Overview of Linking (Manual and Import)

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Table of Contents

1. What is Linking?

2. Linking Manually

3. Linking via Spreadsheet

4. Editing Links

5. More Resources


1. What is Linking?

Linking is a great way to enhance your guide!  This feature enables you to link to items that are both inside and outside of your guide.  Lets look at a prime example of linking to items within your guide:

  1. We can see that this Keynote Speaker Schedule Session has a few items linked to it from within the guide:
    1. Keynote Speaker - Jeff Lewis.  Jeff was linked from the Speakers list in this guide.
    2. Jeff’s Presentation - This is a PDF copy of the presentation Jeff will be giving.  PDF linking is available on Plus plans and beyond.
    3. Live Poll - This is a live poll that Jeff will be conducting during the Keynote (clicking on this link will allow users to participate!).
    4. Amazon - This is the session’s sponsor.  This is linked from the Sponsors list within the guide.
    5. Ask the Presenter - This is a feedback form where attendees can submit questions to Jeff.  The intent behind this being that Jeff can then take a select few of these questions, and use them for his live poll!
    6. Session Feedback - This is a feedback form for this session.

By looking at the example above, we can see that there are a multitude of ways to utilize linking within your guide.  Whether you are linking a speaker to a session or a pdf document to a speaker (or any other relevant item), linking affords you an almost infinite amount of flexibility!

But what about linking to things outside of your guide?  Lets say for instance, that Amazon might have a website.  Certainly, as a sponsor, they would want your attendees to have access to their website.  We can do this with linking!  The example below shows that we have linked Amazon’s website to their listing in the Sponsors Custom List.

The ability to link to external websites is powerful and used rather frequently.  Here are a few common use cases:

  1.  Restaurant List Item - Linked to the restaurant’s website.
  2.  Sponsor List Item or Schedule Session - Linked to the sponsor’s website.
  3.  Speaker’s List Item - Linked to their own personal website and/or linked to their company’s website. (Yes, you can link more than one website to one item/session…you can link as many as you would like!)
  4. Exhibitor’s List Item - Linked to the exhibitor's website.
  5. Local Attractions List Item - Linked to the attraction's website.

By using any combination of the links discussed above, you can display an impressive amount of information to your users!  For clarity, you can set up any or all of the following links:

  1. Link a Session/Item to a different session/item
  2. Link a Session/Item to a Survey or Live Poll
  3. Link a Session/Item to a PDF (either a PDF URL or a physical PDF) - For Plus Plans and beyond.
  4. Link a Session/Item to an External URL
  5. Link a Session/Item to an entire Schedule Track
  6. Link a Session/Item to an entire Custom List

Giving all of your users access to all of this information at the tap of a finger is what we are here to do!  In the next few sections, we'll dive into the actual steps behind linking. 


2. Linking Manually

Within the Guidebook Builder, you can set up many types of links by hand.  All of these examples will require the following steps:

  1. Log into the Guidebook Builder.
  2. Click on the guide you would like to edit.
  3. Tap on "Build Guides".
  4. Click into a List or Schedule, and click into the particular list item or session you would like to link.

(Skip to Editing Links)

From this point, your path may diverge slightly depending on what you are trying to link.

Linking to other Sessions, Items, PDFs, or URLs

  1. As shown in the above screenshot, click on the "Links" tab.
  2. From the "Links" area:
  • Search Bar: You may use the search bar to find other sessions and items from the guide.  Search results will appear in realtime as you type your keywords; simply click on your desired results to link them to the guide
  • PDF: Use the PDF button to link to a PDF URL or a physical PDF.  This Article covers PDF linking in much greater depth.  PDF linking is available on Plus plans and beyond.
  • URL: Use the URL button to link to any external website.  Simply enter the name of the website, and the URL of the destination.  Be sure to include http:// or https:// in front of the URL.  Note: Do not use the URL button to link to a PDF destination.  Android devices will be unable to open these URLs.  Also, some unorthodox webpages (.aspx, for example) may not operate perfectly from within the Guidebook app.  Please test your links prior to publishing your guide.
  1. Be sure to save!

When linking sessions/items to other sessions/items, you will create two-way links -- the links will appear in both the original session/item, as well as the linked session/item.

Linking to Surveys and Live Polls

  1. As shown in the above screenshot, click on the "Feedback" tab.
  2. Use the search bar to find any created surveys or live polls.  You can refer to this article on survey tools to learn about creating surveys and live polls.  Alternatively, you may 
  3. Click on the desired search result to link the survey or live poll to your session or item.

3. Linking via Spreadsheet

In Section #2, we described the process for linking your sessions and items by hand.  While this process takes only a few clicks, adding linkages across many sessions can become a bit tedious.  Luckily, you can use Guidebook's Linking Template (attached at the bottom of this support article) to very quickly establish the following links:

  1. Session/Item to Session/Item
  2. Session/Item to Form

Before we dive in, it's important to note that there are two types of linking templates: Custom List Linking and Session Linking.  When you want to link Items to other entities in your guide, use the Custom List Linking template as your starting point.  When you want to link Sessions to other entities in your guide, use the Session Linking template as your starting point.

