Linking to Pages or Destinations Within PDFs


When it comes to providing reference to another piece of content, nothing beats the mighty hyperlink when you’re browsing the Web. Whether the referenced content is contained in the same web page, document or on another server, a simple hyperlink gets readers there.

The power of hyperlinks, however, is not reserved solely for web pages; documents you create with PDF software also have the ability to link to additional content. You can insert links in a PDF that take readers to a website, a page in the current document, a section of the current document, or even another document stored on an internal server or the Internet, providing you’re using PDF software, such as Foxit PhantomPDF, that enables you to do so.

Let’s take a look at some of the kinds of links this kind of PDF software enables you to create.

The Rectangle Link

The most common method of creating hyperlinks with PDF software such as PhantomPDF is to draw a rectangle.

Selecting EDIT > Links > Link in the PhantomPDF application brings up this capability. After opening, you simply hold down the mouse and draw a rectangle on the page—or a perfect square if you prefer, by holding the Shift key while drawing. Once you’ve drawn a rectangle, the Create Link dialog box appears allowing you to choose a variety of attributes for the link, such as:

  • Thickness of the sides
  • Border style (solid, dashed or underline)
  • Highlighting effects once the link is clicked
  • Outline and inset of the shape
  • Color of the shape

Of course, your final option is the destination of the link—as in, where readers go when they click the link. Using PDF software such as PhantomPDF, you may set the destination as a page in the current document, as a page in another document, as a named position or as a web page.

The rectangle link is a useful option when creating a hyperlink that surrounds an image or a large block of text, but there are various methods to create links within PDF software that don’t use up quite as much real estate.

Other Links

The most common link you tend to encounter is a web link—one that takes you to a specific web page. In common PDF software applications you can create web links by typing the URL address in the content of the document and then choosing the Create Links from URLs feature. This will turn every web link in the file into a working hyperlink.

The other common link tool used in PDF software is the Bookmarking tool that allows you to set specific points within the document. Bookmarks assigned to these points allow readers easy navigation with a click. This feature is extremely useful when creating a table of contents or a sidebar to the PDF file. Once you create the bookmarks, you have the option to organize their hierarchy, expand or collapse them, or edit and move them so that they best reflect the structure of the document itself.

Links provide your documents with a great amount of credibility. You can use links to external files to support points made in your content. External links also provide additional information on a topic for curious readers. Meanwhile, internal links make the overall document more manageable and organized.

Each of these benefits helps give readers the impression that the content of the document is important and that you took the time to make sure they would be able to easily learn more—and learn more efficiently.

4 thoughts on “Linking to Pages or Destinations Within PDFs


    Goodday I have the business licenced foxit. I want to know how to link all the pages of the document to go back to the contents page where I have placed link to go to the specific pages. please advise

    1. KarolinKarolin

      Maybe a cross reference is what you are looking for. Here’s an instruction:
      The Cross Reference feature is used to create linked cross-references, and a pair of
      linked cross-references can link to each other when you click on either of them. For
      example, you can use linked cross-references to link a text string to a paragraph or
      chart that appears elsewhere in the document. With this feature, you can quickly and
      easily navigate between two locations in a PDF file with one click, which can be helpful
      if you are working on a long document.
      To create and manage cross-references, do the following:
      1. Choose Edit > Cross Reference, or click the icon at the top of the Cross
      Reference panel in the navigation pane. The cursor changes into the icon of
      Cross Reference .
      2. Position the cursor on the place you want to add a cross-reference, and drag
      your mouse button to draw an area (or simply click on the page to create a
      cross-reference with a default size).
      A box appears under the area for you to name the label that appears on the
      cross-reference, and click All Properties to do more settings as needed. See
      also Set Push Button Properties.
      Tip: If you need to discard the placement of the cross-reference and exit the cross reference creation, simply hit the ESC key.
      3. Then the cursor will be changed into a shape with the appearance preview of
      the cross-reference you specified in Step 2. And you just need to place the
      second cross-reference at the desired location. The second cross-reference
      has the same appearance as the first one.
      4. Repeat the steps above to add more linked cross-references as needed. All the
      linked cross-references you create will be listed in the Cross Reference panel.
      One cross-reference in the list represents a pair of linked cross-references in
      the document.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *