4 ways to hyperlink a PDF. External links.

By |Published On: March 15th, 2022|Categories: Business, Interactive Documents|

Let’s imagine the following scenario: you’ve got a PDF filled with lots of useful information. Everything is in the right place and there are many concepts explained, but still, you do feel that you should add some more clarifications so that your readers will see the bigger picture. You don’t want to cram it with supplementary information because you’ve already inserted enough, so what’s the best thing to do in this case? Easy peasy: you enrich your PDF with external links where your readers can go and get more data on a specific topic.

Keep on reading today’s article to discover different ways of how you can hyperlink your PDF and properly learn how to do it. Let’s get started.

4 ways to hyperlink a PDF banner

Upload your PDF in Flipsnack and add the links within our Design Studio. No need to install anything on your computer or learn how a new complicated software works. It’s really easy to turn your static PDF into an interactive flipbook filled with lots of external links. Let me present you 3 simple and smart ways in which you can hyperlink a PDF with Flipsnack:

  1. Hyperlink layer
  2. Direct link on the element
  3. Auto-detect links

Let’s take each method one by one and get into more details.

1. Hyperlink layer

Once you have uploaded the PDF on our platform, go to our Design Studio and select Link -> Hyperlink to create a new hyperlink layer. Place it over the element which you want to become clickable, insert the link in the URL section, choose to open the link in the new tab, and also feel free to modify the color and opacity of the layer as you prefer.

2. Direct link on the element

This is the easiest and fastest way to add links to your PDF in Flipsnack. All you need to do is to click on the Draw link hotspot sticky icon on the top left corner in our Design Studio (or L on the keyboard). Then, draw the area where you want to add the link, insert the desired link in the URL section, and choose to open the link in the new tab if you want to. You can also change the color and the opacity of the layer. 

Keep in mind that any element introduced in the PDF with the Flipsnack’s Design Studio can become clickable, so feel free to select whatever element you wish.

3. Auto-detect links

Do you have many links in your PDF and you would like them to be clickable in the digital version, too? No problem. Upload the PDF in Flipsnack, go to the Customize tab, and check the Auto-detect links feature that you can find in the Other section, at the bottom of the page. In this way, the links will become clickable automatically. But don’t believe me, upload your PDF and try it yourself!

To make things even more easy for you, here’s a step by step tutorial on how to hyperlink a PDF in Flipsnack. Hopefully you’ll find it useful:

How to turn PDF into link in Google Docs

  1. I suggest you gather all your information in a Google Docs file. All you need is a Google account that you can easily make and it’s also free.
  2. Select the word or phrase you want to be hyperlinked.
  3. Go to the Insert button that’s situated at the top of the document and then click on the Link button.
  4. Write the destination of your URL, then hit Apply.
  5. Turn your document to PDF. (Click File, then Download and select PDF Document)
How to turn PDF into link in Google Docs

How to add hyperlinks to your PDF in Word

  1. Just like with Google Docs, you have to first select the word, phrase, or image you want to be hyperlinked.
  2. Then, go to the Insert tab, and in the Links group, click on the Link button.
  3. Select Existing File or Web Page and then type the web address in the Address box. 
  4. Export your document as PDF. (Go to File, then Save as, and select Adobe PDF)
How to add hyperlinks to your PDF in Word

How to create links for your PDF in InDesign

  1. Open the document that you want to add a hyperlink to.
  2. Select the text, image, or area that you want to hyperlink.
  3. Choose Window, then Interactive, then click on Hyperlinks to open the Hyperlinks panel.
  4. Click on the top right button from the newly opened popup and select New Hyperlink. It will open a New Hyperlink dialog box. Make sure that the URL is selected in the Link to drop-down list and write the URL in the URL text field. Choose an appearance for the clickable text, then click OK.
  5. Make sure that the Hyperlinks checkbox is selected in the Export PDF dialog box when you create the PDF file.
How to create links for your PDF in InDesign

How to link to your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

  1. Choose Tools, click on Edit PDF, then on Link, and finally, select Add/Edit Web or Document Link.
  2. Select the area that you want to hyperlink.
  3. Then, in the Create Link dialog box, choose the options you want for the link appearance and click on the Open a Web Page button for the link action.
  4. Hit Next and enter the link.
  5. Click Ok and you’re done!
How to link to your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

However, since a photo speaks a thousand words, here is a flippable PDF example made in Flipsnack that contains lots of hyperlinks. This way, you’ll get to see the bigger picture and precisely what it means to hyperlink a PDF. 

