In this article I'm going to show you how to add a PDF (Portable Document Format) file to your website.

Linking to a PDF file

Most novice website users are aware that you can link off to another website or webpage from your own website. However they can become confused when they try to figure out linking to a PDF document that they might need to share.

It's actually a very simple process to link to a PDF file, if you've linked to another webpage before than you should have no issues at all figuring it out, as it's essentially the same process.

If you are simply trying to directly type out a HTML link to a PDF document, you would use the following format, in this example our sales.pdf document is in the same directory as the HTML page we are linking to it from:

<a href="/support/sales.pdf">Sales figures</a>

This would create a link saying Sales figures, and when visitors click on the link, it should either open up their PDF reader automatically, or prompt the visitor to download the PDF file.

Alternative PDF linking methods

In some cases, you might not be directly modifying HTML code, and in these cases you would typically need to link to a PDF file differently. For instance if you're using the Premium Website builder you would want to read about uploading and linking files in the Premium Website Builder.

In some cases you might also want to be able to display information from a PDF document without your visitor having to have a PDF reader installed, you could use something like Google Docs in order to accomplish this. We have a guide on how to embed a PDF in a Joomla 2.5 article that explains this process in-depth.

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Related Questions

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n/a Points
2014-04-09 8:17 am

I have a PDF which I link to on my website.  

When users click on a link the PDF opens on screen, how do I get it so that it either downloads or prompts the user to download instead?

11,156 Points
2014-04-09 8:49 am
The PDF opening on screen is due to the user's browser. Most modern browsers will now open PDF files on screen now instead of prompting to download the file. To download the file, the users would need to right-click the file and click Save.
n/a Points
2014-07-19 6:45 pm
I still do not see how to add a pdf to my website. These instruction are for linking.
9,968 Points
2014-07-21 12:19 pm
Hello Lyle,

Linking to a PDF is the same as adding it your website. For instance when you'd like to place an image on your website you simply create a link to it with the <img> HTML tag.

There is no HTML tag for directly embedding a PDF file into your website, but most web-browsers these days can simply read a PDF file directly in them. So simply using a link on your website to where you have that PDF file stored on your server should allow the visitor of your website to view that document.

If you really wanted to display a PDF document embedded into your website, you could try to use something like the PDF.js library which uses JavaScript to display the document in place on your website. But that is going to be a much more complex setup than simply going the normal route of creating a link to the PDF.

Please let us know if you had any further questions at all!

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-07-21 12:52 pm

What server? The PDF is is on my computer.

9,968 Points
2014-07-21 2:53 pm
Hello Lyle,

Just like if you would want to display an image on your website, you first need to upload the image or in this case the PDF file to the same server that your website is hosted on.

You can do this either with FTP using a client such as FileZilla, or if your webhost is using cPanel you can upload a file using File Manager.

If you're using a Content Management System like WordPress to manage your site, then you would follow these steps instead:

  1. Login to WordPress

  2. Click on Posts from the left-hand menu

  3. Hover over the page you want to link to your PDF from, then click on Edit

  4. Place the mouse cursor where you'd like to add the PDF link and then click on Add Media

  5. Next click on the Upload Files tab

  6. Now click on Select Files

  7. Browse to the location on your computer with your PDF file, select it and click Open

  8. With the PDF document selected and showing a check mark now, click on Insert into page

If you're using WordPress, you should see that it simply creates an <a href> link as originally explained in this guide that you're commenting on.

Please let us know if you have any further questions. If you had any specific issues with our instructions please be as specific as possible for exactly what you're trying to do and we'd be glad to try to point you in the right direction.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2015-01-16 9:52 pm

Not sure if this thread is still being used, but wanted to ask a few questions about the said topic.My website for my business I just made has word press with it and the pdf instructions seem pretty straight forward.Does word press allow you to edit other things as well on an already published site?For Example.. adding a picture to the about me section?Thank you very much!!!

24,266 Points
2015-01-19 10:21 am
Hello Clay,

This article is about adding a pdf file to a webpage so I have moved your question to its own thread. You can view it here. Please make new questions in the future when not having to deal directly with the article subject.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-03-25 10:45 pm
Great ! I will upload my .pdf via cPanel to a new directory and use
<a href="/support/sales.pdf">Sales figures</a> method. Will .pdf/A-1a file work as well as .pdf ?
2,154 Points
2015-03-31 9:21 am
Hello Dave,

It should work just the same.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens

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