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How to Create and Add Hyperlinks Within Your PDF Documents

January 12, 2022

PDFs are great for sharing information. And hyperlinks are great for increasing readability!

Links are much more user-friendly than footnotes, references, endnotes, and any other way to add supplemental information within a PDF document.

It’s much more convenient for the reader to be able to open the hyperlinks as they’re reading through your PDF. As opposed to having to scroll all the way to the bottom of the PDF file to see the web page references and links.

So, adding hyperlinks within your documents will help save both your time as well as the readers.

And below, we’ll show you all the different ways you can create and add hyperlinks within your PDF documents. With all the different tools and ways to edit PDF hyperlink configurations.

You are about to find out:

  • Why Add Hyperlinks to a PDF Document?
  • How to Add a Hyperlink To a PDF With Google Docs
  • How to Add a Hyperlink to a PDF Document Using MS Word
  • Adding a Hyperlink To a PDF File Using Adobe Acrobat 
  • Adding a Hyperlink to a PDF File Using PDFelement Pro
  • Adding a Hyperlink to a PDF File Using Foxit Phantom PDF Editor
  • How to Edit PDF Hyperlinks Online
  • How to Change Link Appearance On the PDF Document

Why Add Hyperlinks to a PDF Document?

Why add links in the first place?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Ease of navigation: Hyperlinks are super helpful for enhancing your reader’s overall viewing experience, as the unnecessary hassle of scrolling through a PDF document is easily eliminated. This navigation tool gives your reader the freedom to explore within the document and jump directly to their preferred destination. Scanning through with the simple option of clicking on the highlighted PDF text.  
  • Conciseness: For conciseness of document pages, you could place hyperlinks to external information through website links or other documents.
  • Clarity: Modifying your document section to include hyperlinks could promote clarity, as they serve as references to other pages or sections within and outside your document. To insert hyperlinks into texts, words, or phrases inside your document, you would need to be aware of its purpose. 
  • Order: Whether you would like to add clickable external resources from your website into your files, or you want to save readers’ time linking the headings of sections in said file. Including hyperlinks in PDF documents present a form of sophistication and orderliness in the dissemination of written content or text. Luckily, it is not complicated to figure out how to do so. 

Now, let’s take a look at some best practices on how to add hyperlinks to your PDF documents.

How to Add a Hyperlink To a PDF With Google Docs

Google Docs has a lot of features to help you edit, share, and create digital documents.

If you work with G Suite daily, you’ll definitely want to know how to add links in your documents before sharing them.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Open Google Docs on your web browser.
  2. Create or add the contents of your PDF.
  3. Select and highlight the word or phrase you wish to hyperlink and click on Ctrl+K or the Link icon in the Toolbar.
how to add hyperlink to pdf document

How to Add a Hyperlink to a PDF Document Using MS Word

If you prefer MS Word over Google Docs, you can also add or edit hyperlinks within your PDF documents the same way.

With Word though, you can also add different kinds of hyperlinks and references based on different documents or links. 

In Word, you can add links to:

  • Existing file or web page.
  • Places in your open MS Word document.
  • New document.
  • Email address.

Below, we’ll cover all hyperlink usecases.

Here is a step by step guide:

  1. Open MS Word.
  2. Click on the “File” option and select the PDF document you wish to make alterations to.
  3. Highlight the word or phrase you want to use as Hyperlink.
  4. Click on the “Insert” tab and click Link icon or press CTRL+K.
add link to word in ms word
  1. A dialogue box will pop up on your screen on the left side. Select the type of object you want to link the word to and fill in the relevant information.

Here’s an overview of the other kinds of hyperlinks you can add within MS Word:

Link to existing file or web page in Word 

This option links your text to external resources from a website or existing document in your files. 

For instance, if you wish to write an article on “How to Cross the street”, you might want to give your reader the option of accessing more information about the subject on the world wide web without bulking up the page.

Or you could link the text to an existing file on your PC, such that once the reader clicks on the highlighted link, the file automatically opens.

Link to a place in your Word document as a hyperlink

In order to help your reader, navigate within the document with ease and speed, you could create a hyperlink connecting the table of contents to their respective headings. This gives your reader control over their reading adventures and saves time.

