Friday Fundamentals: Hassle-free Hyperlinks in the Latest InDesign Update

There's this catch-all term for documents that exploit the fact that they are made out of pixels rather paper: interactive. This may refer to a document that contains video, or audio, or some kind of click-to-win quiz. But seriously, one of the most natural and accurate ways for a document to be inter-actable is to have hyperlinks. 

Up until last week, adding hyperlinks to your InDesign documents was a fairly burdensome process, which involved deciphering fussy icons, panels, and dialog boxes. With the latest CC update, the icons aren't necessary, the panels are more straightforward, and the dialog box...well, it's mostly the same, but it makes some good decisions so that you don't have to. Here's how the process works:

1. Right-click to make a hyperlink. This is probably the best part. All you have to do is select text in your InDesign layout, right-click it, and choose Hyperlink > New Hyperlink from the contextual menu.

*Actually, if the text in your document resembles a URL, I say take your chances and try Hyperlink > New Hyperlink from URL, and you're done. Don't worry, there's a way to see if this works noted below. 

2. Fill out the New Hyperlink dialog box. Anyway, if you take the New Hyperlink route, you get the aptly named New Hyperlink dialog box where InDesign defaults to assuming you want to link to a URL and takes a stab at the URL you seek.  

The InDesign hyperlink dialog box opens from the contextual menu.

You'll not above, it also automatically sets the Character Style of your selected text to "Hyperlink." If you didn't happen to have a Hyperlink style available, InDesign goes ahead and creates one for you. As it's done for me in the example below...with questionable results. The default Hyperlink style can be a little odd.

3. Adjust the Hyperlink style, if desired. Note, for the most part, InDesign creates a default Hyperlink that is some familiar shade of blue. Not quite ubiquitous Internet default hyperlink blue, but a nice tasteful blue. Unfortunately, in my case, the existing paragraph styles seem to have thrown InDesign off and it's also created a strange highlight-esque effect as you can see above. 

*I say, "highlight-esque" because you can't really highlight text in InDesign, rather you create a negatively offset, transparent, underline that goes above the line instead of under. 

No matter, like any style, you can edit it from the Character Styles panel. Double-click the hyperlink entry (or right-click the entry and choose Edit Style) to open the Character Style Options dialog box. 

Knowing my "highlight" problem was probably an underline problem in disguise, I clicked on Underline Options in the left-hand pane of the dialog box, then turned off the Underline On checkbox. 

You can change the default Hyperlink style according to your taste

Voila. Ugly underline-disguised-as-highlight is gone. 

4. Make sure it works. Meanwhile, to check that I have, in fact, linked to a valid URL, a quick glance at the improved Hyperlinks panel shows a green-for-go indicator next to my link entry. This is useful, because you still can't click on the link itself to launch a browser and verify it's what you meant to do. You can, however, click said green button, click it, and launch your browser (and hopefully load your intended URL). 

Fixed hyperlink style and a happy working link

InDesign CC, helping you exercise your fundamental right to easily create hyperlinks!

Have a delightfully interactive weekend, dekeInteractors! Read more » 

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Get New Fonts to Work with via Typekit (and Your Creative Cloud Subscription)

(Perhaps the headline should read "Get New Fonts to Play with," because you and I both know that's what font geeks, and anyone enchanted by typography, like to do. Yeah, I'm watching you, dekeTypographiliacs.)

Last week's update to Creative Cloud finally brought access to Typekit's library of fonts for desktops everywhere. This means that, with your CC subscription, you can now pop over to Typekit and grab up typefaces from their rich library to use in your Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, etc. projects. 