How to hyperlink a PDF – Conclusions

Hopefully, all these ways of hyperlink a PDF will truly help you enrich your document better from now on and add supplementary information in an organized and elegant way. Just pay attention to the steps required for each case and then start adding links to your own PDF. It’s super easy!

4 ways to hyperlink a PDF banner

And while you’re here, maybe it’s useful for you to also learn how to add internal links in your PDFs. You’ll see that it’s really simple to link to other pages from within your document. But don’t believe me, try it for yourself!

45 Comments

  1. Hugh Mungus March 3, 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Is there any way to create a link that I could use in a website or an email that would take me directly to a specific page of a specific flipbook within a collection?

    For instance, let’s say that I wanted to cite a particular article in a ezine published as a flipbook and there were several issues of the ezine in a given collection. Could I create a link that could be embedded in an email or a web page that takes someone directly to that article? Or would it only be possible to take him to the webpage that houses the collection, then describe verbally which issue they need to open and which page they need to visit to find the desired article?

    If it is possible to give a direct link to a specified page of a specified flipbook, could you please describe how to do it, ideally in your FAQ so that it is available to everyone?

    • Jani March 4, 2013 at 3:37 am - Reply

      Hey there Hugh! I get what you’re saying, and I admit that linking to a specific page from a flip book collection is a great idea! However, that’s not possible. If you want the readers to go to a certain article, you just have to tell them the flip book and the page where it is published.

  2. Chuck April 4, 2013 at 5:53 am - Reply

    The example with links won’t allow me to click on the links when reading on iPad. Is this not available for iPad?

    • Jani April 5, 2013 at 1:29 am - Reply

      Hello Chuck! Only a flash player can “read” links in a SWF. On iPads, each page of the flip book is displayed as an image (and you know, you can’t insert links in images)

  3. George Churilla December 19, 2013 at 12:47 am - Reply

    I want to play a video from within Flipsnack. According to customer support you do not support this feature. Any ideas on how I could do this with a hyperlink?

    • Jani January 8, 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

      That’s right! That feature isn’t supported in FlipSnack yet, but it’s something we’re working on. Until the release, you can insert an image of the video (a print screen) and hyperlink it. What PDF creator are you using?

  4. ismael April 27, 2015 at 1:45 am - Reply

    You guys have any problems with hyperlinks done on indesign? they work fine but when i upload to flipsnack they dont work. i went on live chat and they said they dont know why it wont work and to use the editor you guys provide but thats like 100 products i have to relink…. is there a way to fix this?

    • Jani April 27, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Hi Ismael, please send us the PDF and the flipbook link via email. Indesign hyperlinks work in our app, so we need to take a closer look at your pdf and flipbook to see what’s wrong. (contact@snacktools.com)

  5. Mark Kalyegira October 15, 2015 at 5:16 am - Reply

    How do i convert my Flipsnack publication into a format that can be supported my Microsoft Word because that is the format in which i have to do my work in. Please assist me in this area.

    • Jani October 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      You won’t be able to turn your FlipSnack publication into a Microsoft Word file.
      You can, however, turn your .doc or .docx files into .pdf files and then upload them on FlipSnack.

  6. Jon Loveless December 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    We are anxious to get your update that creates html output rather than flash. I think I read that you expected it in 2016. Can you narrow that down for me?

    • Jani January 8, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

      It will be in the first quarter of the year.

  7. Nana Fitriana January 8, 2016 at 5:53 am - Reply

    can I ask something?
    I want to create a link in a pdf document that link/take me directly to a specific page in another pdf document. for example, in document A page 3 there is a link that I want to link to page 7 in document B. Do you know how can I do it? Is that possible?

    • Jani January 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Nana, if both documents are on your computer (not hosted on a website), you can’t link from one to the other. But if they are hosted online, it’s possible. Just add #page=[page number] to the end of the link’s URL.

      For example, when you click this link http://skola.amoskadan.cz/s_aj/AJpdf/atpdf/at09.pdf#page=8, the destination PDF opens directly at page 8. (it works in most browsers)
      Hope this helps!

  8. Natalie January 12, 2016 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Hello, I created a free account so that I can hyperlink within a pdf that I created in word. I’ve hyperlinked everything and now I simply want to download the file to my computer so that I can send the document to clients. I don’t want the document to be public on your site or to your audiences. How do I proceed? Thank you

    • Jani January 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Natalie, you can publish your file as “unlisted” This way, it will not be featured anywhere on our website.
      Unfortunately, the links that you’ve added in Flipsnack will not appear in the PDF when you download it. We’re going to work on that, but right now it’s not possible. But don’t worry, I can help you with your links, if you email me: jani [at] flipsnack.com. Just send me the PDF and the link to your flipbook.

