1 2 Previous Next 42 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2018 7:45 AM by [Jongware]

    hyperlinks in Ai

    mapusoft Level 1


      i'm creating a .pdf from an Illustrator file.

      the file has several web addresses which need to be hyperlinked for web use


      i'm clueless, i have no web experience

      all my work in the past has been print design


      is this a novice or expert project?


      if novice, please help!

        • 1. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
          Userbak610 Level 3

          You can't do this in AI. You would need to create buttons in Acrobat or Indesign.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
            JETalmage Level 6

            Yes you can. But in typical Illustrator fashion, the interface for the whole thing is utterly ridiculous.



            The resulting PDF is here. Open it and you'll find that the URL is just text (not an image) and is a functioning hyperlink.


            1. Select a text object that contains a URL.
            2. Object>Slice>Make.
            3. Object>Slice>SliceOptions.
            4. Slice Type: HTML Text. Turn on the Text is HTML checkbox. Note that the "Text Displayed in Cell" is not, in fact, the text displayed in the cell, but HTML code. Note that you can't edit the code.


            If you must do this kind of thing in Illustrator, look up Slices in the online Help for more info.


            If, as you say, you're not a web-head, but you want to see how easy building a perfectly sensible simple web page in a drawing program can be, download a demo of Xara Xtreme 5 Pro and try it out for a few days.



            15 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
              juli-jam Level 1

              I found a really easy solution by mistake.


              1) Create the hyperlink in Microsoft Word (like an email address or web link). Save the file.

              2) Go to your open Illustrator file.

              3) File --> Place

              4) Select the saved Word document to place. Make sure that you do not check the "remove text formatting" box.

              5) Voilà! Your hyperlinks are imported and work when saved as a PDF.

              8 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                TheSmallMonsters Level 1

                Actually, I just found a slightly easier way.


                Write out the URL, and highlight it. Then, in the Attributes panel choose <Image Map: Rectangle>. In the <URL> field retype your URL. When you save the document as a PDF, the written URL will then be clickable.


                I'm guessing this is too late for you, but maybe it will come up for the next person.

                5 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                  JETalmage Level 6



                  You do understand, don't you?: That's not a simple text hyperlink; it's an image map.



                  • 6. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                    GrafeekDesign Level 1

                    This is a bit late, but I have found another way to attach urls to items in Illustrator (CS5).


                    1. Open the 'Attributes' tool panel CTRL+F11 or Windows >  Attributes
                    2. Select the item you want to add a url to
                    3. Select either polygon or rectangle from the 'image map' drop down
                    4. Type a url in the box below


                    You can test the link by clicking on the 'browser' button


                    9 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                      Bert_Philippus Level 1



                      You do understand, don't you?: That's not a simple text hyperlink; it's an image map.


                      Bert (Plagiarized from JET's earlier post)

                      • 8. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                        SageofthePit Level 1

                        I love how, in true Illustrator fashion, there are 12 different ways to accomplish the same end effect.


                        (note: this is obviously an exaggeration, there actaully 300+ ways to do the same thing in Illustrator)



                        • 9. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                          Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I wouldn't be surprised if there were that many ways to do something. I haven't seen anybody say to edit the ai file or pdf file in notepad yet. Ooops, I just did. But then again I never tried it.

                          • 10. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                            Robert Godfrey Level 1

                            And yet, it does not work for me with hyperlinked images on a Mac. The resulting PDF, when opened with Adobe Reader or Acrobat, contains no hyperlinks; however, if I open the PDF with Illustrator, the links are still there. So, the resulting PDF file contains the hyperlink information, but does not make it accessible to Reader or Acrobat.


                            How can Adobe possibly create software with such a flawed, incompatible feature?

                            • 11. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                              Eric Segeren User Group Manager

                              "How can Adobe possibly create software with such a flawed, incompatible feature?"


                              It's pretty simple - they didn't really intend for people to be trying to make interactive PDFs in Illustrator. What everyone has describe here are more or less workarounds.


