Tip: Don’t Hyperlink Print

This is a problem I see in some amateur works, taking web copy (“copy” as in text or written content) and converting it into print without reformatting the text. The most obvious sign of this is randomly underlined text, which was previously hyperlinked when on the web. It’s a silly mistake, bringing undue focus to specific text that makes no sense given the print medium.

Basically, you can’t click hyperlinked text on paper to open a new page (not yet, anyway).

First off, if you’re going to copy something straight from a browser (and you have permission to do so), paste it in Notepad or a similar program to clean it up and remove the formatting. You can reformat the text however you wish once it’s a clean slate again.

If you want to include a link, that’s fine. Instead, somewhere within the copy, simply list the desired URL (example.com). Bold it or italicize it or do something to bring added attention, although I still recommend against underlining unless it’s a title, as it will still look like you just copied off a website.

If you don’t want that link to appear at all in your copy, simply don’t use it. If it’s essential to citing a source though, you may want it somewhere though (think about footnotes).

Alternatively, give your audience tablets. Problem solved.

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