Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The importance of being indexed

Playing around with iAnnotate for iPad and talking about it with Jan, I realized the importance of being able to swiftly navigate through documents. While reading an article or reviewing a manuscript it is important to be able to check quickly the content of figure 3 and then jump back to where one was in the text. iAnnotate has the possibility of including personalized bookmarks to a PDF document, but it is extremely boring, tedious, and time consuming to go through an entire document first to mark all the important features. PDF documents can have an embedded outline, as well as cross references to figures and tables. I found out that latex can do that for you almost effortlessly! One just need to include the hyperref package in the preamble. For example here is what I used while preparing my latest manuscript:

\usepackage[hypertexnames=false, naturalnames=false, dvips, colorlinks=true, linkcolor=black, citecolor=black, hidelinks]{hyperref}

Automagically all your \section, \subsection, \begin{figure} etc. commands will also produce a cross referenced link. In the mentioned example I hid in the text any sign of the links, but it is also possible to specify to have differently colored links or with colored boxes around.
In order to be able to use the "hidelinks" option one has to use the very latest version of hyperref. Think about it when preparing your next manuscript!
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