This is my first project using LaTeX (and I like it a lot), but having most experience as a software developer I'm wondering if there is anyone in the writers community who can answer this question.

In HTML, we usually use #0000EE for hyperlinks, but in a LaTeX document there is so much more.

I already know how to handle this from a technical point of view:



In the hyperref package I found all these settings that can be used.

  • linkcolor
  • anchorcolor
  • filecolor
  • menucolor
  • runcolor
  • urlcolor
  • allcolors

The default colors (lime green for cite and pink for external url's) look ugly to me. Text color is black. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't have to be color, if all content in black is a better way, or just using bold or italics, please let me know.

I hope someone can give me some advice on this so my report can be a bit better looking then it is now.

  • 5
    Welcome to TeX.SE! There probably isn't any single standard for link colors in a LaTeX document. I've noticed that many academic publishers these days use a single shade of blue (or indigo, or cobalt...) for all hyperlinks, with no distinction made between (ordinary) links, citation call-outs, URLs, etc. Speaking for myself, I think you can't go very wrong if you load hyperref with the options colorlinks and allcolors=<some-shade-of-blue>. – Mico Jul 28 '18 at 15:43
  • 1
    As Mico says, there’s no standard. The closest you’ll get is to use the hyperref defaults when colorlinks is set to true. – Andrew Jul 29 '18 at 3:45
  • 1
    If you don't want any colour (just the normal text colour) you can use the hidelinks option. – Nicola Talbot Jul 29 '18 at 11:24

At last there is no standard because it depends on the document and how it would be used.

Colour(s) could be useful, if the document will not be printed with an black-and-white printer or copied in a copy shop (usualy done in black-white copies). Copied or black-and-white printed colors becomes grey. It could happen that that grey could not be copied propper so the reader can not read the important hint to the bibliography.

Because most thesis will be copied I suggest not to use colors for links in it.

If your document is only used online or as pdf file you can use colors to visualize the different links. But for example there are some percent of men not able to see the difference of red and green color. So you should only use one of them, not both!

If you use several colors for the named several link possibilities, with massive usage of links in your document the reader will only see colors, but will not read/recognize the important information in it.

The conclusion for me is the following:

  1. If I know the thesis has to be printed for the library and there other people can ask to get a copy of it I prefer to use only black color.

  2. If I am using color for the pdf, I use only one color to mark all links in the pdf. I prefer a color near black, for example dark blue or blue. That has the advantage, that a reader does not see first the colored parts of text, he can read the sentences and understand (hopefully) the given information. The colored link makes it then easier to recognize the link in pdf. The advantage of dark blue is that if the pdf is printed and copied, dark blue gets black and the information does not vanish.

  3. If I know the document has to be printed in high quality (a book, not a simple thesis for the library) I use colors very rar to not loose the effect of marking an important part of the work. But then it is important to find the right colors. That is not easy, depends on the document and should be done together with a printer knowing the difficulties publishing books with color.

So point 1 could be seen as quasi standard ...

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