How to Create an Email Hyperlink in Adobe Indesign

By Tom Chmielewski

Adobe InDesign is a popular program in professional design circles for producing printed publications such as newspapers and magazines. But the program also has the capability to place interactive features in an electronic document, such as a brochure or ebook, when the InDesign file is exported as a PDF. Creating an email link, while not difficult, isn't as straightforward as it is in Word.

Step 1

Use the Text Tool, the letter “T” in the tool bar, and define the word or phrase you wish to turn into a hyperlink. Double-click on a word to make a single word selection; or, double-click and hold down on the first word of a phrase, then move the cursor over the rest of the phrase before releasing.

Step 2

Open the "Hyperlink" panel and click on the panel menu icon, a tiny downward triangle next to three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the panel.

Step 3

Select "New Hyperlink" when the menu opens. When the hyperlink options box opens, choose "URL" in the drop-down selection for "Type." Leave the Document selection as "Untitled," and name as "Unnamed."

Step 4

Type the email address into the URL slot in the HTML format “”, typing in the actual email address.

Step 5

Make the choices you wish in the appearance section of the panel menu. The standard is to choose Invisible Rectangle, and make color and underline options elsewhere. Click "OK."

Step 6

Redefine the word or phrase in the hyperlink and in the control panel at the top of the window, and choose the underline text icon.

Step 7

Open the "Color" panel and choose a shade of blue to signify a link. If you have several links in the document, it is better to use a saved setting for blue in the "Swatches" panel for all the links.

Step 8

Test the link by converting the document, or just the page, to a PDF, and click on the link. Your email program should open with an email addressed to the entry you entered for the link.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also create an email hyperlink graphically by using the button options with InDesign.

References & Resources