TOC and Cross-reference links are not working in PDF converted using MS Word

Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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On my system, TOC and Cross-reference links are working in MS Word. But, when the same document is converted to PDF, these links are not clickable. Suddenly, these links have stopped working in this week. The version of my Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is 21.007.20095.60881. I have tried all the solutions posted at https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/hyperlinks-from-ms-word-not-working-in-pdf/m-p/87... and even tried generating the PDF by reinstalling Acrobat Pro DC, but this issue is not resolved yet. 

 

I would appreciate if someone can provide some insight into this matter.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Thanks for reporting the issue of links not working. We can reproduce this issue with latest Office 365 version 2109 but not with Office 365 version 2108.

We are investigating it on priority and will try to resolve this at the earliest.

 

Meanwhile, as a workaround, please downgrade your Office version to 2108 for reverting to correct behavior.

 

Thanks

Tanvi

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Unfortunately, that may not necessarily work.  We're experiencing this same issue here at my office.

 

Adobe version: 21.007.20095.61881

MS Word version: 2108 Build 14326.20404

 

We started noticing this last Friday.  Here's another wrinkle into this...we have a Word template we use for some of our document types and, when opening the template and saving as PDF, the TOC links work.  Minor changes to the existing document still update on the TOC and links work when saved as PDF.  Any major changes to the template such as adding/removing sections, changing text, adding information/images (all of which are required for our usage) cause the TOC links to break ONLY IN A PDF.  They still remain functional in Word the entire time.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Hi

 

Can you please share a sample Word file where this behavior is reproducible with Office version 2108 as well?

 

Thanks

Tanvi

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Tanvi,

 

I've attached two versions.  The "SOP temp" files are the original templates that the links work in.  The PDF is made from the virgin docx file.

 

The second "BAD PDF LINKS" is a modified word doc that was modified from my PC as well as a PDF I made from the modified word doc.  For creating the PDF, I do a save as and change to PDF (the same way I've been doing it for many years so it's not a process change on my end).  On the BAD PDF LINKS word doc, I merely saved a copy of the SOP temp doc and removed the page break carrot that is directly under the Sub section 2 of Chapter 1 (moving Chapter 2 to also be on page 2.  Then I updated the entire TOC and saved a PDF.  As you can see in the PDF, the PDF links break just from that.

 

Just FYI - for some reason, every time I dragged a docx file into the attachments, it was failing to attach so you'll need to change the extension on the .bmp back to .docx if you want to do any manipulation of the original word doc.

 

I hope this makes sense, but if not, let me know and I can try to explain further!

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Tanvi,

 

It appears as though it is stripping the .bmp files as well for whatever reason.  Not being able to upload a DOCX is very annoying, but if you have an email that I can send the .docx files to directly, I can provide the originals for review.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Hi Jason

 

In case you have Acrobat installed, you can try creating PDF from Acrobat ribbon > Create PDF and let us know if issue persists. As per your current Save as -> PDF workflow, this could be an issue at Microsoft end as this functionality is not provided by Acrobat but Microsoft itself.

 

Thanks

Tanvi

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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I don't have Pro, only the reader.

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New Here ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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it persists

 

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New Here ,
Dec 15, 2021 Dec 15, 2021

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Can someone please report on the status of this problem? It is affecting business everywhere. The latest Microsoft 365 update was released yeaterday and it is still not working! It works correctly with Bluebeam and other applications but not with Adobe. The issue appears to be with Adobe. Please advise.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 15, 2021 Dec 15, 2021

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Ditch the Adobe method.

Switch to MS's built in utility to create accessible PDFs from Word.

See https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/toc-and-cross-reference-links-are-not-working-in-...

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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New Here ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Our company has the same problem. Reinstalled all software on a PC and now the TOC and cross-reference links do not reproduce when making Word. Down grading Office version is not an option. Don't have a high volume of work so will use Adobe cloud for Acrobat psf production in the interim. 

 

Please confirm when this issue is resolved.

 

Thanks,

 

Charles.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2021 Oct 12, 2021

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Thanks for your patience. We have investigated this issue and found that this has broken with a recent Office update and would require a fix from Microsoft. 

This has also been raised on Microsoft fourms in several threads and acknowledged and it seems they are investigating this issue. Please follow these threads for updates.

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/cross-references-and-toc-in-word-do-not-work-...

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/when-i-export-a-word-to-pdf-the-table-of-cont...

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/exporting-hyperlinks-to-pdf-from-word/4b792dc...

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/cross-reference-links-eg-table-of-content-tab...