                              If you have access to InDesign, I'd very much suggest you do it there.

                              • 12. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                schonj2 Level 1

                                JETAlmage - great info thanks, helped alot. If you want to hyperlink a logo or an image,which illustrator doesnt allow you to do, you can do this: Place the image where you want it, lock it down. Write the URL to the page you want in a font just large enough to cover the image, if its too wide and not tall enough, make a couple lines of the same URL. Then, do what JETalmage says to do (below), then make the font 0-1% opaqe over the image (it wasnt working for me on 0% opageness.


                                1. Select a text object that contains a URL.
                                2. Object>Slice>Make.
                                3. Object>Slice>SliceOptions.
                                4. Slice Type: HTML Text. Turn on the Text is HTML checkbox. Note that the "Text Displayed in Cell" is not, in fact, the text displayed in the cell, but HTML code. Note that you can't edit the code.
                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                  romearrow Level 1

                                  I've tried all of the above suggestions to no avail, but something that looks like it worked for me is to insert the link into the PDF using Acrobat (I'm using Acrobat 9 Pro), not Illustrator. I'm planning to attach the PDF I created in Illustrator to an email and want the link in it to be clickable when the recipients open the PDF.


                                  What I found instructions online to do is to have the PDF open in Acrobat, and up on the top toolbar, click Tools > Advanced Editing... > Link Tool. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair with which you can select the area of the PDF image that you want to be a link.


                                  Once done selecting, a dialog box will open, prompting you to choose whether you want the link area you just selected to be visibly outlined or invisible, then what you want a click on the area to do (I chose "Open a web page").


                                  Click "Next", type or copy/paste the URL into the provided box, and click "OK". Now the link is clickable in the open PDF.


                                  Hope this works for others (and for my recipients!).

                                  3 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                    rockhopperpro Level 1

                                    I have a PDF that I created and hyperlinked in Illustrator CS6 that is online HERE.


                                    You DO NOT have to to anything special to create hyperlinks in a PDF made in Illustrator. Simply type out the URL the way you would in an internet browser (www.site.com) and when you save as a PDF a hyperlink will automatically be generated in the file.


                                    Try it, type a random URL in an Illustrator file and save as a PDF (I always use the [Smallest File Size] preset), when you view that PDF in a browser, the URL will be clickable.


                                    If you want to link icons/images/random words, simply make a text layer containing the desired URL, resize it to fit overtop of the area you want to be clickable, make it transparent so you can't see it, and save as a PDF. One thing you need to be cautious of when doing this is to make sure your URL is all on one line. If you make a text box, random hyphens- will appear in the address wherever the URL broke to wrap.





                                    Illustrator text box:




                                    Renders this link in the PDF:





                                    I know this post is forever old, but it took me a while to discover how stupid easy this task really is, so I thought I'd share.

                                    5 people found this helpful
                                    • 15. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                      NICOSBO Level 1

                                      And i want to add one more, maybe the most unorthodox but yet, simplier. I type or paste the URL behind the text that reffer to ths site you wanna go. BUT, the URL goes white (or the color of your background, or with 0 opacity). So, on click, th eURL will attempt to open like you want.


                                      Oh, and working the scale nodes, can give the text the shape you want, that matches the text visible.


                                      Cheers, sorry my english, argentinian english.



                                      • 16. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                        billv8393 Level 1

                                        This worked easily just as Nico describes. I copied the very long HTTP link to the drawing; sized it by pulling/squeezing the "handles" so it was the same size as the word I wanted to be the link; set opacity to 0, which made it disappear; put it on top of the text I wanted to be the hyperlink, then pushed it to the back (which, since the opacity was 0, was really unnecessary). Finally, I made the visible link word blue and put a line under it so it would look like a hyperlink. I then re-embedded the drawing in the FrameMaker file. As I expected, the hyperlink did NOT work from Frame (which a link created WITH Frame will do, if you hold down Ctrl+Alt and click it) — but when I PDFed the FrameMaker document file in which the drawing (and link) appeared, the hyperlink in the PDF worked perfectly. This is ridiculously easy. Thanks Nico!


