Product Update: Automatic Link Detection

Feb 11, 2015 by Arka Der Stepanian

Example of an automatically detected link in an online magazine.

Creating hotspots for your publication can be quite time consuming. This is why we’re introducing Automatic Link Detection. With this feature, any URLs, email addresses or existing web and document links in your PDF are automatically detected and tagged with either a Link or a Page Link hotspot.

When uploading a new PDF to create an online publication, we now enable “Create hotspots for URLs, document links and email addresses” by default.

Publitas create online publication dialog with detect links in pdf feature
Enable or disable automatic link detection while creating a new online publication.

During the conversion of this PDF we then use two methods to automatically create hotspots:

  1. URLs and email addresses are detected and automatically tagged with a Link hotspot.
  2. Any web or document links that you’ve already created within the PDF itself are converted to either a Link or Page Link hotspot.

URL and email address detection

URLs and email addresses are detected by scanning the text of the PDF. When a URL or email address is detected, we automatically draw a Link hotspot around that text. The destination URL will be identical to the text that was detected. For example, the Link hotspot in the image below will link to: “”

Automatically detected URL ( in an online magazine, tagged with a hotspot.
The URL is automatically detected and tagged with a hotspot.

Existing links within the PDF

Some of our customers upload PDFs that already have built-in links. All of these web or document links are automatically converted to a Link or Page Link hotspot of exactly the same size as the link's clickable area. Have a look at the example below to see how this works.

Left: PDF with build-in link as shown in Acrobat. Right: Link converted to hotspot.
Left: PDF with built-in link as shown in Acrobat. Right: Link converted to hotspot.

Replacing PDFs

Automatic link detection is only available when you’re creating a new publication. When uploading a new PDF in the replace PDF dialog, new links will not automatically be detected. Any existing hotspots will remain where they are.

Please let us know what you think about the new automatic link detection and feel free to leave your comments below.

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