Installing these fonts is a pain-free exercise. You can watch Deke's demonstration of just how easy it is to install a new font from his new Introducing Illustrator course (via an unlocked movie at 


Although synced Typekit fonts will work with all your Adobe desktop applications (and I have even seen my synced font in Pages, as well), the integration works particularly efficiently in InDesign and Illustrator. In fact, one of the most thrilling aspects of this immediate access to new fonts is avoidance of the dreaded pink Missing Font highlight in your InDesign document. You know the one; if you haven't experienced this before, here's a screenshot of my most recent encounter with this horrifyingly pepto-colored phenomenon: 


Somebody send me Museo, stat. Fortunately, in the Missing Font dialog box that accompanies this horror, you have the immediate choice to sync to Typekit fonts you may be lacking: 

And both InDesign and Illustrator have easy access to the Typekit library in their font-related popup menus, via a handy green button that appears when you're using a typeface field. You can also filter your typefaces to see only fonts that came from Typekit. Here's what it looks like in the Type options bar in Illustrator: Read more » 

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dekeUpdate: 3D Printing with Photoshop CC

One of the most talked about and technologically significant updates to Photoshop Creative Cloud last week was the addition of 3D printing support. Now, I don't necessarily find 3D printing to be as significant to my day-to-day Photoshop experience as say, linked smart objects, but I get that this is the future calling. And although I've resisted embracing 3D in general (mostly because I haven't mastered 2D yet), I understand that actually creating these objects in real 3D space (otherwise known as reality) has vast potential for our long-term daily lives.

And, I can no longer argue that these Photoshop creations are just 2D representations of 3D objects, because once you "print" in 3D, the Z-axis gets real. I know, at an early age, I was exposed to Carl Sagan's explanation that the "plexiglass cube-within-a-cube I am holding is really just the 3D shadow of a 4D tesseract." But I've also been exposed to the ideas and observations of another modern thinker, Deke McClelland.

And the good folks at have seen fit to unlock Deke's new movie about 3D printing in Photoshop that lives inside his Photoshop Creative Cloud Update course, so you too, can hear about the cosmos of printing from Deke. Click the image below to watch it at

And if you'd like to get Deke's insights into the workings and usefulness of the other new Photoshop features, you can get a free week's trial at by going to and signing up. A week will give you enough time to learn about the new Perspective Warp command, the aforementioned linked smart objects, and more. Plus the rest of the week to explore Deke's Techniques, Deke's One-on-One courses, and the vast library of other offerings. The Photoshop future is here. And it's got a z-axis.  Read more » 

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Adding Dates to a Calendar in Illustrator

Welcome to the delicious dregs of 2013, my dekeLanders. For the final project of the year, I have reached into the Deke's Techniques archive and extracted an ingenious method that Deke developed last year for creating dates in calendar in Illustrator. I've used this ingenuity to update last year's festival of hexagons calendar for the year ahead. 

A 2014 calendar created in Illustrator

If you'd like to follow along, my starting file is downloadable here. If you're a member of, you can see this project in action by watching Deke's Techniques 185-187, during which you'll create your own starting background. If you're not a member of (yet), you can get a free week's membership at Here's the step-by-step tutorial if video's not your thing or you need to review a step along the way:  Read more » 

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Friday Fundamentals: Understanding Selections and Layers in Photoshop

Did you ever start a class feeling like everyone else had been meeting for a couple weeks behind your back? Starting out with Photoshop gave me flashbacks to freshman calculus where the engineering students in the front row constantly jumped out of their seats to correct the flustered grad student T.A. 

If you're just starting with Photoshop (I mean just starting) or if you've managed to eek out projects, but feel like you're getting by with luck and guessing, then this Friday Fundamentals installment is for you. It features a video from Deke's new course at, Introducing Photoshop, called "Understanding selections and layers." And it's chock full of basic Photoshop concepts that a beginner might overlook in their overwhelmed-ness:

In this movie, you'll get a quick background on, well, the Background (which is technically not a layer), actual layers, and how to make a simple selection (the blue ball-face above) and stash it on a layer. These are all critical concepts to understand, especially when you're using Photoshop in the service of graphical design. Try it out. It may answer those questions you missed when we all secretly got together without you during the summer. 

If you'd like to see more of the course, or recommend it to a friend who might benefit, you can get a free week's trial at more » 

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