Monthly Archives: January 2015

Managed Services: Adding BUY NOW and ADD TO CART buttons

The Managed Services PDF Publishing facility we offer provides a web-based catalog ordering capability with Add to Cart or Buy Now buttons built into the online ordering pages. A full page examples can be seen at:

If required, these buttons can be placed on the publisher’s own website in order to provide a seamless user experience, optionally with the payment process etc being from the publishers own PayPal account. The result is still automated processing using our servers, so is essentially the same as linking to a catalog page on our managed services site. Other pages used in the process, such as the tailored email template and download template page, remain on our site and are managed by us on your behalf/with your branding/name etc..

Buttons such as these are created using simple HTML commands that look like: <form> a series of instructions… </form>. An example is:

If you click this button it will place a real order for a secure document (in this case a legal guide for US Law Students). In this example we have used the TEXT tab in the WordPress editor (as opposed to the VISUAL tab) to enter the HTML code that creates the button.

Some other points about this approach are noteworthy:

  1. Helpful information and guidance is needed to ensure that purchasers understand what technology platforms are supported (and maybe which are not supported) and whether or not printing of the item is permitted – our sample catalog pages all include this, so can be copied as examples
  2. If you do decide you would like buttons on your own site rather than ours we need to know this so we can ensure that customers return to your site rather than ours for additional orders etc – we would need to provide the button code for you, to ensure it is correct and has been tested on our servers first
  3. If we provide a managed service for a flat rate fee rather than a flat rate plus commission charge, you can be the recipient of the payments made directly rather than via us. Such payments have no commission deducted and appear directly into your PayPal account. In this case the PayPal payment receipt will be sent to you rather than us. You set the price and you are the contracting party for payment and any local sales tax/VAT computations and reporting.

For more information and advice on Managed Service PDF publishing please contact us

What is the difference between and implicit and an explicit hyperlink?

We often get asked why are web address like does not work as an active link to the web address in a PDF. This posting explains the difference between a link that an application “guesses” should be treated as a web or mail link, and a link that includes associated information to tell the application that it should act in a particular way. Note that in this posting the entry does not work as a link because I have not included an explicit link as part of this text, so the web browser thinks it is just pure text.

Explicit hyperlinks

Suppose you have a Word document, and you type the text “Click here to access my website”. This clearly will not go to your website when you click on it. However, if you select the text and use the menu option to Insert a Hyperlink, it will encode the text with an associated (hidden) string that tells Word to go to that URL when the item is clicked – and if you then export the Word document to a PDF it will ensure that the text string keeps this hidden association and the item will be shown as a link in the PDF and will work. So this is an explicitly coded link. If you have the URL as text in a document (e.g. in InDesign) it is the same – it is just text although many applications (e.g. almost all Adobe and Microsoft applications) may well ‘guess’ that you really mean the item to be a link – in fact it is difficult to stop them doing this if you don’t want them to. You can then tell InDesign to make it an explicit link as per Word or wait until it is output to PDF and use Adobe Acrobat, Tools option, Document processing (Create URLs) to make the links explicit, i.e. encoded into the underlying PDF file structure.

Implicit hyperlinks

If you open a PDF in Adobe Reader it will look at a text string that is probably a URL link and guess it should be a link and highlight it and act as if it was a real link – this is an implicit link, in that it implies its purpose from its structure. An implicit link will not be recognized and acted upon by Javelin and most other PDF readers – some PDF readers will work with implicit links and some will not. So, explicitly specifying text strings as links is the correct approach to take for safety.