How to Add Hyperlink to PDF with or without Adobe Acrobat?

Connie Wisley
time October 13, 2021 Preview 64.8K
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These days, we deal with PDF files a lot, since PDF is a highly flexible format that can be easily viewed and manipulated on different devices. To enrich a PDF document, we may need to add internal or external hyperlink to a PDF file. Many users deem Adobe Acrobat as the only way to add a hyperlink to PDF, but there are alternatives to add hyperlink to PDF without Adobe Acrobat.

Table of Contents

Insert Hyperlink to PDF with Adobe Acrobat if You Have Installed

Adobe Acrobat series are always good solutions to edit and manage PDF files. You will be allowed to edit every bit of the PDF freely within the program, such as add PDF text, add page numbers, add hyperlink, delete sentences, change font size, etc. If you have installed Adobe Acrobat on your Windows PC or Mac, here are the steps to insert hyperlink to a PDF file.

Steps to Add Hyperlink to PDF with Adobe Acrobat

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC
  2. Go to Tools>Edit PDF>Link. Choose “Add/Edit Web or Document Link” and drag a box to add the hyperlink to where you want to.add hyperlink to pdf with adobe
  3. Then save the file and the hyperlink is added to the PDF.

Add Hyperlink to PDF without Adobe Acrobat

Still today, many of us choose to convert PDF to the editable Word format to perform the PDF editing tasks, since a PDF editor just costs too much, or the monthly or yearly subscription expires when we just use the tool for one or two times, or not all of the PDF file recipients have a PDF reader or editor to open and modify the files. But if you convert PDF to Word for editing, it will kill all these problems.

To add hyperlink to PDF without Adobe Acrobat, here we recommend converting PDF to Word first. Though MS Word supports open PDF in Word, it causes formatting issues, so we will start with a better way to add hyperlink to PDF in Word on Mac or Windows. If you insist to add hyperlink to PDF in Word by using MS Word, skip to the second part of this chapter.

Add Hyperlink to PDF in Word Using PDF Converter

A PDF converter can convert PDF to editable Word, or other formats, with original PDF file quality reserved. It means, you can convert any PDFs, native or scanned, to editable formats at first, and then add hyperlink. Two PDF programs are recommended as following for Mac and Windows users respectively.

For Mac Users

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is recommended due to its excellent performance on doing conversions accurately and instantly. This PDF OCR Software for Mac is designed to convert both native and scanned PDFs to 10 formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, Text, HTML, etc., also create editable PDF from popular document formats. It supports batch conversion and can read file in 200+ languages. 

With this program, you can easily convert PDF to Word and add hyperlink as you like. Even, you can drag and drop PDF files back to the program to reduce file size, add password, etc.

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on your Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Drag and drop the PDF files to the Converter interface of Cisdem.add hyperlink to pdf mac01
  3. Choose page range and select output as Docx. To convert scanend PDFs, don’t forget to turn OCR button ON.add hyperlink to pdf mac 02
  4. Click Convert to save PDF as Word document.
  5. Open the Word document, add hyperlink or edit as you need, then save or export as PDF format.

For Windows PC Users

PDF Converter PRO is the Windows PDF to Word converter you should try for hyperlink insertion purpose. It creates PDF from multiple document types, also convert native and scanned PDF to Word. The batch support saves your time and the layout settings help create files as per your liking.

  1. Download and Install Icecream PDF Converter PRO on your Windows.
  2. In the From PDF interface, drag and drop PDF files for conversion.add hyperlink to pdf windows 01
  3. Choose output format as Doc.add hyperlink to pdf windows 02
  4. Click Convert to save PDF as Word first.
  5. Then open the Word document, add hyperlink or edit the file as you need.
  6. Then go to File, save or export as PDF.

Add Hyperlink to PDF in Word Using MS Word

If you are a Microsoft Word user, you may have noticed that Microsoft Word 2016 and Office 365 allow inserting PDF into Word, once the PDF is opened in Word, you will be allowed to edit and add hyperlink to the file.

  1. Open the Microsoft Word 2016.add hyperlink to pdf with word
  2. File>Open to upload the PDF, a dialogue will prompt as following, click “OK” to import the PDF.
  3. You will find the file is editable, and add the hyperlink as needed. Then, export the Word file as PDF, you will find the hyperlink is added to your PDF.

Note 1: According to the feedbacks, the original layout of inserted PDF may be changed in Microsoft Word 2016. So, before you add hyperlink to PDF free in Word, you’d better manually adjust the formatting.

Note 2: For users who installed Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, etc., you can’t open the PDF file in Word directly. The only method is to insert it via object. Worse yet, you are not capable of editing the inserted PDF, but to convert PDF to DOCX/ DOC format previously.

Add Hyperlink to PDF Free Using Online PDF Editor

Still, you can add hyperlink to PDF online without any software. In this case, you will need a free PDF editor. Here we take PDFescape to demonstrate how to add hyperlink to PDF for free.

Steps to Add Hyperlink to PDF Online Free

  1. Go to PDFescape.
  2. Upload the PDF you want to add hyperlink.add hyperlink online 02
  3. Choose Link and drag a box onto the text that you want to add hyperlink.add hyperlink to pdf online
  4. Save and download the PDF with hyperlink added.

Insert Hyperlink to PDF in Photoshop

If you have installed Adobe Photoshop, you are able to insert hyperlink in PDF via Photoshop too, but the PDF file will have to be saved in HTML format.

Steps to Insert Hyperlink to PDF in Photoshop

  1. Open a PDF file in Photoshop.
  2. Right-click the Crop Tool in the toolbar, you will see the Slice Tool, just click on it (keyboard shortcut C).add hyperlink to pdf in photoshop 01
  3. Draw your selection in the PDF file, and right-click to select “Edit Slice Options”.
  4. In the opened dialog box, enter the URL you’d like to link to it and click “OK”. add hyperlink to pdf in photoshop 02
  5. Go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy).
  6. In the pop-out box, select either JPG or PNG options, and click on “Save”.
  7. In the “Save for Web” window, type in your file name. And select “HTML and Images” from the Format dropdown. Finally, click “Save”.

Can I Add Hyperlink to PDF Free in Mac Preview?

Preview the built-in app to view and markup PDF files on Mac, it is understandable that all Mac users try this tool first when adding hyperlink to a PDF. However, it is pitiful that you cannot add hyperlink to PDF in Mac preview, it supports adding URL link to PDF only. If this is OK for you, you can follow the steps to add a link to your PDF with Mac Preview.

Steps to Add Link to PDF Free with Preview

  1. Open the PDF with Mac Preview.
  2. Go to Tools>Annotate>Text.add link to pdf 01
  3. Add the URL link and use the text settings to customize the link text.add link to pdf 02
  4. Then go to File>Export as PDF, the link will be added to your PDF and it is clickable.add link to pdf 03

tips: Don’t just save the PDF after adding URL link by clicking File>Save, otherwise the link won’t be clickable.

Conclusion

So, Adobe is not the only solution to add hyperlink to PDF, you can utilize Microsoft Word, PDF Converter, even online free PDF editors to add hyperlinks. But when using online free tools, you'd better give a second thought, uploading files to online server will bring potential risk of information leakage. If you are dealing with confidential files, pay for a powerful PDF editor, or get a PDF Converter to make PDF editable in Word, then add hyperlink or any other contents you are allowed to add.

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Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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