Hyperlink Pro

Hyperlink Pro

URL-to-hyperlink conversion done properly – links, spacing and all…

Working on a publication in InDesign with long URLs (website addresses) and trying to convert those URLs to live hyperlinks with InDesign’s inadequate URL-to-hyperlink “feature” can reduce the brave to tears. Only the shortest URLs are converted (why?!), and there is no help at all in fixing the horrendous line spacing resulting from long, unbreakable URLs!

Hyperlink Pro will convert all URLs, no matter how long they are, into clickable hyperlinks. What’s more, it will break long URLs optimally, providing the smoothest possible line spacing! It will also get rid of those pesky hyphens that screw things up when the document is exported to PDF! Let Hyperlink Pro save you and your team time and energy for more important challenges!

Works with…

HyperlinkPro, like all Id-Extras add-ons, works with InDesign CC2020 on both Windows and Mac computers. It also works with all versions of InDesign down to CS5.

Unlike some plugins, after using this add-on you can still share your documents with anyone, even if they don’t have it themselves. They will not get a “missing plugin” warning when opening the document because using this add-on leaves no traces!

Installing this add-on them will not take up any InDesign resources except when you are actively using it! As soon as it finishes its job (usually a matter of a few seconds), it relinquishes all control and power back to InDesign!

  • “I just thought I would let you know that Hyperlink Pro 2.1 worked like a charm! It created approximately 600 urls and 550 emails in my 50+ page directory … So far, I have not seen any “bogus” URLs. Because my directory has a narrow 4-columns-per-page format, I specified the options to “add discretionary line breaks” and “allow line breaks between alpha-numeric characters” … Wow! What a great tool. It saved me a lot of time …”
    Vaughan Dragland - Eclipse Technologies Inc.

Examples

Have a look at the text below. It contains very long, badly spaced website addresses.

badly spaced urls

If InDesign’s “Convert hyperlink” feature is run on this text it completely ignores these long website addresses.

When Hyperlink Pro is run on this text, the entire website address is converted into a live hyperlink (so when the document is exported to ePub, PDF or other electronic format it becomes a clickable link).

What’s more, notice how Hyperlink Pro has broken the long URL in the optimal places to ensure the smoothest and most natural looking paragraph spacing:

Well-spaced URLs

Hyperlink Pro will convert all the URLs in an InDesign document into hyperlinks without skipping the hard ones! And it will ensure perfect spacing throughout!

Hyperlink Pro is also smart enough to know that google.com is a website, but google.pdf is not, unlike InDesign’s rather stupid implementation, which tries to convert anything that has a dot in it (such as file names) into a hyperlink. For all such “incomplete” URLs, Hyperlink Pro now allows you to set your desired prefix (http://, https://, or a custom prefix).

Incidentally, Hyperlink Pro follows the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style when setting line breaks for long URLs. As required, it avoids breaking a URL after the following characters: ~ . , – _ ? # % and /.

The current version complies with the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual. So it now allows breaks after a double-slash (//) but not after a single slash (/).

Screenshot

Hyperlink Pro Screenshot

Video Tutorial

Click here to see Hyperlink Pro in action. (Note that the video shows an older version of Hyperlink Pro, so many of the new features are missing. But the essentials are still the same. Definitely worth watching!)

Features

  • Converts all URLs in the document to hyperlinks, even the long ones that InDesign misses!
  • Prevent breaks in the middle of URLs and allow them only after the special marks listed in the Chicago Manual.
  • Choose to convert “incomplete” URLs, that is, URLs that do not contain the www part, such as google.com (instead of www.google.com).
  • Optionally, breaks long URLs that span more than one line optimally, achieving the best possible line spacing. No more unsightly, super-wide spaces!
  • Choose whether to convert the entire document or just one story or just the text selected.
  • Optionally apply a character style to all converted URLs.
  • NEW! Convert email addresses to email links!
  • NEW! Convert phone numbers to telephone links that can be tapped to dial (US and Canadian phone numbers only, for now).
  • NEW! Add a custom prefix to incomplete hyperlinks!

Tips, Tricks, and Known Limitations

  • Although Hyperlink Pro is far better than InDesign’s own hyperlink converter, it may be that some special URLs in the document are missed. 99% work fine though, with perhaps a small number of “false positives”.
  • Hyperlink Pro finds the optimal line breaks for a long URL from a spacing point-of-view. It also respects Chicago Manual rules regarding which characters should never appear at the end of a line. However, from an editing/language point-of-view, you may want to (a) edit some of the line breaks (e.g. to avoid splitting words in two, etc.), or (b) prevent Hyperlink Pro from breaking URLs between alpha-numeric characters by selecting that option.
  • To edit the line breaks set by Hyperlink Pro, cut the “discretionary line break” character from the end of the line, and paste it nearby in a preferable location. The video tutorial above shows how to do this.
  • Hyperlink Pro includes a comprehensive internal list of legal TLDs (top-level domains). It uses this list to figure out that google.pdf is not a website, but google.com is!
  • Phone number conversion works for US and Canadian phone numbers only (it adds a +1 country code to the number). Only the following 3 phone number formats are supported: 123-456-7890 or (123) 456-7890 or 123.456.7890. If you need different country phone numbers or different formats, please contact us.