Finding the templates

  1. Log into the Guidebook Builder.
  2. Click on the guide that you want to work on.
  3. Click into "Build Guide".
  4. Click on the Custom List or Schedule you'd like to link.
  5. In the resulting overlay, click on "Import from File".
  6. On the right-hand side of the page, click on the appropriate linking template to download the file as a CSV or XLS.  You'll be looking for Session Links or Item Links.
  7. Using a spreadsheet editor, such as Microsoft Excel, Apache OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, edit the downloaded template.

What to do with the Template

Regardless of which template you've downloaded, do NOT edit the column headers.  You may also note that the Session Links and Item Links templates differ slightly in their headers; however, the overall workflow will remain relatively consistent between the two types.  For this example, we will use the Item Links template columns.  You will need, at minimum, column A -- Item ID -- filled out plus any one of the other columns on the sheet.

Remember, if you are using the Session Links template, the columns are different -- we've described them below in "An Example."  Still, try to fill out as much information as you can, in order to link properly.   

If you have multiple items or sessions with the same name, you will instead need to link Session IDs or Item IDs instead of Session Names and Item Names, so that multiple sessions will not be linked to multiple incorrect items or sessions. To acquire the ID numbers, you MUST use Export Data to export your list(s) and/or session information.

Note: You will also see a column titled "Link To Form Name (Optional)".  If you have surveys or live polls in your guide, you may want to use the linking template to attach them to your sessions, instead of manually linking each one.  See our Pro Tip Article for more information!

Each row in the linking template can link to multiple entities; separate entries in the same cell with a semicolon (e.g. "12345; 12395" for ID numbers)

 

AN EXAMPLE

Let's say that for the guide, "Guidebook Conference 2016," you want to link one of the sessions, "Sales Meeting," to one of the speakers, "Jim Millman." To do this, follow the steps above-- sign into the Guidebook Builder, click on "Guidebook Conference 2016," choose "Build Guide", and click on the Schedule module. Then, click on "Import from file," and download the Session Links template. Open the spreadsheet editor of your choice, and open the downloaded template. You should see the following columns:

  • Session ID (Optional)

  • Session Name (Optional)
  • Link To Session ID (Optional)

  • Link To Session Name (Optional)
  • 
Link To Custom List Item ID (Optional)
  • Link To Custom List Item Name (Optional)
  • Link To Form ID (Optional)
  • Link To Form Name (Optional)

For good practice, export your schedule and custom list to find the IDs for "Sales Meeting" and "Jim Millman", and type in the Sales Meeting ID under "Session ID (Optional)" and the "Jim Millman" ID under "Link to Custom List Item ID (Optional)."  In reality, since we do not have duplicate names, you could use the name fields to link.

Then, save the template, and re-upload it on the same overlay from which you downloaded the template. (That is, log into the Guidebook Builder, click on "Guidebook Conference 2016," click on "Build Guide", select your Schedule, choose "Import from file," and then import your template from the "Import Links" option). After a few moments, you should receive an e-mail letting you know that the links have been successfully created. Tap on "Sales Meeting" from your Schedule to make sure that the link has been created.

As mentioned above, our session/item to session/item links go both ways -- the links will appear in both the original session/item, as well as the linked session/item.


4. Editing Links

Hopefully, you've been able successfully to add some links into your guide!  As your guide continues to grow, you may wish to edit your uploaded links.  While you may add more links using the spreadsheet method, you must manually edit any existing links within the Guidebook Builder.

To start, we'll follow the same steps outlined here.  Once you've arrived at the linking overlay, you have a number of editing tools available:

  1. Rename your Linking Categories:  Click the "Pen" to the right of each category name, and enter in a new name.
  2. Reorder your Linking Categories:  Click the up or down arrow to the right of each category to change the order of your categories.
  3. Reorder your individual links: If you have more than one of the same link type, you can manually re-order your links.  Find the two stacks of dots to the right of the gear icon, and click and drag your links to your desired sort order.
  4. Delete links: Use the gear icon to remove a link.  Because links between sessions and items are two-way links (the links appear both in the source session/item and target session/item), you will need to delete a link in both locations to fully remove the ties.  If you only delete in one place, you will create a one-way link (which can be ideal, at times).

Note: To edit a linked PDF or URL, you must first delete the PDF or URL link and then re-add the information.  Sorry for the hassle - we hope to fix this soon!

You'll find a gif below showcasing some of your edit behaviors.  As always, don't forget to save!


 

5. More Resources

Hopefully, this helps you understand the linking options available in the Guidebook Builder.  You can easily add in your links manually, or you can use the linking templates to safely and efficiently link hundreds, if not thousands, of links in far less time than you could with manual linking.  Of course, linking may still take some time (especially if you have, as many of our users have, hundreds of links to create) -- but we're confident that our template will provide a comfortable interface for enhancing your guide.

If you still have questions about linking, please leave a comment below or shoot us a message at support@guidebook.com

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