FAQ Friday: How do I link from a table of contents to sections within my email?

If you have a long newsletter, adding a table of contents with links to sections of your newsletter is an excellent way to direct your readers to the content they are most interested in. To accomplish this linking feat you need to learn how to use anchor links. If you want to see how anchor links work, open up this sample email. Try clicking on A Time to Test and a Time to Send under In This Issue. Then click on Back to Top to jump back up. Keep in mind, if you have a large screen, your screen may not jump as significantly as it would on a smaller screen or within an email reading pane. This will just give you an idea of what anchor links can do.

Anchor Links in the Basic Editor

There are a lot of steps, but it’s not as scary (or hard) as it looks. It’ll go quickly once you get the hang of it. We suggest you start be separating your content into sections using multiple SwiftWindows.

Now let’s make the initial links. These are likely the links in your table of contents. Think of these as the starting place. When one of these links is clicked on, your reader will be directed to that section of your email.

  1. Click on the SwiftWindow where you want text to link to an anchor. This would likely be the window where you have your table of contents.
  2. Click on Content Editor > Text Options > Edit Text.
  3. If the text you want to be linked is not already in the window, type it in here. If the text you want to link is already in this window, proceed to the next step.
  4. Highlight the text you would like to link.
  5. Click the Insert/Edit Hyperlink button in the top toolbar.
  6. A pop-up window will enable you to type in the name of your anchor link. Type in a pound sign (#)
    and then the name of the section. Click OK. Your anchor should look something like #Section1. You may also want to make note of your anchors for later reference.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for each anchor link you want in your document.

Now we’re going to make your anchors. We previously labeled the starting places or the table of contents links. Now we have to put in the code that tells those links where to jump to within your email.

  1. Click on the SwiftWindow that contains the beginning of the section.
  2. Click on Content Editor > Text Options > Edit Text.
  3. Click on the Source button in the top left corner.
  4. The Source button shows you the HTML code behind the SwiftWindow, which may look like gibberish if you
    are unfamiliar with HTML. DON’T WORRY! All you need to do is type in the following at the very beginning of the window:
    <a name=”Section1″></a>
    The word in ” ” needs to match the anchor name you chose in step 6 above.
  5. Click the Source button again and you will see a small anchor symbol in your window. Do not delete or move the anchor symbol. It is not visible outside of the editor or in the sent email. If you delete it, your links will no longer work.
  6. Click on Submit to complete your edits.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for any additional anchors you have in your document.

Anchor Links in the Advanced Editor

For those who are using the Advanced Editor, anchor links work almost the same way. The only real difference is you need to add the all of the <a name=” “> to the HTML of the whole document, instead of opening each individual window. It can be harder to locate the areas you want to link to. Try using your brower’s find function to help. If you add ‘a names’ to the HTML first, you can then use the Select named anchor on a page within the hyperlink window when linking your table of contents section.

You did it! Send a copy of the email to yourself to test the links and see how they work.

About Audrey Howes

Audrey has been an active member of the Swiftpage team since September 2009. Audrey manages Social Media and special projects with her marketing know-how and design expertise. When she’s not working you are likely to find her enjoying time with her family in the mountains near Steamboat, going for a run, reading a good book, being goofy with her kids, or savoring a latte in a local coffee shop.

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