Resources » Working With PDFs (Advanced) » Adding Links to PDFs

How Do You Add Hyperlinks to PDF Documents?

In this article, we’ll be going through how you can add links directly to a PDF, as well as how to embed a link into text, using Word, so when you convert it to a PDF the hyperlink converts as well. That way, when you send the PDF to your reader, they’ll be able to click the linked text to open whatever you’ve attached to it.  

Let’s say you’re finishing up your resume and want to start sending it out to some prospective employers. In the application, they’re asking for you to link to your personal website or LinkedIn profile. Putting the whole URL into your PDF ends up looking a bit messy — so you’d like to make it so when people click your name, it will open a new tab in their web browser to your website. Is this possible to do with a PDF? Do you need to convert the document to a Word doc first? 

Actually yes, it’s very possible and easy to build links to text lines and even specific areas of your PDF. These links can take the reader to a website or even a different part of your PDF document. We’ll be using the powerful PDF.Live editor tool to achieve this. 

How to Add Hyperlinks to Existing PDF

First, you’ll need to access the PDF.Live editor tool and upload a PDF document that you’d like to edit. Once you have the document open, head to the Edit tab at the top of the page and select Link.

You will then be prompted to draw a box in the area you’d like to add a link to. This means when the reader clicks that area, they’ll be linked to a place of your choosing. Upon drawing a box, you will see this menu:

screenshot showing how to create a link in a pdf using a resume template as an example.

In the Appearance Tab, you can change what you’d like the outline of your linked text should be. This is how you signify to your reader that a specific area is “clickable.” If you don’t want any outline or signifier, you can always choose a thickness of 0 or no color. 

In the Destination tab, you’ll have a two options on where to send your reader when they click your link:

  1. Open a web link
  2. Go to a page view  

If you choose Go to a page view, they’ll be sent to a different page in the PDF. This is useful for when you want to link to a specific section of a long PDF document. 

You can also select Open a web link.

Here, you’ll be able to add a URL to a website that will be opened in a new tab if your reader clicks the area of the page you’ve designated. 

The links you add using this tool are considered linked fields and not hyperlinks. If you want to add a hyperlink, you’ll need to convert the PDF to a Word document and then add the hyperlink in a document editor. 

Adding Hyperlinks to Text

If you want a hyperlink to appear in the text like this, you’ll need to use a document editor to insert the link as you’re creating the document. You can either convert the PDF to a Word document, or go to the original Word document you built your PDF in and download it as a PDF once you’re finished adding the text. 

Note: When you use PDF.Live’s Word to PDF conversion tool, all links convey from the original document to the PDF! There is NO NEED to do anything! If you’ve included links in your Word document, when you use PDF.Live’s “Doc to PDF” conversion tool, all of those links will work in the converted PDF. In the next section of this article, we show you how it works. 

Once you’ve done this, open the document in your document editor of choice. Highlight the area of text you’d like to add a link to and then right click it. 

Depending on your editor, a different menu may appear. However, it will look something like this:

You’ll want to either select Insert Link or then press Ctrl + K to add a link.

You can then add a link to a website within the document. After you’re done, you can save the Word doc as a PDF. If you need help with this, we have a tool that converts Word docs to PDFs

Word to PDF With Hyperlinks

If you have a Word doc that already has hyperlinks built in, you’ll be happy to know that converting it to a PDF won’t break the links. For example, this Word doc contained an external link:

If we throw this document into the PDF.Live Word doc to PDF converter, you’ll see that the PDF version of the document still has a working hyperlink!

Whether you end up using a document editor to add your links or PDF.Live’s editor, you’ll be able to get the result you want with the powerful PDF.