Insert hyperlink to create a new document: 

You can link your selected heading or text to a blank page while you edit the properties of the said page by adding content to it. Just like for existing documents, your reader would be directed to external resources located in another folder.

Insert E-mail address as a hyperlink in Word 

Display important contact information for correspondence with reader by inserting a link to chosen email address. 

Understand that these steps only relate to users of recent versions of the Microsoft Word software, from 2016. However, if you use older versions of this software, you would need to convert your PDF files into Word documents using online conversion tools such as;

  • PDFescape
  • Blue Beam
  • Cisdem (for MAC users only)
  • Readiris (for PC users)
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Adding a Hyperlink To a PDF File Using Adobe Acrobat 

You can also use Adobe Acrobat to create, edit and delete link properties in a PDF document.

Here’s how to edit and manage your hyperlinks using Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat, select your PDF document to add hyperlinks to.
  2. Select Tools> Edit PDF>Link, then click on the Add/Edit Web or Document Link option. That action would temporarily show all links within the document, whether they are visible or invisible.
how to add hyperlink with adobe acrobat

3. Drag the rectangle to where you want to create a link. It could be a text box or graphic, the link will become active in this area.

4. In the Create Link dialogue box that appears on the screen.

5. Choose the link appearance and then click on the “Open a Web page” for link action. You could make it invisible or choose your preferred type, style, thickness, or color, then highlight it.

create link in adobe acrobat

6. Choose a destination for the hyperlink by going to the page view, then Next to set the page number and view magnification for file attachments. Click Set Link.

7. To open a file, you would need to select the file destination by clicking Select. Specify whether the document should open in a new window or an existing window. Then, click OK.

8. Click File> Save to save inserted hyperlink to document.

Adding a Hyperlink to a PDF File Using PDFelement Pro

Adding a hyperlink to a PDF with PDFElement is similar to with Adobe Acrobat.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Open the PDFelement program on your PC or laptop.
  2. Select the PDF file by clicking on it to import directly from the local disk.
  3. Go to the Edit menu and click the Link button.
  4. Draw a rectangle over the word you want to add a link to.
  5. Customize your link appearance (link type, highlight style, line thickness, color, etc.).
  6. Then, for the Link Action, type in your web page URL and click Set Link.

Adding a Hyperlink to a PDF File Using Foxit Phantom PDF Editor

You can link pages to various destinations within your PDF document to provide references 

  1. Select the text you want to hyperlink.
  2. Click the “Edit text” button at the top center of your screen.
  3. Change the color of the text to whatever color you wish to.
  4. Tap the underline button to make the selected text look like a hyperlink.
  5. Once that is done, you can easily add the hyperlink itself under Edit, click the “Link” button.
  6. Draw a square around the text you want to hyperlink.
  7. In the Create a Link dialogue box, click on Open a web link and click “Next”.
  8. Insert the webpage URL you want to link to and click “OK”.

How to Edit PDF Hyperlinks Online

To edit PDF hyperlinks online, you’ll need an online PDF editor tool or you can simply use Google Docs again.

Fortunately, there are many free PDF editors available out there, such as:

  • Sejda PDF Editor.
  • DeftPDF.
  • PDFEscape.
  • And more.

Then, to edit your PDF hyperlinks online:

  1. Move your mouse to the Taskbar, select the Content Edit option, this would open up a Link Edit option, click on it to Add or Edit Link.
  2. To create a link, drag the rectangle to your chosen location in the description box.
  3. Insert the URL of the destination webpage.

How to Change Link Appearance On the PDF Document

  1. Direct your mouse over the link rectangle, right-click on the pop-up menu to select properties.
  2. The link properties will appear in the dialogue box; you can edit by selecting the font size and type, color, and thickness.

Conclusion

To recap, there are a lot of different ways you can add hyperlinks to your PDF documents.

Regardless of the method you choose, whether it’s online through Google Docs or your favorite PDF management tool, be sure to keep the above best practices in mind.

Your hyperlinks should help the reader better navigate through your document and understand your references. To take it a step further, you can also customize your hyperlink so that they’re a different color and stand out more. 

Want to make sure the readers of your PDF have a smoother time navigating through your documents?

Be sure to also read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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