Ensuring that Word TOCs create Hyperlinks in Acrobat
Not long ago, I received the following email from a large law firm which was creating some internal documentation:
I am having trouble converting a Table of Contents in Word to PDF so that all the hyperlinks work. I have all the settings checked in the Acrobat PDF Maker, but no links are being created in the resulting TOC in the PDF. Help!
I did some research on this and it turned out to be an easily fixable issue in Word itself.
Microsoft Word’s TOC function creates hyperlinks to Headings found in the Word file.
Acrobat provides two ways to create PDF from Word:
- Adobe PDF Print driver
Use this print driver to create a PDF from any application that can print
- Adobe PDF Maker
The special integration Acrobat installs into Microsoft Word that offers additional functionality such as bookmark creation and hyperlink creation.
You will need the latter to convert Word TOC hyperlinks to PDF hyperlinks.
The PDF Maker for Word won’t create links in these two situations:
- You’ve unchecked “Create Hyperlinks” in the PDF Maker settings
(It’s on by default, so this should not normally be an issue unless you changed it)
- The TOC in Word is not set to create hyperlinks
It usually isn’t, so you’ll need to change this setting!
**How do I create a Table of Contents in Word to begin with?**First, apply Word’s built-in Heading styles to the headings in your text. (Headings 1, Heading 2, etc.)
_Word 2007 and 2010_References > Table of Contents > choose an option from the menu
_In Word 2003 and earlier_Insert > Reference > Tables and Indexes. Click on the Table of Contents Tab. Click OK.
Ensuring that Word Creates Hyperlinks for TOC Elements
You need to tell Word to create hyperlinks for TOC elements. The instructions below are for Word 2010, but they should also work for Word 2007. The process is much the same for earlier versions of Word.
- Click anywhere inside the Word TOC to select it.
All the text in the TOC should highlight as below:
- Right-click on the highlighted text and choose Edit Field:
- Word’s Field window opens.
A) From the list on the left, choose TOC
B) Click the Table of Contents button
- Click the “Use Hyperlinks instead of Page Numbers” checkbox.
Making the TOC Look like Hyperlinks
You might have noticed that the TOC elements in the screen capture above look like web hyperlinks.
I believe it is a good practice to ensure that hyperlinked elements in the PDF are evident to the reader of the document. You can change the appearance of the TOC elements in Word in the Table of Contents window in Word. Here’s how:
- In the Table of Contents window, click the** Modify . . . **button.
- The Style Window opens.
A) Select a TOC level from the list
B) Click the Modify button
- The Modify Stylet window opens.
Set the font color to Blue and click the OK button.
- Repeat Step 3 above for all the TOC levels used in your document.
By default, Word only uses three levels for the TOC, so you probably only need to change theTOC1, TOC2 and TOC3 styles.
- Click OK twice.
- Word will ask if you want to replace the TOC. Click OK.
More Word TOC Tricks
Here is a link to Word TOC resource that might helpful to those of you who want to more fully customize your TOC in Word: