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How to Mess Up Your Hyperlinks Panel

You know how the Hyperlinks panel is now really the “Hyperlinks and Cross-References” panel? I guess that was too long to fit in the title bar, but it really is two very different panels in one — with a little horizontal double-line divider between them.


You’ve seen this divider in other panels; for example, the Pages and Links panels both have one. You may even know that you can drag that divider up and down to give more space to the top or bottom sections.

Dragging the divider is no big deal in the Pages panel or the Links panel. In the Pages panel you can even drag it all the way to the top or bottom of the panel, effectively making either the master pages or the document pages disappear. (Keep that in mind for your colleague’s computer next April Fool’s Day.) No big deal, because the divider line is still there (if you look closely) and you can drag it back.

However, James Fritz emailed me over the weekend and mentioned, “I accidentally slid the divider between hyperlinks and cross references to the bottom of the panel.” The result — at least in CS6 — is no april fool’s joke? rather it appears to be a rather annoying bug: If you drag that divider to the top or bottom, the Hyperlinks disappear entirely, along with the divider line.


No double-line divider means you can’t get your hyperlinks back! Fritz did discover that you can get them back temporarily if you choose Small Panel Rows from the panel menu. But resetting your workspace sadly does nothing.

The only solution: rebuild your preferences. That brings the panel back to its original state. Sad, but true! (We reported this same solution for other kinds of empty InDesign palettes here.)

I just tried this in CS4 and CS5 and it worked properly (the double-line divider remains), so this appears to be a bug only in CS6. Thanks, James, for letting us know.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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36 Comments on “How to Mess Up Your Hyperlinks Panel

  1. Good to know !
    Thanks for the info David.

    Talking about the hyperlinks, I am using data merge and this creates automatically some hyperlinks for every field used in the document.
    These links are URL type and the links are something like : “DBF_Adresse du travail (Province)” and they are exported as hyperlink in interactive PDF documents.
    Nothing dramatic here since the hyperlinks don’t work. It is just that the final document is not super extra neat !

    I couldn’t find any box to check or any option to cancel that. So, the only option so far is to go through the hyperlink panel and remove all the links before exporting the document.

    Any suggestion ?


  2. @Ben: I think that Data Merge would not add the URLs unless there was a URL in the original “template” (the document you use to merge the source in). If you remove the hyperlink from the template (before merging), then it should not be in the final merged document.

  3. @David: No, there is no link at all in the original document.
    I have recreated the data fields several times already.
    No big deal, it doesn’t take so long to remove links form the hyperlinks panel before exporting.
    I just wanted to take the opportunity to mention it while we were talking about it.
    And now that I know it’s just a little bug that is going to be fix, I’ll probably sleep better tonight ! :.)

  4. I have this same problem and switching that Small Panel option only worked once or twice. After that ? can’t believe I made the same mistake more than once ? it stopped working. Deleted the InDesign Defaults file and no luck still. Any thoughts? Is there more than one defaults file?

  5. While you are talking about Hyperlinks panel, why is it SO inscrutable? 1. Why does it want to make all new hyperlinks shared? It doesn’t appear to want to share them later on. 2. Why, if the list of hyperlinks is showing in the panel already, can I not simply select an object/text and double-click the pre-existing hyperlink in the list and be done with it?

    Really, after many years of the Hyperlinks panel, I still don’t understand why it is so obtuse and difficult to use!

  6. Thanks so much for the warning!

    And SO glad that didn’t happen to me recently when I imported and script-converted 108 footnotes to endnotes AND then manually repaired each one when I discovered the imported Word notes were incorrectly numbered to begin with. Aaarggghhh. But had this panel problem then happened to me, I would have had a meltdown!

    Anyway, thanks again David!

  7. This just happened to me when I was testing my make hyperlinks script for the XML import. Horrible bug. It used to be better before, you could reset the palette by selecting the slideout menu and checking “Small Panel Rows”. Another feature they broke with CS6. :(

  8. Thank you, thank you!! I had exhausted every option trying to figure out this exact problem. I have a love/hate relationship with the hyperlinks panel.

  9. What worked for me, I followed “Jochen F. Uebel” advice on:
    Thanks Jochen!

    1) Quit Indesign,
    2) Go to:
    Macintosh HD ?> Users ?> ‘username’ ?> Library ?> Caches ?> Adobe Indesign
    3) Move the folders in this folder (for me it was ‘Version 7.0’ and ‘Version 8.0’) to your desktop, so you have a back-up.
    4) Start Indesign back up, and the divider-line in the Hyperlinks-panel reappeared for me.

    If something goes wrong, just put the folders back where you found them.

    Good luck!

    Ps: original thread-name!

    • OH, you are my savior! I’ve had this problem so many times and resetting the preferences didn’t work. But this did! Hooray!!

  10. Unfortunately, while I definitely have this problem and have been stopped in my tracks on a job with a zillion internal links, this Cache solution does not work as I am unable to find any of these folders. AAAAGH.

  11. Funny,
    When I open the window with the cross-reference as the header under hyperlink, it has a dividing line, it doesn’t do anything. Its laughing at me for doing this. Atlest I still have 5.5 to go back to for a work around. Its a tough one when I hyperlink and bookmark a ton of stuff.

  12. Encountered this problem myself, only didn’t understand how/why my hyperlinks had disappeared. There’s an instantaneous solution which requires zero digging for particular files, that worked for my iMac. Quit InDesign. Then simultaneously press shift, control, option, command (do not let go) while clicking on your InDesign icon in the dock or in your apps folder. Choose the “open” option (without letting go) of those 4 keys. As InDesign restarts it will ask “Delete InDesign Preferences/Preference Files?” (now you can let go.) Opt for “Yes”. After relaunching your hyperlinks will reappear, fully reinstated.

  13. About to through myself off a ledge as this happened on my colleagues PC and I then stupidly replicated the issue on mine – none of the fixes worked for me, so in desperation I tried Ellies Mac trick but applying this to a PC….
    Press and hold Shift + ctrl + alt then open indesign whilst holding the keys and a dialogue box will appear saying “Delete InDesign Preferences/Preference Files?” choose yes and your hyperlink box menu will reappear.

    • Yes, the “holding down all the modifier keys while relaunching InDesign” trick is exactly what I was referring to when I pointed to the Rebuilding Your Preferences article above. Glad it’s working for you! :)

  14. Rebuilding preferencies is not the only solution. I discovered another one (after too much coffee and anger ;-)). You can disable and reenable Hyperlinks Panel Extension.

    1. Start Adobe Extension Manager (i.e. in InD menu Help > Extension manager or Manage extension – sorry, I don’t have ENG version and in CZ version it is Správa rozšíření)
    2. Find in InDesign section Hyperlinks Panel
    3. Disable it (checkbox)
    4. Restart InDesign – no hyperlinks panel, but that’s ok.
    5. Return to Extension Manager
    6. Enable Hyperlinks Panel
    7. Restart InDesign again

    … and hyperlinks panel is back with two sections!


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