Hyperlinks in ePubs

I just got a question from a colleague looking to produce literacy materials in ePub format. One of the things she would like to include is links to other resources, videos, etc. Is there a way to insert links in Bloom, or would it be a matter of editing the html files outside of Bloom?

There’s currently no way in Bloom. Feel free to make a feature request!

I don’t know whether even hand-editing the HTML would work. There are actually two things you could try: editing the HTML file in the bloom book folder before making the epub, and opening up the epub (change the extension to zip), finding the page, and adding it there. If the former doesn’t work, you may wish to try the second. It may depend somewhat on the particular epub reader you choose, too. We’d be interested to hear the result (and have a sample).

Thanks, John. I’ll find some time to do some experimenting and post back here what I find.

A feature request has been made for this (Hyperlinks in Bloom books)

This is doable now if you don’t mind editing the html.

  1. Enter the text you want, and remember it.
  2. Close Bloom
  3. Make a backup of your book in case you break it (zipping it is a good way to back it up)
  4. Open the book’s .htm file in a text editor,
  5. Search the document for the text you want to make into a link.
  6. Enter <a target="_blank" href="https://example.com">the text of my link</a>
  7. Save and open in Bloom.
  8. If you broke it, throw it away and replace from backup, then try again :slight_smile:

Thanks John. I was able to add a hyperlink to a book

Thanks for these instructions. I, too, was happy to be able to add hyperlinks to text in a book. I did some experimenting with their behavior with respect to different formats and how they can be copied to other publications in Bloom and found the following:

With respect to formats:
The links work perfectly when I click on them from within Bloom itself, from an epub (I used Gitden on my phone and Edge on the laptop), and in the BloomReader app. I found that the links did not work, though, in the pdf that I produced from the book in Bloom. Text that appears as an html address (eg the link to the cc license in the front-matter) works fine as a link in my pdf reader (Acrobat Reader), but the links that I created in the html anchor element didn’t work as a link in the pdf. The text is formatted as a link (blue, underlined font), but doesn’t respond in any way when I click it.

With respect to copying links in Bloom:
After editing a book’s html file to turn some text into a link, I tried a few different ways of duplicating those links in Bloom in hopes of being able to create pages with common links that we can re-use without having to edit the html each time.

Things that I found out do not work:

  • It doesn’t work to select the hyperlinked text from within the Bloom editor and copy/paste it to another page. The hyperlink information is lost.
  • It doesn’t work to use the “Duplicate page” function within a book.

Things that do work:

  • Books made from a shell-book containing hyperlinked text contain the same hyper-links.
  • Books duplicated within the same collection contain the same hyperlinks.
  • If you make a custom template that contains hyperlinked text on a page, you can choose that page type from the “Add Page” options and the hyperlinked text will be included properly.

So, a method that I’m going to try to give our team a way to insert links without editing the html is to make a custom template called “Links” that has a separate “Just text” page for each of the few different links we might want to use. Then they can insert a page with the appropriate link and customize it’s layout, add other text, etc. afterwards.

@Bruce_Beatham , it sounds like you’re planning to do a lot of links? Maybe that would push up the priority of this, and we could land a fix in 4.5 which is available now as a pre-beta and could be beta in a couple weeks. Or if this is more of a future need, we’ll keep it aimed at 4.6. Let me know.

No, this is not an immediate need. Our current work on polishing some print publications will keep us busy for the next month or more. I’m just thinking of preparing a few links that will be useful for us to use as we get ready to use BloomReader more: a link to publications in this variety of Mixtec, the ScriptureEarth page, the Mixtec Academy, maybe email contacts, etc. We’ll need to finish the approval process of the print versions first, though.

OK, thanks, so look for the ability to paste a hyperlink in 4.6.

Pasting hyperlinks has shipped in Bloom 4.6. Note that there is a known problem in that in the Publish previews, clicking it gives weird results.