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Download Links in RapidWeaver
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Download Links in RapidWeaver

A while ago Marathia stacks released a stack that automatically added a link icon to any links contained within it. Yesterday Jeroen released a new stack that will automatically add the correct file icon to those links. Both stacks may be used in combination.

DownloadLinkIcon will not only add the correct icon to a linked file, but it can also force the file to download instead of being displayed in the browser.
LinkPlus can add the appropriate link icon – Internal Link, External Link, or Email to any links contained within a text and format your links so that they are easily identifiable within your flow of text.

Let me begin with the older of the two stacks – LinkPlus – when you drag the stack onto your page, it displays a container into which you can add a text stack. The stack settings allow you to set the icons to be used i.e. internal and/or external and/or email icons which are then automatically added to any links within the text. You can also set the icon colour and the link colours individually – for Link, Hover, Active and Visited states in each case.

Quite recently Google decided that underlined links are 'Oh, so 90s' and removed all underlines from their search pages. This Blog also doesn't use underlined links. While it might be fashionable to indicate links by using colours alone, this can cause problems when your visitor has a sight impediment. (I hope that if you are visually impaired and regularly visit my page, that you are aware that 90% of the product names mentioned are linked to the appropriate page?)

LinkPlus has the additional options of not only adding underlines to linked text, but also also format the links as bold/italic and can add a background colour to aid your visitors in identifying links.
The only thing that you need to observe is that external links must begin with 'http://', or 'https://' for the appropriate icon to be added.

The external link icon may be solid, or open and can be applied to all links within the stack, or to all links that will open in a new window.
LinkPlus also has an option to target text stacks that have a custom selector. This makes it possible to target all text links on a page.

DownloadLinkIcon adds an icon before or after a text link to a downloadable file. The stack will automatically add the most appropriate icon based on the file extension, but you can also override its choice.
As with many recent stacks an instruction sheet is added to your page along with the stack. DownloadLinkIcon has a neat addition – a cheatsheet may be loaded in addition to the user instructions!
The icons used by both stacks are loaded from Font Awesome. Instead of having to go to the Font Awesome site to search for an appropriate icon (who knows all 675 FA Icons? I certainly don't), the cheatsheet displays all file-related icons from A - Archive to V - Video, plus generic icons such as Download and Dropbox.

LinkPlus and DownloadLinkIcon are two useful stacks that make links immediately identifiable. The latter can also force a file download – a feature that is often requested by Weavers.

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