Acknowledgements

The heart of this script is a very clever, very long RegExp (regular expression) created by John Gruber that homes in on even the toughest URLs. The RegExp was originally posted on his blog here. A revised version is available here. John Gruber has placed the RegExp in the public domain. Kudos!

Instant Download

Hyperlink Pro is available in 2 editions:

Hyperlink Pro Free Edition works with InDesign documents up to 3 pages long only, but in every other way is identical to Hyperlink Pro. Click here to download Hyperlink Pro Free Edition.

Hyperlink Pro Unlimited Edition ($47) works with documents of any length.

To purchase the unlimited edition of Hyperlink Pro for only $47, click the “Buy Now” button. Your product and serial numbers will be available for instant download when you complete the purchase.

Money-back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with Hyperlink Pro for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

I found Hyperlink Pro after … correcting a 100+ page interactive document with dead links. We started by shortening the URLs via bitly, but InDesign still insisted on breaking the URL after the first / rendering EVERY SINGLE URL BROKEN. I found/purchased and installed your script and voila, worked like a charm!

Jay Simon (Assistant Art Director, The Heritage Foundation)

Buy Now

Hyperlink Pro: $47.00

For multiple licenses (5 or more), please contact us to arrange a discount.

Requirements

System Requirements

  • InDesign CS6 or higher (including CC2020)
  • Windows or Mac computer

Download Free Edition

Click on the button to download the free edition of Hyperlink Pro.

Article Comments
  1. Carl BrandAugust 9, 2018 5:02 pm
    Reply

    Can you use this to manage multiple hyperlinks that lead different SKUs to the same retail website?

    I am creating a clickable catalog where the prefix is the same-only the SKU number changes but it is not listed by url in the catalog only SKU.

    Just a very manual process and it seems like this would be a common need for electronic catalogs.

    Any help is appreciated if this is a tool that could accomplish that.

    • ArielJanuary 7, 2019 12:02 pm
      Reply

      Hi Carl,
      Sure, this could be done, but it would require some custom modification. Get in touch for a quote.
      Ariel

  2. Andy HoweApril 17, 2019 4:55 pm
    Reply

    Hello, nice script, clear interface, smooth operation. Am trying out the free version with a view to buying the full version.

    Flawless, except with one exception: When the paragraph below is converted, an extra dot is inserted into the email address keac-ccek@krg​.ca, resulting in changing the email in the source document and PDF to keac-ccek@krg​..ca with the associated link mailto:keac-ccek@krg​..ca. The other two emails ending in .org and .com seem to convert OK. Before I buy the full version, is this a little bug ?

    The paragraph in question follows here…
    Have someone nominate you by sending us your name and the story of how you help keep your community clean to keac-ccek@krg​.ca. Send other comments to mdewar@makivik.org or etsetera@mac.com. Make a difference !

    • ArielApril 17, 2019 10:04 pm
      Reply

      Hi Andy,
      Thanks for posting this bug!
      I’ve fixed it up now and posted an update, so please download the trial version again, which should now be 2.1.2.
      Let me know if this fixes it for you!
      Ariel

  3. RickDecember 23, 2019 8:39 am
    Reply

    I came across Hyperlink Pro when searching the web trying to find a solution to hyperlink problems I am having with InDesign. I am hoping that Hyperlink Pro will fix these problems I am having. Let me explain.

    The problem I am having is that when I use the Convert URLs to Hyperlinks throughout the document in InDesign CS6. It seems to convert all the URLs to hyperlinks because they work on my laptop after it is done. The problem arises when I put the pdf onto my smart phone. When I click hyperlink in the PDF on my phone it does not open the web address or email in my browser or email program. If I manually add every hyperlink one at a time they will all work. I really don’t have the time to go through my whole document and did this one at a time.

    Will you product do this properly and work on a smart phone?
    I would be more than happy to purchase your product if I know this is going to work for me.

    Thank you

    Rick

    • ArielDecember 23, 2019 1:54 pm
      Reply

      Hi Rick,
      My best suggestion in such cases is to download the Demo version (here’s a direct link: http://www.id-extras.com/ScriptDemos/HyperlinkProFreeEdition.zip) and try it for yourself to see if it works with your setup.
      The demo version is identical to the full version except that it only works with documents up to 3 pages long.

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