How to add hyperlinks in Illustrator

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How to add hyperlinks in Illustrator
How to add hyperlinks in Illustrator

Clickable hyperlinks are everywhere today: on websites of course, but also in word processing documents and are easily created in an Adobe Illustrator document. This program does not have any tools capable of creating a hyperlink out of the box, but not a roundabout, it is doable. If your hyperlink is just an address, your work will be limited, just save the document in PDF format. If it's a custom image or text that hides the hyperlink, the job takes a little longer, but not much more difficult. You'll save the Illustrator document as a PDF, then run it in Adobe Acrobat Pro to make the image clickable.


Part 1 of 2: Create an object in Illustrator

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 1

Step 1. Open your Illustrator document

If you already have an Illustrator document saved, just double-click on that file's icon.

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 2

Step 2. Type the hyperlink address

If you want a personalized link or clickable image, go to the next step. In your document, you will be able to put a link which can be the address of a website, the path of a file on your computer or even a reference to an anchor of the same file. You have two choices.

  • The first and easiest is to type in or paste the address of the website in question (for example, or the absolute path of a file on your hard drive. Once your document has been saved in PDF format, you open it in a PDF reader and the address will be clickable by the user: they will either arrive at the site in question or open the mentioned file. In this case, it is not necessary to have Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is sufficient.
  • The second option is to replace the address or path with custom text, which will later be converted to a hyperlink in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Addresses and paths are not very meaningful, so it is common for them to be hidden under slightly more explicit text, such as "For more information, click here. "
Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 3

Step 3. Convert your personalized text to a link

To create a link with only the address or associated with an image, go to the next step. To vectorize custom text, follow these steps:

  • click on Selection tool at the top of the left toolbar (a small black arrow):
  • click on the text that will support the hyperlink;
  • click up on the menu Text, then select Vectorize;
  • click up on the menu Object, then select Associate.
Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 4

Step 4. Make the layout of your clickable element

Sometimes it is necessary to move the element for practical or aesthetic reasons. To do this, click on Selection tool in the left toolbar, click on the item (text, image) to move, hold down the mouse button, then drag the item where you want.

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 5

Step 5. Save your document in PDF format

This new document can be executed without problem with a PDF reader (not to mention it, Acrobat Reader DC). By clicking on the link created, you will see the site or file open. Saving in PDF format is easy.

  • Click on the menu at the top File and select Save as.
  • Give your file a meaningful name.
  • In the drop-down list Format, select Adobe PDF (*. PDF).
  • If you have a multi-page PDF file, select All to save all artboards and if you only want to save part of them, select Scope, then specify a series of artboards.
  • Click on Save.
  • If you are adding a site address in your text, select RTF format in the list of formats.
  • Click on Save as PDF.

Part 2 of 2: Add a hyperlink in Acrobat Pro

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 6

Step 1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro is paid software, but, as is often the case, it is possible to test the software for free for a week. To download it, go to this address. To open the PDF file in Acrobat, right click on the file icon, in the context menu, select Open with, then choose Adobe Acrobat DC Pro.

As mentioned above, if your hyperlink is just a web address or a path to a file, simply saving the file as a PDF and opening it with a PDF reader makes the link clickable

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 7

Step 2. Click the Tools tab

This is the second tab at the top, to the right of Home. Various actions are available to you.

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 8

Step 3. Click Edit PDF File

Under the first heading Create and modify, click on the fourth icon.

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 9

Step 4. Click the Link button

This is the fourth icon (a chain link) on the toolbar at the top. A menu appears under the icon.

  • If ever the icon Link does not appear, type link in the search box in the upper right corner of Acrobat, then in the results, click Add / edit a web or document link. The icon Link should be back.
Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 10

Step 5. Click Add / Edit Web Link or Document

This is the first option on the menu Link: the mouse cursor then turns into a small cross.

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 11

Step 6. Draw a rectangle over the link text or image

This rectangle obtained by a dragged click will be the size you want: anyone who presses on this area will be directed to the site or the notified document. When the mouse button is released, a dialog window will appear.

Suppose the link text is "Click here": click on the top and left of the "C", hold down the mouse button, drag the cursor to the final "i", bottom and right, then release the mouse

Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 12

Step 7. Customize the rendering of the link

In the window Create links, thanks to the section Appearance of links, it is possible to customize … the appearance of the links (type, thickness, highlighting).

  • In the drop-down menu Link type, if you want the created zone to be invisible, select Invisible rectangle. Otherwise, you would select Visible rectangle.
  • If you want to highlight the link, expand the menu Highlight style and choose what suits you, otherwise choose No.
Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 13

Step 8. Choose a link action

At the bottom of the window Create a link, there is a part called Link an action with, among others, 3 possibilities.

  • Wait for a page view: this action allows by clicking on the link to go to another part of the open document. This action chosen, click on Following, scroll to the one you want, then click Define the link Or on OK.
  • Open a file: for this action, select the target file, then click on To select, choose an opening method for PDF file, then click OK.
  • Open a web page: as the name suggests, this is a redirect to a website. This action chosen, click on Following, type or paste the full address (with http or https) of the site, then click on OK.
Add a Hyperlink in Illustrator Step 14

Step 9. Save the PDF file

Once the link has been created, all you have to do is save the file by pressing Command + S (macOS) or

Control + S (Windows). Anyone who then opens that file will see the link, click on it, and be directed to that website, see a new file open, or be directed to another part (anchor) of the same file.

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