How to Insert a Link in a PDF in 5 Easy Steps!

You certainly use PDF files for your business: seminar and workshop documents, worksheets or forms. You make them available for download on your website or send them directly to your customers in an email.

Have you ever been annoyed that you really want to put a link to a certain place in your document, to a special offer on your website or to your email address, but you don’t know how to do it?

In this article, I’ll show you how to create one or more links for your PDF file with InDesign in five simple and immediately implementable steps.

Here we go!

Step 1: Open your document

You can insert links in a new and in an existing document. To do this, open your file and create a text with the text tool. Or search for the relevant text passage where you want to add a link. If you want to link a graphic, click on it directly so that the graphic frame is activated.

Step 2: Open the Hyperlink panel

There is a corresponding control panel in InDesign for inserting links. To be able to insert your link, open the control panel via Window » Interactive » Hyperlinks.

You can add links in the Hyperlink panel (1)to edit (2) and delete (3).

Step 3: Highlight text or image

It is possible to link single words, entire paragraphs of your text and images. To link a text, select the text area and mark it with the mouse button pressed. In the case of an image or graphic, click on the object that you want to link. Make sure that the object’s frame is activated, otherwise it will not be linked correctly.

Step 4: Create a link

Now select in the control panel window Hyperlinks » Create a new hyperlink.

The window opens New hyperlink. There you set the information with which you want to connect your link (1): with an email address, a file, a website or a place in your text.

In the Target field (2) type the path to the file, the URL to the website, or the email address.

Danger: Under “PDF View” (3) it is advisable to define the appearance of the link. It is best to select Invisible rectangle under “Type of display”. Unless you want to highlight your link in the PDF document with color and a frame. If you select “Visible Rectangle”, you can set the width, format and color.

Step 5: Create a PDF file

Now export your document as a PDF file. That’s what you’re going for File » Export.

a window is opening. There you choose under Format » Adobe PDF out.

Tip: Don’t forget to check the Hyperlinks checkbox (1) to click when exporting your PDF file, otherwise your link will not work later.


Inserting a link into a PDF via InDesign is not rocket science and is quick. Nevertheless, I hope that the short guide is helpful for you.

In the next few articles, I’ll show you how to create fillable PDF files with InDesign. First, let’s take a look at what fillable and interactive PDFs are. For example, you can use it as a questionnaire for your new customers. With this you kill two birds with one stone: You reach the people who would like to fill out everything on the computer or tablet, save it and send it back to you – without the hassle of printing it out. And you can also reach those who like to work with paper and scan it or send it back to you by post.

What are your experiences with links in PDF files? Do you know another way to create them? Write it to me in the comments.

And now?

Are you looking for help creating your PDFs for print or web? Then let’s talk about your project without obligation. If you just have a question, get in touch anytime. I am happy if I can help you.

Manuela Aksu Manuela is the founder of Kreativcode and a passionate graphic designer from Munich. On her blog she shares her knowledge about graphic design and gives you useful and easy-to-implement tips that you can use immediately for your business.

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