Advanced analytics with page identifiers in PDFs

Modified on Mon, 15 Mar 2021 at 03:02 PM

When pulling page-level reports on PDFs, the default setting records data based on page number. This can become complex when there's many pages or a non-linear structure to documents. 

Instead of manually correlating data via lookups after the fact, you can use existing applications to markup pages with meaningful identifiers/labels prior to upload. This means when you pull reports, page-level data is recorded against your page-labels, making it much simpler to analyse your reports.

1. When to use this function:

You can use these settings for any kind of PDF viewed assets in myINTERACT such as Presentations, eDetailers, IVAs etc. 

This includes the following asset type variants:

  • Simple PDF asset, whether single pdf document or multi-pdf document based asset linked together via SmartPDF tags. 
  • PDF document opened via a html asset type, whether locally from the asset content folder, or from an online source. 
  • SmartDeck based PDF assets.
  • SmartLibrary entries which are PDF documents. 

Marking up your document

Adding a link annotation to a page (recommended) 

This approach is recommended because it is the most supported means, as just about every editing application which can export PDF will support this method of adding the identifier you chose. 

Examples of applications include: 

  • Microsoft Powerpoint 
  • Apple Keynote 
  • Apple Pages 
  • Apple Numbers 
  • Adobe InDesign 
  • Adobe Acrobat

This approach uses custom URL’s defined by myINTERACT which are saved in the PDF as Standard Links. Although they are tappable, they can be included in the document to be ‘out of sight’. 

The benefit of this approach is that the metadata defined via this URL will always stay with the page when the page is copied, moved to another section of the document. 

A Step by Step Guide

The following process is virtually the same no matter the external application you choose to use. You essentially just need to: add a (URL) link to each page of your document > attach to a 'Webpage Link' > re-format the text so it appears 'invisible' on the page > save and export document as PDF. 

1. Adding the URL link

The URL format used to identify the page must follow the following naming convention: 


IDENTIFIER_NAME - is used to identify a specific page, it will also be used as the identifier sent to SAM page level analytics via myINTERACT. 

For example, if you are tagging a contents page in your document you would write: niname://contents_page

Only use alpha, numeric and underscore characters for best results.

To add this identifier string: open your piece of content in your chosen application > navigate to page, then:

  1. Add a text box and 
  2. input write the identifier string (see below)

Note: the example below has been done using Apple Keynote. However, each application follows the same basic steps. 

    3. Now format this 'identifier string' to appear invinsible on the page. You can achieve this by hiding it behind an         image, or formatting the font to match the slide background. 

    4. Highlight the 'identifier string' and 'Add Link' > Add 'Webpage' Link

    5. Copy and paste the identifier string into the Link field.

Note: Adding a 'Webpage Link' varies depending on the application you are using, for:

Apple Keynote and Apple Pages:

Highlight text > right click > Hover on 'Add Link' > select Webpage > copy and paste text (see below)

Microsoft PowerPoint

Highlight text > Select "Insert" from Menu Bar > Select "Link > Select "Web Page or File" in pop up box > copy and paste link > select OK (see below)

Adobe Acrobat:

1. Edit PDF> Select 'Link' in the Toolbar > Select 'Add/Edit Web or Document Link',

2. Make sure 'Link Type' is 'Invisible Rectangle' and 'Highlight Style' is None > Select 'Open a web page' under 'Link Action',

3. Select 'Next' > then enter the text into the URL field > Select 'Okay' (see below)

Adobe inDesign

1. Highlight text > Right click and hover on 'HyperLinks' > Select 'New Hyperlink...' 

2. Copy and paste text into the URL field > Ensure the PDF appearance is 'Invisible Rectangle' and 'Highlight' is 'None'  

3. Select 'OK' (see below)

2. Repeat the process for each page

You can choose to create page identifiers/labels only on your key pages, or every page. For each page you would like to label, repeat the above process.

3. Export to PDF

Once you have created all your page identifiers, export the file to PDF.

4. Upload the PDF to SAM

Upload your PDF to your chosen location in SAM and you're good to go!

5. Pulling page-level reports

Now, when you pull your page-level reports your page identifiers will be listed under PAGE_NAME in your reports in stead of page numbers. 

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