Create a PDF Hyperlink Using InDesign CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can add hyperlinks to link to another piece of text, a page, or a URL within an InDesign Creative Suite 5 document. After you create hyperlinks, they’re visible to users who work with PDF files you have exported. To create a URL hyperlink in a PDF with InDesign, follow these steps:

1Open a new document that includes some text in a text frame.

Choose a document that you want to add a hyperlink to.

2Choose Window→Interactive→Hyperlinks to open the Hyperlinks panel.

The Hyperlinks panel opens. Notice that its menu contains several options, and you can use buttons along the bottom of the panel to add or delete links from the panel.

3Use the Text tool to select some text.

Select the text that you want to make into a hyperlink.

4Click the Create New Hyperlink button at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel.

The New Hyperlink dialog box opens. Make sure that URL is selected in the Type drop-down list.

5Type a URL in the URL text field, if necessary.

The type you enter is the web page the URL links to. Make sure that it’s a complete URL, such as This field also accepts mailto: actions if you want to create an e-mail link. Simply enter an e-mail address, such as, in the URL text field.

6Choose an appearance for the clickable text.

In the Appearance section, you can choose to have a visible or invisible rectangle (whether you want a rectangle to appear around the link). Then you can choose the highlight, color, width, and style of the link.

7Click OK.

The dialog box closes. When you export the document as a PDF, this text becomes a clickable hyperlink. Clicking the text opens a browser window to the web page you entered in the URL text field. Make sure that the Hyperlinks check box is selected in the Export PDF dialog box when you create the PDF file.

You can also create a hyperlink by selecting a URL that exists in the text frame. To do so, select the URL and right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the selected text. Choose Interactive→New Hyperlink Destination, and the dialog box opens so that you can edit the link. Click OK and a hyperlink is created.