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Re: Is it possible to create named links?

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: Re: Is it possible to create named links?
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2023 18:01:18 +0000

On Sun, Feb 05, 2023 at 01:44:22PM +0100, Andreas Falkenhahn wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm wondering if it's possible to create named links in Texinfo documents. I 
> want to define the text and the target node for the link. E.g. I want to 
> define a link which appears as "Click here" in the PDF and when it is 
> clicked, it jumps to a specified node. Is that possible?
> The only way to create links I've found is to use the @xref directive but 
> this always generates additional pre-defined text so it's not possible to 
> specify a custom label for the link, e.g.
>     @xref{node,,Click here}
> appears as
>     See Section XX [Click here], page XX, for details.
> in the PDF. So it's not possible to just have "Click here" or any other 
> custom text as the link text. It'll always appear as the whole "See 
> Section...." shebang in the PDF.
> Is it possible to embed custom-named links without that pre-defined "See 
> Section..." in the PDF in any way?

The best I can work out is the following:

@set txiomitxrefpg
@ref{node,, Click here}

'txiomitxrefpg' is an undocumented flag to omit the "page XX" part,
and using @ref instead of @xref omits the leading "See".  So what you
get is

     Section XX [Click here] for details.


I'm sure you're aware this this would be no use if this part of the
manual were printed on paper.

I'm open to the idea of adding a "plain cross-reference" command as
it is a frequently-requested feature:

  "If you really want a plain link in HTML output without affecting
  other output formats, you could create a macro with conditional
  definitions for each output format."


However, it doesn't appear to be possible for PDF as you found,
and people don't like writing Texinfo @macro's (using @macro's is
not particularly recommended, either).

I imagine the new command would be something have the same syntax as @ref
and do nothing for Info output where *note markers are needed.

Some ideas for the name:
@rf       - like @ref but shorter (but looks like a font command)
@x        - short for cross-reference
@plainref - self-explanatory, but name is too long
@pref     - stands for "plain reference", but would be confused with @pxref
@link     - purpose is immediately obvious but unlike other ref commands

I'm favouring @x or @link but think @link would be better as manual
sources strewn with @x (or some other very short command) would be
forbidding for language newcomers.

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