 

As a workaround, please revert to older version of Office to make links work.

 

Thanks

Tanvi

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New Here ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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Happened to me twice both times they have had to give me a new profile and reimage my computer!!!!!!!!  The work around does not work, I have tried everything and it's good to know it's not something that I am doing. This needs to be fixed right away.  Clients get angry when they can't get their documents.

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New Here ,
Oct 14, 2021 Oct 14, 2021

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Here we are having the same problem with all computers it did start recently, we have made it in the past.

 

The workaround that did work for me is to upload the word document to word online and there save it to PDF.

 

I don't know if the bug is office related or adobe related.

 

Adobe reader version 2021.007.20099

Microsoft® Word 2016 MSO (versão 2109 Build 16. 0. 14430. 20292) 64-bit

 

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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Same problem here, I found it out today while trying to create the TOC for my thesis 😞 I'm using version 2109 

compilation 16.0.14430.20154 in Word and the 2021.007.20099 version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. The only workaround that I've found useful has been to upload my work on OneDrive and create a pdf from there... But I'm hoping that this issue will get sorted soon, I really need this function for my daily work and I don't use OneDrive.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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After a Microsoft Office update, this issue is now resolved on my system. My current MS Word version is 2110 (Build 14527.20128) and hyperlinks are now working in the PDF file converted from MS Word. 

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Explorer ,
Oct 20, 2021 Oct 20, 2021

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Resolved here too.

The Word update has installed this version: 2109 Build 16.0.14430.20154.

 

It would appear that MS has rolled back my version from 14430.20298 to the one stated above.

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New Here ,
Nov 02, 2021 Nov 02, 2021

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I am having the same issue, however I am using OneDrive, resulting in the same loss of TOC and internal linking. All external links work. 

 

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017 - Version 2017.011.30204

Microsoft Word for Mac Version 16.54 (21101001)

 

I have been converting a 200+ page Word doc to PDF for the last year without any loss of embedded links. Now all TOC and internal cross-reference links are un-clickable in PDF. I have tried both through OneDrive and locally from my Mac without success.

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New Here ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Hello Everyone!  Here's a weird workaround that worked for me.  I installed a trial Pro version of Foxit PDF on my computer.  Not the reader, but the full Pro version of Foxit.  (This workaround doesn't work with just the Foxit Reader).  Then I ran the Word document through "Save As Adobe PDF" again and it worked.  The hyperlinks and footnotes are now clickable; Adobe created them correctly.  I'm not sure why this works, and I'm not sure if it's replicable.  The good thing is that it works with the trial version of Foxit PDF, so you don't have to buy anything.   Hopefully, it helps someone out there until there is a permanent fix for this.Take care everyone!

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New Here ,
Nov 06, 2021 Nov 06, 2021

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I am not using any Adobe products — I just stumbled onto this thread because cross-references stopped working when I save a Word doc to PDF, and a Google search brought it up. But I am having exactly this problem on MacOS Monterey running the latest version of Office 365 for Mac. So it seems to be a Microsoft issue.

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New Here ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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I'm having this issue too. TOC hyperlinks work in the Word doc but not in the PDF, in both Adobe Acrobat Pro DC v 2021.007.20099 and Preview v 11.0 (1018.6.2) on macOS Big Sur v 11.6.

 

I tried opening the doc in Office online and downloading as PDF but A) the links still didn't work and B) it messed up the formatting.

 

Does anyone have any updates?

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New Here ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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Sorry I didn't mean to post that as a reply to your post default9vh3ufl6eutb - this is my first time here. Why isn't there a delete/edit function??

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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Hey there, emilyr.... 🙂 seems to me that replying was appropriate since we're both pointing out that this is not an Adobe-specific issue but also at least in part due to Microsoft!

 

Cheers!

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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Right you are! Which reminds me I need to also post in the Microsoft community thread...

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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OK now I feel insane. It's working for me now, all of a sudden. I went to create the PDF again, just to make sure the issue was still happening before I posted in the Microsoft community, and now the TOC is fully clickable in PDF.

 

One difference I noticed this time was instead of the "Save as" menu item I only had "Save a Copy" — but only in THIS Word doc. In other Word docs, existing and brand new, underneath "Save" option there was just "Save as" like normal. 

 

But I don't think this is related, as I created a brand new doc with a TOC and saved as PDF to see if those hyperlinks would work, and they did, so it's not this "Save a Copy" that's making hyperlinks work, that's just a side note.

 

Oh and now I have "Save as" back again.

 

idek

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