                                        I consider this a solved problem.


                                        Remember: Doing it this way actually puts the hypertext information IN THE DRAWING, and it should work IN THE PDF containing this drawing regardless of what apps you put it through to get it finally into PDF. This is far preferable than creating a link in the PDF file, which you would have to keep recreating every time it went through a rev roll. Whenever possible, you want to do any permanent editing in the tool you're using to create the source material — in this case, Illustrator.



                                        Rio Rancho, NM

                                        • 17. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                          MaherSinjary Level 1

                                          Simply you need to create 2 layers.


                                          1. Your URL just copy & paste it in Illustrator then give it 0% transparent.


                                          2. Create another layer for example: Click Here and put it above the URL layer, then save as PDF it will work


                                          Good luck.

                                          2 people found this helpful
                                          • 18. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                            yuriym31641479 Level 1

                                            Best solution given!!

                                            • 19. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                              hardeepa61833048 Level 1

                                              Definitely helped the next person. Thank you so much so the much needed solution.

                                              • 20. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                JMPJMP Level 1

                                                This is so incredibly stupid by Adobe. Just allow hyperlinks to be created in the text. It is 2016.

                                                • 21. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                  rusty fortress Level 1

                                                  MaherSinjary YOU ARE A GENIOUS!

                                                  • 22. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                    Kamran Athar Mehervi Level 1

                                                    Hello there,

                                                    There is another solution.


                                                    Type "Google" and copy it. Then outline it and then paste in front that last copied item . Then type it "www.google.com" and give it 0 transparency. now save it in pdf and that's it.

                                                    • 23. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                      sishamDSS Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      If what mapusoft asked for in the first place is as simple as creating a PDF and it has the (full) web addresses for example www.google.co.uk when you save you document as the PDF and the text hasn't been outlined then Acrobat will automatically pick up the URL.


                                                      Simple test for you would be to create a new .ai doc and write a www.google.co.uk and nothing else, save that doc as a PDF and then once opened in Acrobat hover over the URL and you will see that the hyperlink is active.


                                                      This only becomes a problem when you want to make hyperlinks for images and text that aren't the full URL. Then you can try some of the other suggestions posted in this thread.

                                                      • 24. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                        Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        There can be a problem if the end user has disabled the automatic feature in Acrobat. It is still more correct to do it in Acrobat to make sure that it works.

                                                        • 25. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                          x-o-o-x Level 1

                                                          Sometimes I think the people at Illustrator as nuts - why can't we do this simply like in InDesign?
                                                          Why is it they make us go to Adobe Acrobat?

                                                          • 26. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                            bernardoâ25569147 Level 1

                                                            It works!


                                                            Thanks a lot Juli-Jam!

                                                            • 27. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                              tontl19071602 Level 1

                                                              Thank you so much! You saved my life!

                                                              • 28. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                runninghead_design Level 1

                                                                Sorry to not contribute to the discussion here but... Illustrator... lol

                                                                • 29. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                  benjaminb30776065 Level 1

                                                                  I tried a lot to make a hyperlink in Illustrator CC. I spent more than 2 hours to realize that what is the problem that my the hyperlink in pdf file doesn't work. It made me so tired, I'm going to add my hyperlinks in Acrobat.

                                                                  • 30. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                    Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    benjaminb30776065  schrieb


                                                                    It made me so tired, I'm going to add my hyperlinks in Acrobat.

                                                                    That is actually a good idea.


                                                                    Illustrator is not designed to do this kind of stuff. There are only workarounds, which are based on deprecated functions.

                                                                    • 31. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                      runninghead_design Level 1

                                                                      Yeah, to paraphrase JMPJMP back in 2016- "...stupid...It is 2017".


