PDF Documents

# The Ultimate Confusion. Are PDF Hyperlinks Clickable or Not? Solutions!

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We know that links in PDF files are clickable. We know that for a fact. We experienced it. But we experienced the opposite too. Why do some work but others not? More important even: How do we get those links to work?

We need to specify. If they work, they work. If not, then this is across the entire document.

We are using hundreds of PDF files with thousands of clickable links on our site. Of course we want and need that those links are not just visible, they need to guide us and our customers to the contents we are presenting.

At first glance, it was very confusing that some of our PDF links seemed to work at times and then, just not. What to do?

To find out, we started our own intensive research on that matter. And finally we got some answers. We learned quickly that the hyperlinks were often disabled for security reasons or just only available in PRO packages and solutions.

We won't bore you with all the details. Such as we tried to get clickable links in local and web PDF documents, different browsers and different Operating systems. We found a few bugs in third party products. And of course we saw that many stand alone PDF readers produced just plain PDF documents. No clickable links. Confusing?

But we definitely found a winner.

Do you want to know?

The one we had initial problems with was definitely FireFox. None of our PDF links worked right out-of-the-box. Only after a while did we learn that FireFox allows in their settings how the PDF files are being read and from whom. Only with the right setting every link inside our in-house produced PDF files was shown and worked. Although, sometimes those links were shown the right way and yet we did not find the reasons why we had multiple outcomes at times. With FireFox.

But more importantly, who was the winner?

That was crystal clear. As of July 2022, the browser Edge emerged as a front runner and winner. All our presented PDF research files, local or web based, had clickable links. Our documents were always produced with them but only Edge showed them in every case. No fiddling was required with setup or searching for a solution. Possibly MS Edge may have a setting for PDF files too but we did not change anything from the onset. So this browser did his work great.

As a stand alone reader, try 'Foxit PDF Reader' (Scroll down) to open your previously saved PDF research documents. Here too, all links are clearly visible in it. In standard blue! Naturally, outgoing hyperlinks opened in the browser of your choice.

We haven't tested the well known Adobe PDF reader as unfortunately, at our Windows 11, we couldn't install it. Windows refused. So we kept it at that. We heard you may need to fiddle with its setup but you may and should try Adobe Reader nevertheless. As far we remember, the Adobe PDF reader worked well on our previously Windows 10 system. But test it again. If you have problems, check the readers preferences section.

In case of doubt or problems, use the MS Edge browser! It did his job and all our PDF document's hyperlinks were fully clickable. All the time! No problems reading our PDF research letters there.

We tested all our PDF research letters with it.

No headache whatsoever.



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