How to correct hyperlink problems after Smashwords conversion

If you publish on Smashwords and have experienced hyperlink problems or conversion problems with PDF output, you may find my solution works for you. I’m not blaming Smashwords for these problems, for sometimes a MSWord doc will process fine, but I know MSWord screws up on occasion.

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The problem

1) Create novel in MSWord, insert hyperlinks and bookmarks for TOC, and insert hyperlinks for external web content. Test final novel by using MSWord to output PDF version; all hyperlinks and bookmarks function properly after saving MSWord doc as PDF file.

2) Upload MSWord doc to Smashwords, await conversion, download PDF output. Oops, errors in TOC linking within pdf. External hyperlinks function properly. Hmmm.

3) Recheck MSWord original document for possible errors. Find none. Oh crap.

4) Open problematic MSWord doc in Open Office. Yikes! Double Yikes! Internal links for TOC missing. Oh crap.
The solution

1) Open problematic MSWord doc in Open Office (OO).

2) Highlight first chapter or whatever line in TOC.

3) Click on “Insert” in the OO menu, choose “Hyperlink”. This opens the hyperlink popup window.

open office

open office popup windows

4) The “Target” should be the bookmark you gave MSWord for that chapter. If not, or if blank, then click on button at right of Target text box.

5) Clicking on that button opens another popup window titled “Target in Document”, which is OO’s way of listing bookmarks. Next to the word “Bookmarks” there should be a plus sign +. Click on the + sign to open list of your bookmarks. Highlight the bookmark you want associated with the chapter; Click Apply in the “Target in Document” window.

6) Click “Apply” in the “Hyperlink” window to set your bookmark target to the chapter you chose in the TOC.

7) When you have finished your document, click on File, Save As, and save the document as MSWord 97/2000 doc. Be sure to add some identifier like OO to the file name so you know which file is the corrected OO version.

Total time, a few seconds for each TOC chapter or whatever.

You can use the same steps for any problems you have with external hyperlinks, only use the “Internet” icon instead of the “Document” icon in the Hyperlink popup window.

Don’t have Open Office? It’s free. It works. It’s here.

Or use Libre Office. It’s also free and may be more stable. Get it here.

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