How to create a clickable link to a different document within a PDF document

In a PDF document, you can create links to external documents, using the PDF Annotator's Text tool.

Sometimes you want to add clickable links to PDF documents.

A clickable link can either direct to a web page (URL), to a specific page or location within the same document, or to a different, external document.

In this article, we'll look into creating links to different, external document.

We will use the Text tool to create the link.

Select the Text tool

After activating the Text tool, click into the document where you want to place the link and start typing the link text.

Type link text

Next, click the Link icon in the Tool Properties toolbar right above the document.

Click Link icon

In the Configure link dialog, select Link Target: External Document and enter the External PDF file and the Page number the link should direct to. You will typically leave the page number at 1 if you don't want to target a specific page.

Make sure to enter the External PDF file as a relative path, as the next reader of the document will probably have saved it under a different path than you. If the target file is located in the same folder as the PDF document you are currently editing, enter the filename without a path (example: ReportBrainActivity.pdf). If the target file is located in a sub folder, include the subfolder (example: SubFolder\ReportBrainActivity.pdf). If the target file is located in a folder above, enter a relative path (example: ..\ReportBrainActivity.pdf).

Alternatively, you can change the link style properties under Style. If you do not want your link to be styled, just uncheck Use default link style.

Configure link

After pressing OK in the Configure link dialog, the link will be created. To finalize your link, press ESC or click somewhere out of the text box with the link.

You can now click the link to test it.

Click document link

After clicking the link, the linked PDF document will open in a new tab and will display the page you entered above.

External document

Modifying or removing the link

After having created a link, you may want to change the link text or the link target.

Right click the link to pull up the context menu. Select Edit Text... or just press F2.

(Alternatively, while in Text Tool mode, you can keep the Ctrl key pressed and double click the link to enter the text editor. The Ctrl key is required here, because a single click would otherwise execute and follow the link.)

Edit Text

You can now change the link text.

Did you notice, the Link button in the toolbar above the document is now in "down" state, because you used the link feature for this text box, and it points to a valid link?

If you want to change the link target, once again press the Link button.

Edit link

This opens the Configure link dialog again, where you can change any of the link attributes.

You can even switch the Link Target and make this link point to a web page (URL) or to a different page within the same document.

If you want to get rid of the link, press Delete. This will not delete your text box (and your text styles might still make the text box look like a link), but only revert this back to a regular text box - without a clickable link. If you want the whole text box to disappear, you don't need to use the Configure link dialog, you can just Delete the annotation after selecting it.

Delete link

That's all you need to know about creating links in PDF document using PDF Annotator. Now go, and create links!