How to create a PDF file with a single hyperlink in it

This blog post explains how to create a PDF file with a single hyperlink in it. Such PDF files are useful as hyperlinks uploaded to prezi.com presentations, because as of 2014-05-22 prezi.com doesn't support hyperlinks with text different from the link target URL: it only supports hyperlinks whose URL appear visually in the presentation. By uploading a PDF with a hyperlink this limitation can be circumvented.

Use this Python script to generate the PDF with a hyperlink. It will create a single page PDF containing green triangle with a hyperlink pointing to the URL specified in the command-line. Example usage on Linux:

$ wget -O linkpdfgen.py \
$ chmod +x linkpdfgen.py
$ ./linkpdfgen.py http://example.org/ output.pdf

To insert the generated PDF file to prezi.com, choose Insert / From file when editing the presentation.

Please note the generated PDF file is very small (about 700 bytes). This is not a coincidence, the file contains only the minimum amount of information necessary.

Non-alternatives on Linux:

  • Adobe Acrobat: This software is not available on Linux.
  • Inkscape: Inkscape 0.48 can't export a PDF containing hyperlinks. (All hyperlinks are removed when the PDF file is saved.)
  • OpenOffice or LibreOffice: They can't add hyperlinks to geometrical shapes, so the generated PDF will have to contain text, thus it has to contain fonts, thus it will be larger than necessary.

1 comment:

Mansour Behabadi said...

For those looking to retain their hyperlinks across PDF conversion, you can take a look at a little script [1] I wrote. All the instructions are in the header comment in the script.

[1]: https://gist.github.com/oxplot/4b5ded9875cbba3e514f