  9. Antariksa March 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this simple but useful tips Jani.

  10. Peter April 29, 2016 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Thanks for your post! It’s quite useful guide for me.

  11. Catiane June 17, 2016 at 1:42 am - Reply

    I found a windows App that will search PDFs for given strings and place links over them automatically. It would be great for someone with lots of pages or strings to search for. It can also search for product numbers by mask and add links that way, like for product catalogs. It can work in bulk, so for batch operations would be useful. the site for it is product2opencart.com. Its worth a look.

  12. zoedtdt July 18, 2016 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I’m not a developer, i always use this free online attach pdf to html from pdfcoding.com http://www.pdfcoding.com/online/pdf/convert-pdf-to-html-files/.

    • Kennet December 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately there is no HTML to PDF. Do you know some online HTML to PDF converter?

  13. Hitch-Hikers Handbook September 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks! Very helpful! The Google Docs trick worked perfectly for me!

  14. 4Shared December 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you! Very useful. Is there a way to create hyperlinks via relative tags?

  15. james Stier February 26, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I found word is the best for me, Google docs is also awesome.

  16. Bruce April 7, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Jani – I am attempting convert a piece of text within an outgoing Gmail email into a hyperlink to a pdf file. I understand how to apply a web page link to text within Gmail, but can’t figure out how to create a Gmail hyperlink directly to a pdf file. Do you know a way to do this?

  17. Steve Harris, CEBS June 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Hi guys … We want to continue using Word for our proposals … but we want to be able to measure click throughs which would indicate a level of interest on the content from our buyers. Any ideas on the best way to accomplish this … Steve

    • Jani June 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      After you convert your word document to PDF, you should upload it to our platform, flipsnack.com. We offer advanced statistics that include link clicks. So this would be an easy option

  18. Geetu Varma August 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Hi, Good post, One help though.
    I have a PDF document uploaded on website which I want to turn online when clicked.. Is this option available on website? If so, please advise how. Thank you.

    • Jani August 31, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Hi Geetu, where did you upload the PDF and what exactly do you want to happen when it’s clicked?

  19. Peterson September 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks! Very helpful! The Google Docs trick worked perfectly for me!

  20. Peter Morris October 15, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

    wow this trick is amazing. keep posting more

  21. Peter November 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    earlier I ‘ve used MS word hyperlinks but pdf hyperlinks were quite new for me. thx for sharing

  22. raj November 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    very helpfull post thanks for the share

    • Jani November 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      glad to hear it!

  23. AK December 16, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Please how can I make pdf attachment open as webpage link

  24. Peter alex February 4, 2018 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Yes what i use quite often is : Highlighted anchor text here. Its easy to use. what u suggest?

    • Jani February 5, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

      Peter, what tool do you use to add hyperlinks in PDFs?

  25. shajahan August 3, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

    perfect JANI keep going ………. your the best teacher ever

  26. Frank Edison October 25, 2018 at 7:31 am - Reply

    very good!

  27. Kasia December 7, 2018 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Hey, thanks for helpful suggestions, well done. You can update the post with Keynote (the software is free as far as I know when you buy a mac). Hyperlinks can be added to text and images – right click and select from the dropdown menu Add Link > Slide / Webpage / Email.
    Next select File > Export to PDF.
    Check out Keynote for mobile devices as well, I’ve never used it that way myself, but it should be able to generate PDFs with Hyperlinks.

  28. TheAwesomeBowser January 11, 2019 at 6:44 am - Reply

    How do I do it on OpenOffice, if you can?

    • Jani January 11, 2019 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      You certainly can.
      First, select the text that you want to hyperlink.
      Then, click “insert” in the top menu and select Hyperlink.
      Enter the URL of the site that you want to link to in the Target field.

      If you want to also export the file in PDF format, go the File (top menu) -> Export as PDF.
      Select the destination folder where you want to save the file and edit the name if you wish.

      That’s all!

  29. Abhinav February 6, 2019 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Good one. I’ll make use of it.

  30. Andelain Digital Marketing April 13, 2019 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your ideas. You are directly on point and you articulated
    your opinion well. I tweeted the post as well as placed a link on my
    Reddit post. I really appreciate it!

    Keep doing what you do best. Shalom…

  31. Gate Pills August 24, 2019 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Howdy ad!
    Thank you for your sharing this simple but useful tips Jani.
    Good luck!

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