Making Your Own Hyperlinked Documents

In order to change an existing document or make a new document you must use a word processor. With this word processor you create a web document in which you can assign major categories within your information so that you can move easily from one part of the document to another location either within the document moving to another document or graphic. When you wish to land at a specific word or phrase in the text you assign that location a Bookmark. The site in the text from which you jump to the bookmark is termed a Hyperlink. The essence of navigation and information retrieval in your document lies with effective use of bookmarks and hyperlinks. The small screen of the PDA affords only tunnel vision when looking at text; thus hyperlinks must be in place to move this tiny spotlight to desired areas within the document.

This brief tutorial makes use of Microsoft Word® as the means of getting the data in, but any text editor capable of producing an .html document (such as Open Office) will work in the same way. We will assume that you have done this by typing, dictation, text recognition or speech recognition, or that you are working on a pre-existing file imported into the word processor. Your sources may be multiple and will be integrated as you organize your thoughts on the topic. You may be using another source of organization which particularly appealed to you. This tutorial covers creation of the topic of Proteinuria in Primary Care. The topic suggested itself after I had listened to and Audio Digest® tape, which I thought organized the topic well for me. Original material was from 1992, and it has been updated over the years to remain current. Subsequently the topic of Metabolic Syndrome was added when the subheading of Screening was expanded. Because I have always had trouble remembering the criteria for identification of this very common problem, I chose to add a hyperlink to the definition of Metabolic Syndrome.

Step 1: Outline

Organize the topic into headings and subheadings which represent areas of text to which you might wish to refer quickly:


Step 2: Text Insertion

Insert the information into the organized framework to include all of the material you wish to reference. At this stage it can be useful to make your main headings and subheadings bold so that hyperlinks are more easily seen. You may wish to italicize or underline other text for emphasis. Although it is possible to dress up the text with multiple font sizes, colours and types, this practice can produce unexpected results. It is recommended that you leave your font as an easily read Arial or Times New Roman and rely on color, bold, underline or italic for emphasis. Other formatting such as left justified or centered are done automatically by the text reader to fit the smaller screen. It is possible to indent and assign numbers or bullets for clarity, but remember that you lose some screen when doing so. A single level of indentation is probably as much as is practical, and often no indentation at all is acceptable with adequate space between sections. Bullets and numbers can also be added without indentation:

Text Insertion

Step 3: Bookmarks

Insert Bookmarks. These are areas of text you might wish to jump to when looking for different aspects of the topic. Remember that you will be viewing this material on a small screen, and that all that may be visible is the initial menu. Even if you can see the topic you wish to jump to on the computer screen, it is important to place a bookmark for use on the smaller PDA screen. In the example, I might wish to find microalbuminuria quickly. I set a bookmark here for later reference. Bookmarks must be text only. Numbers or symbols may result in very strange links. To insert a bookmark, set your cursor at the desired site, then click Insert + Bookmark. The dialogue box will allow you to give this bookmark a name. It needs to be unique so that you will recognize it. After typing in a name, click Add:


Step 4: Hyperlinks

Insert Hyperlinks. These are sites in the text from which you will jump to other parts of the text previously labeled as bookmarks. Highlight the text you wish to represent the hyperlink. Click on Insert + Hyperlink + Bookmark. This will give you a list of all your bookmarks. Select the bookmark desired and click OK + OK. The selected text will be colored and underlined (if this is the option you have selected in Word for hyperlinks). iSilo will automatically display all hyperlinks underlined. Hyperlinks can also be made to entirely separate files. In this case the file can be selected with Insert + Hyperlink + File, and a browse can be made to locate the file desired. In an especially long document you may wish to have different aspects of the topic contained in different files, although housekeeping can become a problem if you try to move these files out of the folder containing the document with the hyperlinks calling these files. Test all your hyperlinks:


Step 5: Other Links

Insert other links. There are many other areas of text which need to be linked other than main headings. In this example the limitations and implications of dipstick testing may have been missed by jumping immediately to the topic of overt proteinuria. The link allows this cross-reference to be made if desired. Similarly, a graphic such as an ECG may be a link destination for many parts of the text referencing different aspects of change in the ECG tracing:

Step 6: Graphics and Tables

The text reader can link to .jpg, .gif and other graphics files. Hyperlinks to these files are made in exactly the same way. The graphic itself, however, may have to be manipulated in a graphics editor in order to be properly presented for the PDA screen. Since these screens differ in resolution, this may take some trial and error effort. If the image is too large for the PDA screen, scroll bars will appear to allow visualization of the entire graphic. Tables in the text may have to be formatted for the small screen as well.

Step 7: Flowcharts

Flowcharts are especially useful in summation of a medical investigation. These are usually represented as graphics or figures, however in this format they are difficult to follow if one has to scroll around the screen to follow a specific path. An alternative is to use hyperlinks. Each box in the flowchart can be contained on a separate page of the document. You can then represent each branch of the flowchart as a set of hyperlinks (eg. < 50 gm protein / > 50 gm protein), and link each branch to the appropriate path, which has been previously bookmarked. In the proteinuria document the Evaluation + Flow Sheet hyperlinks lead to one of these flow charts, which one follows by selection of hyperlinks.

Step 8: Creation of an HTML Document

The document you have just created is a Word® document with a .doc or .docx extension. You need to make this into a document formatted for a web browser. This is done by saving this document as a web page. Click File + Save As + Save As Type:. This will give you a dialog box with a drop-down list at the bottom. Select the Web Page (*.htm; *.html) option, and in the space immediately above, name the file. It can have the same name as the .doc file, as it will have a .htm extension. Double clicking on the file with the new extension now brings your work up in your browser. You can port this file directly to your handheld device using iSiloX® (available free on the internet), which will queue the file for installation during your next synchronization or save the file for later transfer.. Other files labelled .htm or .html , or graphics files which are linked to the main file as hyperlinks are loaded into the document automatically by iSiloX®. iSiloX® then creates a .pdb file which is usable by the handheld platform.

Step 9: Editing or Updating

Your .htm file cannot be edited in the browser, but can be edited if loaded back into Word®. The top toolbar will usually give you this option. If it does not, you can open Word® and open the .htm file directly. After changing, remember to check to be sure it is being saved as an .htm file. When you exit Word®, the old version of the browser will still be on the screen. Do not work further with this screen, as it does not contain your changes. Either refresh the screen or exit and reload the file before making further changes.

This tutorial is specific for making documents for the handheld devices using iSilo® as a text reader. The resulting document will reside in memory on your handheld device, and can be used when no internet access is available.