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Hyperlinks don't work after saving .pdf as .doc

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-01-08
Running Acrobat 9 Professional and Word 2007 on a Windows XP SP-3 platform, I can't seem to preserve hyperlinks when saving a pdf in doc format.  The native Save As function in Acrobat produces a Word document with content which is out of sequence, and the hyperlinks are lost.  The on-line pdf-to-Word converters I have tried will produce a .doc or .docx file without disrupting the content, but the hyperlinks are lost.  I am inexperienced with Acrobat, so there may be configuration settings I have overlooked.
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Question by:ddantes
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15 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38753184
Using Save As doesn't perform all steps necessary.

Use the File > Export feature in Acrobat and select the text format of Microsoft Word Document. It should preserve the links.
This link should give some more detail on the options:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/9.0/Standard/WS58a04a822e3e50102bd615109794195ff-7eeb.w.html
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753200
Thank you for your comment and the link.  Unfortunately, the result of exporting the pdf as Word was identical to saving the document as Word.  The Word document started on page 14, instead of page 1, and all the hyperlinks were inert except for internet hyperlinks.  In other words, bookmarks and links to files were not active.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38753409
I would need to look at your document to see if there are any formatting issues causing this. Are you able to upload the document?
If it contains private information can you provide a sample document that has the same issue?
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753430
I appreciate your willingness to do this.  Please give me a short time to prepare a short sample document without sensitive information, and I will upload it.   Earlier today I created a new pdf file with Acrobat and added a link.  When I saved the document as Word, the link was gone.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753465
Test.zipDear Rartemass:  Please examine the attached files.  Link-test1.docx was created with Word 2007, and it has three types of links.  Acrobat 9 Pro was used to save this file as Link-test1.pdf, and all three types of links still worked.  But when I exported the file as Link-test2.docx, only one of the three types of links still worked.  To test this, please extract the files to a folder named "test".
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38753500
I've done some initial testing and thus far there are no issues with the links that I can see. I will continue to test and let you know the results.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753530
Thank you.  But, are you saying that the links in Link-test2.docx work for you?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38753594
No, I was checking to see if there are any issue with the Link-test1.docx file that may cause issues. I didn't see any. The links didn't work in Link-test2.docx for me either.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753607
Understood.  When I export a pdf to Word, it appears in compatibility mode, and it is a Word 2000-2003 document instead of a Word 2007.  I'm installing Office 2000 on a different machine, to see if the links work when Word is not running in compatibility mode.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38753624
OK I've got part of the issue sorted, however I am using Office 2010 so the options may differ for you.
When Saving as PDF there is an option to create bookmarks using Word bookmarks. This can be selected by clicking Options on the Save dialogue box.
Converting to PDF with this enabled kept the links for the PDF. It also kept link 3 when converting back to Word, however link 2 still failed.

In Word 2007 you should be able to do the same thing by doing the following:
1 Open the document and click the Acrobat tab on the menu ribbon. Click Preferences.
2 Select Settings. Check Fully Functional PDF and Add Bookmarks.
3 Click Bookmarks. Check Convert Word Bookmarks. Click OK to save your settings.
4 Click Create PDF in the Acrobat ribbon.
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
Rartemass earned 500 total points
ID: 38753647
So the issue now seems to only be keeping links that are bookmarked to the same document.

I've tried a few methods (anchor points, headings) and they all do the same thing. Any Word based reference is stripped when converting from PDF back into Word.

The only way I could get link 2 working from converting PDF to something else was converting it to HTML. However even opening the HTML in Word won't follow the bookmark. It is present but won't go to the bookmark.

In summary I don't think there is a way to do this. I have tried a lot of combinations and nothing will keep them with the options available in Word 2010 and Adobe Pro 9.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753677
Thank you for your testing.  Following your steps, I still couldn't get link 3 to work in the resulting docx file.  And my experiment with Word 2000 turned out the same way.   So, I'll accept these limitations.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38753678
Increasing points due to extra effort involved in testing.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Rartemass
ID: 38754351
Sorry it didn't work out for you.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38755951
Yes.  I even tried a trial version of Acrobat X Pro, since it exports pdf in Word 2007 mode.  No help.  I think this function hasn't been well developed because most conversions go from Word to pdf, not the other way around.  Thanks for your efforts.
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