Backstage Links
Part of the appeal of Patreon (so they tell me) is that it gives you a chance to go behind the scenes of the creation and see the creator’s process. With that in mind, I’d like to invite you up here on stage, where we’ll go behind the curtain and watch the magic being made. Look out for the trapdoor and don’t eat that cake—it’s just a Styrofoam prop—and watch your head as we press through these low-hanging metaphors. Sorry. It’s kind of cluttered back here. I should really—

I said don’t eat the cake. Go on, cough it out while I grab this comically oversized black book so I can point at it dramatically.

You see, I’ve been poking at this idea of a Spidery Tome of Spidery Knowledge that I mentioned last week, and realized that if it’s a reference document, it needs to be easy to reference and navigate. And since we’ve been technically living in the future since 2013, “easy to reference and navigate” means it’s a PDF with internal hyperlinks.

I’ve never actually made one of those.

I assume it’s not that hard to do in InDesign. I’ve just never had the time to look into how it’s done. But now, through the POWER OF PATREON, I have both the time and the incentive to climb this learning curve. What’s more, since you’re here, we can learn how to do this together! Come on! It’ll be fun!

Here, hand me that trunk marked “extended metaphors” and let’s see what I can find inside.

Oh, nice. It’s a link to Adobe’s own help files detailing how to set up a chunk of text as a hyperlink. Hmm… Select the text. Right-click on it and hit Hyperlinks>New Hyperlink to bring up the dialog. That’s… actually pretty obvious.

And setting up the anchor text? That is, where the link actually takes you?

That’s... actually harder. Select the spot, then go to the Hyperlinks panel and use the tiny “hamburger” menu hidden at the top right to find and click “New Hyperlink Destination.” It’s a convoluted and tedious process, but hey! If it were easy, I would have already figured it out, right?

Okay. Stand back. I’m going to try this. I'll let you know how it turns out.

(Time passes. Someone whistles the "Jeopardy" theme, thinking they're being clever. They're not.)

And here we go:

It's not much - the links are basically just footnotes - but it's a test. And it passes.

Thanks for swinging by the backstage. I look forward to doing it again sometime. Just remember: the cake is Styrofoam, but the whiskey is real!