                                                                      I can confirm that Acrobat is actually pretty good when it comes to what we need here.

                                                                      I have an expensive full CC subscription anyway so I downloaded Acrobat DC Pro and added transparent boxes over icons and non-html text that required hyperlinks.

                                                                      I've now got a PDF CV that has working hyperlinks for all social media items, a mailto link on the email address and even a working "tel" link on my phone number.Links and attachments in PDFs, Adobe Acrobat


                                                                      It's awesome but I have to say that adding transparent boxes on top of perfectly good existing objects seems really clunky and primitive, not to mention I had to download a whole app just for this one function!

                                                                      It should be part of Illustrator anyway- it's clearly capable of doing the job.

                                                                      With a little tweak it could perform to it's full potential.


                                                                      C'mon Adobe, get with the century!

                                                                      1 person found this helpful
                                                                      • 32. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                        Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        runninghead_design  schrieb


                                                                        C'mon Adobe, get with the century!

                                                                        Getting with the century would mean to create structured documents. Creating structured documents is a job for InDesign, not Illustrator. All these functions do already exist in InDesign, so why cram them into Illustrator as well?

                                                                        • 33. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                          runninghead_design Level 1

                                                                          I don't think we're talking fully structured documents here, just calling for a more useful hyperlink function in AI, which is just a hair's breadth away from it anyway.


                                                                          Have a go at the Slice workaround for hyperlinking text- it's clear the basic functionality is in the app already, it just needs a mod.


                                                                          By locking the HTML code view field that we see while using the workaround it implies this is not actually a deliberate restriction even- more of an oversight in an, admittedly obscure, area.

                                                                          • 34. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                            JTru Level 1

                                                                            I have tried all of these options and nothing is working. Every time I export as a pdf and click where the link (with 0% occupancy) should be, nothing happens.   The text also has an attribute with the URL linked. I've tried putting them on the same layer as well as different layers...


                                                                            I do not have the fancy version of acrobat so it won't allow me to edit or do anything to the pdf. Just view it.


                                                                            Any other suggestions?

                                                                            • 35. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                              PJ 123 Level 1

                                                                              Unfortunately, no joy here.  I'm taking the Illustrator CS6 file and printing to pdf.  The ai has shadowed text.  When I create the links in pdf, the shadow slides over and looks awful.  If you don't have any text effect, I'd suggest creating the links in the pdf, which works very well.


                                                                              Edited to add: I got it to work by creating an invisible rectangle vs adding the link to the shadowed text.

                                                                              • 36. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                                dana-leighc87044580 Level 1

                                                                                It worked...this si great...doesn't matter that its an image map...it worked and it was simple! THANK YOU!

                                                                                • 37. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                                  CorySouthpaw Level 1

                                                                                  For me the solution was simple!  No slices or HTML or even knocking objects to 0% opacity.  Had to separate the URL into it's OWN text box.  So the URL was completely by itself.   It cannot be contained in the same box with any other text.   After that my PDF worked fine!   Did not see this mentioned anywhere so figured I'd share as it's still top hits on Google.  (see image for visual)link--fix.jpg

                                                                                  • 38. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                                    [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                                                                                    Cory, I am sure that this only suddenly/magically works for you because your Acrobat is set to recognize the text as an URL.


                                                                                    See this image for a visual in Acrobat Reader:



                                                                                    If that is not the case, please explain how you managed to paste an URL in a box on its own and make it an active hyperlink.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: hyperlinks in Ai
                                                                                      CorySouthpaw Level 1

                                                                                      You don't believe in Magic?!  The subject is a PDF from Illustrator, so Adobe Reader was never even involved outside of opening the PDF for me.  Just now I exported a file from my source artwork to show you. Only modifying URLs for privacy.


                                                                                      I also should have mentioned I'm working in RGB within Illustrator, I'm assuming that's definitely a factor. Also you do have to hover slightly for a split second, but they work for me.   High-quality PDF export directly from AI, opening in Reader. 


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