Brighten up index hyperlinks
Although all underlined hyperlinks are currently blue text with no highlight color, they do not have to be this plain. Choose a suitable font face, size and highlight color. In addition, using Insert⁄edit hyperlink, add a space before and after each letter to make each easier to click, particularly narrow letters like I.
Feel free to copy any of these sets of index hyperlinks for your own files. All links have been set to point to the Root node (node ID = 1), so you will have to re-link each one according to each file into which it is inserted, and also re-insert leading trailing spaces, since TreePad's Insert⁄edit hyperlink function does not appreciate them!
Fig.1 shows the hyperlinks standing alone. The "#" link points to an index article containing only numbers and symbols.
Fig.1. Original hyperlinks.
In Fig.2 the links have been copied into a table in which the alignment of text in each cell has been set to center. (Use copy rather than cut, in case something goes wrong and you need to start again. Tables can be very unforgiving. To change all cells to central alignment, highlight the whole table and press Ctrl+E or click Center.) Note that the table was created with superfluous columns on either side. This is to preserve the equal spacing of the columns yet create the final effect of displacing the table slightly to the left (Fig.3). This was chosen to ensure that the whole index would still be easily visible if working in a smaller TreePad window. Hint: Since there is no automatic way of resizing remaining columns equally if a column is removed, it is better to allocate extra columns when creating the table, as has been done here.
Fig.2. Same links inserted into a table.
Note also that the font size of blank rows has been reduced from 15 to 8 for a more pleasing effect. If you try this for yourself, always copy the table first, then make modifications to the copy, as it is often difficult to reverse changes made to a table. It is better at the end to delete all versions of your work except the most recent, than to make an irreversible mistake when you are nearly finished, and begin again!
The last step is to hide the borders of the table by highlighting the whole table (dragging the mouse) and clicking the Hide borders toolbutton. To redisplay the borders, highlight the table and click Show borders.
Fig.3. Same table with borders hidden.
Here are some different highlight colors, all belonging to the standard 16-color set. This was created by clicking the Select table row toolbutton to highlight one row at a time, then clicking Set highlight color to open the palette, and choosing a different color for that row.
To reduce the intensity of these highlight colors, the palette was reopened for each row and Define Custom Colors clicked to open the extended 256-color palette. Each color was lightened, saved as a custom color, and pasted. (See Font and highlight color for a more detailed description of this control.) Note: 256-bit colors may appear as "moiré" patterns on some computer screens.
If the index articles that are the targets of these hyperlinks are likely to extend offscreen as the file grows, it may be more sensible to redesign the index to allow room for expansion, as below:
Ca and Cm stand for C(a-l) and C(m-z) respectively. Note that the table was created with left alignment, which should be more efficient than central alignment as it reduces mouse travel distance between tree and article panes. Furthermore, although the table could have been designed with the alphabet progressing vertically in columns rather than horizontally in rows, it seems easier to read it horizontally. Try it.
If this index grid is still too large, highlight each row in turn and reduce the font size.
Handy hint: Attempting to highlight a cell containing a hyperlink may be frustrating since the hyperlink's active field extends to the whole cell, not just the blue underlined part (Fig. 7a). Instead, click just outside the table (Fig. 7b) and you will notice that the cursor ends up inside the cell! Alternatively, just add an extra right-hand column as in Fig. 6