ellis. I thought I had the most up to date version, so will definitely try it.


Sorry to be a fool, but how do I update? I can't find anything within indesign itself and google is proving little use.


Thanks in advance

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Guide ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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hi Dara,

Here's a link from Creative Cloud help that explains how to update your applications: http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/help/install-apps.html#Update apps

Cari

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Thanks so much Cari. Have spoken to IT to try to get the update installed, but they're not going to be able to help me out today, so will have to wait. Thanks so much to everyone for your help!

If anyone else has any ideas, but all means respond

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014

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Hi everyone,

So by some stroke of luck, I managed to work it out myself.

I noticed that as the link was opening out of Acrobat, the browser was temporarily (for about half a second) adding a %20 to the end of the broken links. After a search on Google, I realised that it is because my broken links had a space at the end. While that space normally wouldn't matter (and didn't matter when I was manually copying the link from indesign into the browser), when Acrobat saw the space, it added the %20 and therefore incorrectly re-routed the address (there is a little info about it here Acrobat adding %20 to pdf links in iOS). Anyway, I have gone through my document and deleted the space from the end of any of the broken links, and now everything is working perfectly and I have sent my document off. Problem solved!

Thank you so much to everyone for your help! I really appreciate it!

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Guide ,
Jul 01, 2014 Jul 01, 2014

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great news!

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2016 Jun 17, 2016

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None of these fixes worked for me. However, I found that of the four URLs in my Indesign layout the two that were generating the bad links (adding the extra spaces) were at the end of a string of text with no punctuation. The layout did not have any extra spaces  at the end the line (checked for that). They just a hard return. By adding a period to the end of the line and relinking the URL in the Interactive panel, the problem was solved. Just be sure the new period is not in the URL when you link it in the interactive panel.

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Likewise, no matter how many times I deleted the extra space InDesign would reinsert one causing the url to include %20 in the pdf version. In the end I edited the pdf in Acrobat using the form tools, deleting the hyperlink on the button and adding a new correct hyperlink.

 

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New Here ,
Nov 09, 2017 Nov 09, 2017

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Thanks so much- that solved my problem! Deleted the spaces and it's working fine!

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