By David Creamer
Formatting hyperlinks in InDesign CS3 and CS4 is a pain — they have to be formatted one at a time. That means that every new hyperlink has to be selected and made into a URL destination. Granted this isn’t hard, just unnecessary.
The US$27 URL2hyperlink from DTOP Tools (http://www.dtptools.com) adds a few new menus to the Hyperlink panel: Convert URL to Hyperlink, Use Auto URL, and Auto URL Options. Convert URL to Hyperlink allows you to convert a number of existing URLs (including email links) by selection, text frame, story, document, or all open documents at once. In addition, you can automatically apply a character style and apply an appearance to the hyperlink when clicked in the PDF.
One of the other nice features with URL2hyperlink is the ability to format the links as you type them. You set up the options (basically the same options as before without the Scope) and turn on this feature by selecting the Use Auto URL option. From then on your hyperlinks are created and formatted as soon as you type them. The result is a series of nicely named hyperlinks.
The plug-in works in InCopy, so editors can control the creation and formatting too. It currently works in InDesign and InCopy CS3 and CS4. InDesign CS5 can batch convert so the need of this plug-in might be in question; however, the built-in method has some limitations. First, it doesn’t work with selections, text frames, and all open documents—only stories and an entire single document. Second, the hyperlinks aren’t auto-named but just show as anonymous hyperlinks. (InCopy CS5 doesn’t have the batch conversion option.)
Whether or not the URL2hyperlink plug-in gets updated to work with InDesign CS5 remains to be seen but for CS3 and CS4 users, this plug-in is very useful.
Rating: 8 out of 10
(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: http://layersmagazine.com/).