Linking Text in Adobe Acrobat Pro

Last modified 11/15/2023

Acrobat 2023 Update

In October 2023, Adobe released an update to Acrobat on desktop. The Acrobat interface has changed. Tools that were found on the right side of the screen are now typically located on the left side of the screen and those on the left have been moved to the right (including the Accessibility Tags Tree). We are working to update content of tutorials. 

Link text (i.e. should be hyperlinked to open its respective web page or document. You can add links in Adobe Acrobat Pro, but if you have access to the original source document, it may be easier to update the link there before exporting or saving as a PDF. If you do not have access to the source document and need to hyperlink text in a PDF, use the following instructions.

Step 1. Open Edit a PDF Tool

From the All Tools List, select Edit a PDF tool.

Screenshot of All Tools menu with Edit a Pdf selected.

The Edit a PDF toolbar will open on the left side of the screen. Versions prior to Acrobat 2023 may open at the top of the screen.

Edit a pdf options

Edit a PDF options:

  • Rotate Page Right
  • Crop Page
  • Delete Page
  • Extract Page
  • Order pages
  • Add Text
  • Add an Image
  • Add Header/Footer
  • Add a Watermark
  • Add a link
  • Add Bates numbering
  • Add a button
  • Add a video
  • Add Sound
  • Add 3D media
  • Attach a file
  • change background
  • add and article box
  • Combine Files
  • Redact a PDF
  • Open Prepare a Form tool

Select the Link option from the Edit a PDF options. From the menu, choose Add or Edit a link or auto-create links from URLs.

Link option selected.

Step 3. Select link text.

If your links were auto-created then skip this step. If you are manually adding or editing a link, use the cursor to select the Link text by creating a box around all of the text.

Screenshot of document with a url link selected.

Step 4. Link Properties

In the Create Link dialog box, select the following options listed below. Then choose Next button.

Link Appearance

  • Link type: Visible Rectangle
  • Line Style: Underline
  • Highlight: None
  • Line Thickness: Thin (depends on size of font)
  • Color: Match your font color

Link Action

Select Open a web page radio button.

Screenshot of Create Link dialog.

Step 5. Type URL

In the Edit URL dialog box, type (or copy and paste) full URL into the edit box. Choose OK button.

Screenshot of the Edit URL dialog with web URL.

Step 6. Adjust underline

Use cursor to move and resize the underline the underline, if necessary. Make sure the underline is only under the corresponding linked text.

Screenshot of linked text highlighted.

Step 7. Find 

In the tags pane, right click on the Tags tag then select the Find option from the menu.

Screenshot of Tags Pane with Tags tag selected and the Find option highlighted.

In the Find Element dialog, choose Unmarked Links option from the Find select box. Choose Find button. 

Screenshot of Find Element dialog with Unmarked Links highlighted.

For each unmarked links, select Tag Element button.  

Screenshot of Find Element dialog with Tag Element button circled.

Each new <Link> tag will appear in the tags tree as a child of the Tags Tag. 

Screenshot of Tags tree with new link tag circled in red.

Inside the <Link> tag is a Link - OBJR. This is the link Object Reference which contains the hyperlink information (style and URL target, etc.). 

screenshot of link tag with Link OBJR as a child.


Links cannot be opened from the tags tree. They are only opened from the main document. 

When finished, choose the Close button.

Step 9. Move the <Link>

To move the newly added <Link> tag, right click the tag. From the menu, choose the Cut option.  

Screenshot of menu with the Cut option highlighted.

Navigate to and open the tag containing the linked text content. Right click on the link text content box. From the menu, choose Paste option. The <Link> tag should appear on the same level as the text content box inside an outer tag (i.e. <P>). 

Screenshot with the menu open and the Paste option highlighted.