Adobe Acrobat lets you create in-text links to attached PDFs from your main PDF. In fact, you can even create links to specific page views in attached PDFs.
Acrobat does not currently offer a way to create in-text links to other types of attachments, such as Microsoft Word files.
Are you looking for information about attaching files to PDFs? If so, please see “How to Attach Files to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat” for a full tutorial.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. However, the steps are the same in Acrobat Standard DC and similar in older versions of the software.
Note to Acrobat Reader Users: Adobe’s free PDF software, Acrobat Reader, doesn’t have a tool for creating links. If you need to create links but don’t have access to Acrobat, create the document with the links in Microsoft Word and then convert the Word file to a PDF.
How to Create an In-Text Link to an Attached PDF
- Open the main PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
- Select the Selection (arrow) tool in the toolbar.
- Select the text you want to link to the attachment. (When you move the Selection tool over editable text, it will become an I-beam pointer.)
- Right-click the selected text and select Create Link from the shortcut menu.
- Select Invisible Rectangle or Visible Rectangle from the Link Type menu in the Create Link dialog box.
- The invisible rectangle creates a plain link—it will look the same as the surrounding text.
- The visible rectangle allows you to select the line style, thickness, and color of the underline or rectangle connected to the link.
- Select Go to a page view in the Link Action section.
- Select the Next button.
The Create Go to View dialog box will appear. Leave this dialog box open as you continue the following steps.
- Select the PDF attachment you want to link to in the Attachments panel. (If necessary, select the paper clip button to open the Attachments panel.)
- Select the Open File button.
The attachment will open in a separate tab and the Create Go to View dialog box will remain visible.
- Scroll to the part of the attachment (the page view) you want your readers to see when they click the link.
Important Note: You are linking to the part of the document visible on your screen rather than to a specific page. If you want your readers to view the beginning of the attachment, be sure to scroll to the top of the first page.
- Select the Set Link button.
- Return to the main PDF and ensure that a blue box appears around the linked text.
- Click an empty area in the PDF to deselect the link.
When you hover your pointer over the link, your pointer should become a pointing finger indicating that the link is active.
- Save your PDF to save your changes.
How to Create Internal Links in PDFs with Adobe Acrobat (links within the same PDF)
How to Create External Links in PDFs with Adobe Acrobat (links to websites)
Updated February 20, 2022