I've designed a brochure for a client using InDesign, exported as an interactive PDF. He wants a simple way to capture info from the reader so I suggested an email link with a prepopulated body. The mailto link contains a Subject and Body, basically like this:

mailto:[email protected]?subject=BlahBlahBlah&body=Thank%20you%20for%20your%20interest.%20Please%20provide%20the%20following:%0D%0DYour%20Name:%0DBest%20Phone%20Number:%0DBest%20Email%20Address:%0DBest%20Time%20to%20Contact%20You:%0D%0DAny%20Additional%20Message:

The problem is, he'd like this PDF to work in iBooks reader but this mailto: link doesn't work. Can't even 'click' on it. It works as expected on a desktop version of Adobe Reader. A mailto: link with a Subject works great, the problem comes in when I try to add the body. Any suggestions on what to try next? Thank you!

1 Answer 1


The problem is with iBooks reader (and just about all the PDF readers on iOS and Android other than Adobe Reader), which doesn't implement most of the interactivity in the PDF spec.

To achieve the appearance as designed and retain all the interactive elements, export as Fixed Layout (FXL) ePub (requires InDesign CC 2014 November update).

As far as viewing on most devices is concerned, FXL looks destined to be "the new PDF." As of this writing, the full FXL spec is implemented in iBooks and a very few other readers, but that's changing rapidly. Even Amazon have dropped loud hints that their next iteration of Kindle will support FXL. Perhaps we'll finally see Kindle get on board with the open standards for ePub.

  • So, I tried your suggestion of using InDesign CC to export the fixed layout ePub, which did work, thank you! After noodling around with the piece for a while I re-exported as PDF again and this time the mailto: link behaves the way I want it to, with the prepopulated body. I don't know if it was the update to InDesign CC or something I inadvertently changed when I re-typed the code in the mailto: URL but it is working now.
    – Kathryn
    Jan 7, 2015 at 18:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.