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LaTeX template for VIGRE modules: importing hyperlinks into Connexions

Module by: Mark Embree. E-mail the author

Summary: This report summarizes work done as part of Rice University's VIGRE program. VIGRE is a program of Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences under the direction of the National Science Foundation. A PFUG is a group of Postdocs, Faculty, Undergraduates and Graduate students formed round the study of a common problem. This module describes how one can embed hyperlinks into a LaTeX document that will be translated into Connexions mark-up.

Introduction

This small template is designed to illustrate one way to embed hyperlinks in your LaTeX document in a way that Connexions will readily translate. This requires use of the html package; you might need to download html.sty and supporting .sty files. Details are addressed in "Downloading the html.sty file" below. The popular alternative, hyperref.sty, is not presently supported by the LaTeX-to-Connexions translator. Alternatively, you can embed links manually in Connexions once you have imported your document. You might well find this manual route to be rather simpler at present.

For general advice about LaTeX-to-Connexions translations, see the accompanying Connexions module.

Examples of hyperlinks

The \htmladdnormallink and \htmladdnormallinkfoot commands allow you to embed links in your LaTeX document. For example, the command

 \htmladdnormallink{Rice website}{http://www.rice.edu}

adds a link to the Rice university website. The first argument to the command \htmladdnormallink will be printed as text, whereas the second is the web address (URL) itself. Thus, the command shown above displays as: Rice website.

In some cases you might like to also include the URL itself as the first argument, to get a link such as

 \htmladdnormallink{http://www.rice.edu}{http://www.rice.edu}

which displays as: http://www.rice.edu. If you want the link to appear in the LaTeX document, the \htmladdnormallinkfoot command adds the URL as a footnote. For example,

 \htmladdnormallinkfoot{Rice website}{http://www.rice.edu}

produces the output: Rice website. The Connexions translator treats \htmladdnormallink and \htmladdnormallinkfoot identically.

A word of caution

One must beware of one complication: if the URL contains characters that have special meaning in LaTeX, then you can get run into frustrating errors. For example, if you wish to link to the page http://cnx.org/join_form , the underscore can cause trouble.

 \htmladdnormallink{http://cnx.org/join_form}{http://cnx.org/join_form}  % error!

will give an error due to the underscore in the first argument. (The underscore in the second argument, the link itself, is fine.) You can get around this problem by simply using normal next for the first argument,

 \htmladdnormallink{Join Connexions}{http://cnx.org/join_form}

which appears as: Join Connexions.

Note that the footnote version, htmladdnormallinkfoot , does not perform well for URLs that contain special characters. For example,

 \htmladdnormallinkfoot{Join Connexions}{http://cnx.org/join_form}  % error!

causes an error despite the absence of problematic characters in the first argument.

Downloading the html.sty file

In drafting this guide, we experimented with several versions of html.sty .

First, we worked with version 95.1, which is available from, for example, this link. This version is easy to work with, but it does not actually embed clickable links in your LaTeX output; the links will show up properly in the Connexions translation.

If you want clickable links in your LaTeX document as well as Connexions, you will need a more recent version of html.sty . We tested with version 1.39 (which, counterintuitively, is newer than version 95.1). You can download this version from this link. This version requires a number of subordinate files that might not be included in your LaTeX installation. You can find most or all of these packages in the oberdiek bundle on the Comphensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN); follow this link and download the entire bundle.

Which version of html.sty should you use? Try version 1.39 first; if it fails, then start downloading the missing packages, or just use version 95.1.

Preparing your LaTeX file for import

When you create the .zip file that contains your LaTeX source, graphics, and bibliography files, be sure to include the html.sty file. If this file is missing, the Connexions translator will fail to convert your file with minimal details about the error. (Note that if you use html.sty version 1.39, you do not need to include the subordinate .sty files referred to in the previous section.)

Acknowledgements

We thank Jonathan Emmons and Brian West for their advice concerning conversion of LaTeX hyperlinks into Connexions.

This Connexions module describes work conducted as part of Rice University's VIGRE program, supported by National Science Foundation grant DMS–0739420.

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