Given the ever-advancing technology, it’s no surprise that PDF editing has been made a lot simpler even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. It’s also common for PDF files to have hyperlinks embedded in them, taking readers to a different site, file, or a different point of the document when they are interacted with.
Adding a link to a PDF file sounds like a complicated thing for people not familiar with editing PDF files, but it’s actually relatively easy to learn. More importantly, understanding why links are added to PDF files will help make sure that the links you put into the document are relevant and are more likely to be clicked by the reader.
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Why are links important in PDF files?
You might be wondering why it’s necessary to add a link to PDF and it enhances the quality and readability of the content.
Provides a backup source of information
Inasmuch as you’d want to share a lot of information in a single file, there is just so much you can discuss in one document. Trying to cram too much content in your PDF file will not only make it tiresome to read but also bloat up the file’s size, which means downloading or copying it would take extra time.
By adding links, you still provide the reader access to information while still keeping the PDF files compact and easier on the eyes. In fact, links make it possible for PDF files to provide users a more practical way to get information.
For example, if you want to provide the reader with information about your company, adding a link to your company’s “About Us” section looks better and takes less time than adding entire paragraphs of the same info taking up an entire page of the PDF file.
Adds variety to the PDF’s content
One of the biggest issues with PDF files is the fact that you’re pretty much stuck with presenting info through text or stationary graphics. While it’s possible to embed media files in a PDF file, each attachment can also significantly increase the file size, making it more impractical to share. Even worse, the media files attached to the PDF file might end up not playing at all, depending on the device used to view the document.
By adding links to your PDF file, it’s possible to direct the reader to a media hosting site that is more efficient at loading music or videos. You can even use links to interactive sites that allow users to be more immersed with the info you’re trying to provide. You basically get the advantages of having various media showcased in one file while keeping the file size to a minimum.
How to add a link to a PDF document using a PDF editor
The following is a basic guide to adding a link to your PDF file. Take note that the steps discussed here may be different compared to how some PDF editors work.
Get a good PDF editor
Before you add a link to a PDF file, you must be able to make changes to it. There are many PDF editors available online, so choosing one involves considering the following things:
- Commercial vs Non-commercial – Some PDF editors have enough features for editing at a commercial scale. Others have basic features and are more meant for private or small-scale use.
- Reviews – Get a PDF editor with good ratings, which is an indication that other people have already tried it and found it satisfactory
- Pricing – Some PDF editors are completely free. Others have a one-time purchase cost, while others are available as a service with a recurring fee.
- Trial version – A common option for paid PDF editors, some options allow users to try the product for a limited time, usually with restricted features until the user makes a purchase.
One option you should consider is Foxit PDF editor, which offers a free trial. If you want to know more about getting this editor, you can check out this video:
Open the file
With everything set and ready, it’s time to open your PDF file. For most PDF editors, you can visit the file location, right-click on the document, and then select “open with editor X” (X in this case stands for the name of the PDF editor you chose to install). You can also open the editor and then open the file’s location through the prompts within the software. The same applies to web-based editors, although most of them will also allow you to simply drag the file from its local location to the editing area.
IMPORTANT – Remember that opening bigger PDF files will take longer than smaller ones, and this is even more true for web-based PDF editors
- Navigate to the “add link” toolOnce the file is fully uploaded and ready for editing, you can then navigate the editor’s toolbar and find the “add link” option. Of course, where you’ll find this depends on the editor you’re using. For some, it’ll be right on the toolbar while others require you to go through a few processes like clicking on the “Edit” tab first. Either way, be sure to read through the program’s instructions to understand how to use its user interface.
- Add the destination URLThis step may also vary with the program or platform you’re using. With most programs, you need to select the text in your content after selecting the “add link” editing tool. After that, a dialog box will automatically pop up, requesting you to fill in information about the link and its appearance. Once done, click okay to close the pop-up window.IMPORTANT – You have to double-check if you put in the right URL. There are some cases when missing out a few characters or simply copying what’s on the URL bar could result in broken links.
- Save and exportAfter you’ve made all the changes to the content, you can save them and export the document as a PDF. Most programs will do this automatically and save the file in a pre-set destination. For online editors, however, you will have to download the final result and save it on your computer before sending it to the desired recipients.
Alternative Using a Word Processor
If you’re not yet ready to invest in a PDF editor, you can use a word processor to accomplish the same goal. Depending on the program you have on your PC or smartphone, the process of opening a PDF file should be pretty straightforward:
- Open the word processor, head to the “file” tab, and click on open.
- Select a relevant word or phrase in the article and highlight it.
- Right-click on the highlighted park and select “link”. In some processors, this could be displayed as “add link,” or “insert hyperlink”
- Copy the URL of the content you want to link to and paste it on the pop-up window that shows up after selecting “link”
- Press “OK.” The highlighted text will usually be underlined, and in a different color (usually a shade of blue or purple)
As with adding links to a PDF editor, it’s important to make sure you double-check if the links are working.
Tips for adding effective links
Looking to make your links more effective? Make sure you keep the following tips in mind:
- Make the first link interesting
The first link tends to gain more attention because it’s appearing in the top half of the PDF content. Therefore, it’s important to make it the most interesting and attractive to your audience. This way, the readers won’t hesitate to click on the rest of the links appearing in the document.
- Only link where necessary
Links are only meant to emphasize and offer additional information on a given subject. Adding links randomly and almost everywhere will make them less noticeable. The audience will also hesitate to click on them because they’ll look less trustworthy.
- Use shortened links if possible
Some target media will have extremely long URLs that could be an eyesore when the reader hovers over a hyperlink. A good way to avoid this issue is to use custom URL makers or URL shorteners. This also makes it easier for you to copy and paste shorter lines of text should you need to make further changes to the PDF file.
Adding links to a PDF file is one of the best ways to enhance it. You get the convenience and versatility of having an “all-in-one” document that provides a large amount of information while keeping file sizes low, your page layouts clean, and transferring your speeds fast.
Adding a link may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually easy, especially if you have a good PDF editor or a word processor. Once you get the hang of the process, the rest will mostly be about understanding how to add effective, relevant links to complete your PDF files.