8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2018 3:51 PM by Laubender

    Import PDF with interactive links


      I'm trying to import interactive PDF with links to Indesign CC2105 document. To do this, I'm doing: "File" => "Place...". Unfortunately, document is inserted as an image, all hyperlinks are not active.


      I realize text can't be recognised without special converters, however is there any way to preserve hyperlinks active?


      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
          Salah Fadlabi Level 5

          Try to insert interactive PDF pages in acrobat, after you finished layout in indesign.

          Acrobat>page thumbnails>options>insert pages>from file.

          • 2. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
            f1nn Level 1

            Unfortunately, PDF originally comes not from Indesign. Indesign is a target format, which should contain PDF with interactive clickable links.

            • 3. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
              John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              f1nn wrote:


              I'm trying to import interactive PDF with links to Indesign CC2105 document. To do this, I'm doing: "File" => "Place...". Unfortunately, document is inserted as an image, all hyperlinks are not active.

              Right. A PDF placed in InDesign is indeed "an image." Reverse-engineering of PDF, interactive or otherwise, is not a function of InDesign.

              Your options:

              1. Replicate the layout of the PDF* in InDesign as live InDesign-native content, and install hyperlinks via the InDesign Hyperlinks panel
              2. Keep the placed PDF, export to PDF and re-add hyperlinks in Acrobat using the Link tool.


              *There is a conversion product; Recosoft PDF2ID, that may be of use, although I don't have any first-hand experience with it, and couldn't comment as to whether it's a truly viable solution to your problem. I'll leave such investigation and conclusions to you.

              • 4. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                You cannot place an interactive PDF into an InDesign document and maintain the interactivity.

                • 5. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
                  f1nn Level 1

                  Thank you, John. I've tried PDF2ID, however it's not so accurate as I've hoped.


                  Another option is to draw interactive areas over imported PDF, however it becomes a problem if you've got a lot of links with hyphens.

                  • 6. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
                    Luke Jennings Level 4

                    You can use Replace Pages in Acrobat to change the image in your original PDF, while retaining interactivity.

                    Place your interactive PDF into InDesign, make your edits, then export to a new PDF. Open the original PDF in Acrobat and go to Tools> Replace pages, and select the new PDF as the replacement.

                    • 7. Re: Import PDF with interactive links

                      Some smart folks in our Help Desk have figured out a workaround for this major problem within the Adobe integration of InDesign and PDFs. There is only ONE solution that we found works from start to finish in our very complicated pagination workflows ... but I'm happy to share it with others.


                      1) For starters. DO NOT USE the native 'embed hyperlinks' function within InDesign - it does NOT travel well if that PDF is placed in future InDesign pages where gets stripped out. Instead, whenever possible simply use a www.domainname.com - including the WWW at the beginning of every 'embedded' URL - in a text box as you build the PDF. We've found that most upstream applications, like Adobe Reader, Acrobat Pro, Issuu.com etc all make those www.domainname.com live hyperlinks again after being exported out of InDesign. This seems obvious but it works most of the time.


                      2) However, some URLs are too long to look good, or customers don't want WWW included in their domainname.com ... so here's where our trick comes into play. It's actually ridiculously simple and appears bulletproof so far ... if you follow these instructions precisely:

                      • Create a transparent border-free text box containing only www.customersdomain.com/.ca/.net - e.g. www.bigwhite.com - matching the exact size of the area you want to hyperlink. Increase the type size/scaling/tracking in the box to fill it fully but with NO overset. (It must include the www. in front of the domain for this ‘trick’ to work),

                      • Place the “www” text box directly over the area you want hyperlink ... then using Object>Arrange>Send to Back move the text box behind all the other elements in the file (perhaps lock it to ensure it doesn’t accidentally move).
                      • This process can be repeated for any areas of the file that you want hyperlinked ... but is only necessary if the client insists on leaving off the WWW or has submitted a file that has rasterized the text into a JPG that cannot be parsed by upstream applications. Be aware these boxes ‘print’ so to ensure they do not show through any transparent backgrounds, simply colour the type White/Paper in those situations.
                      • BTW this process can also work for email addresses. A normal email address will be successfully hyperlinked automatically, but if the submitted copy is not in text form (i.e. embedded in a jpg logo) you can also add another transparent border-free text box with ”mailto:example@email.com and have it cover the email address, then use Object>Arrange>Send to Back following the same process as above. The email address will also survive and be a live hyperlink for any upstream applications.
                      • It may seem super obvious but DON'T OVERLAP any of these "WWW" or "eMAIL" text boxes to avoid confusing any upstream applications.


                      This process requires absolutely no special converters or additional software. I honestly don't know how ... but it just works!!!!


                      PS. Having hunted through multiple forums I haven't found this answer anywhere else ... not even from my contacts at Adobe .. so hopefully this simple workaround also works for you - just as long as you place the "WWW" and "eMAIL" text boxes directly behind the area(s) of the file you want to be hyperlinked. See picture below:


                      Hyperlinked-Instructions PDFs.jpg

                      • 8. Re: Import PDF with interactive links
                        Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP


                        by no means the hyperlinks are retained.


                        But then why is this trick working for you?

                        Acrobat or Acrobat Reader are able to automatically detect text that could be a hyperlink.


                        If you open the PDF with a different PDF reader this could/would fail.