Posts in Category "Bookmarks and Links"

Creating Linked PDFs from a set of Word Files

Life Sciences organizations often have voluminous numbers of reports and corresponding reference material that need to be prepared for regulatory filings.

Many organizations generate Word and PDF documents which need to be converted in a cross-linked set of documents for submission or for internal use.

Using Microsoft Word, you can create a hyperlink to PDF document easily. Simply select some text in your Word document, right-click and choose hyperlink, then point to a PDF:

Picture of how to link to a PDF document in Word

While it is easy to link to a PDF, that doesnt’ always suit the needs of a busy reglatory professional.

When there are a number of documents which are rapidly changing during the authoring cycle, it can be extremely handy to link to sub-documents (Word files) to allow for quick editing and changes.

That was probably the reason I received the following enquiry via email regarding link capabilities of Acrobat:

If I have several word documents in a directory and the one document is the main Table of contents, I can create links from it to the others where clicking on the link will open the corresponding Word document. When I convert these documents to PDF, the links are broken. Is there a way around this?

Unfortunately, neither Word or the PDF Maker plug-in for Acrobat offer this functionality. When converted to PDF, links in the Word file are maintained to the original source DOC file. In other words, a link to a Word file (in Word) will be a link to a Word file when converted to PDF.

However, there are some workflow tips and workarounds you can use to work around this.
Read on!

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Changing PDF Link Color for Regulatory Submissions

Documents submitted to the FDA’s CBER and CDER must comply with the agency’s PDF specifications regarding link appearance.

Both agencies prefer blue text for hyperlinks in PDFs created from electronic source files. For scanned documents, hyperlinks should be a thin blue line.

Electronic Source File
Pic showing a link in a PDF from an electronic source.
Scanned File
Pic showing a link on a scanned PDF

If you are creating documents in Microsoft Word, it is best to style the text blue, or edit your styles to include the color, then convert to PDF.

Regulatory professionals often have to work with scanned documents, or PDFs authored outside of their control. For these documents, a post-process is required to bring link appearance into compliancy.

In this article, I’ll discuss how to change link color and style.

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