I have a text field (created using the Text tool), and I'm trying to add a link to the body of the text. This document will primarily be exported as a pdf. I'm looking for a way to add a hyperlink so when I export it to a pdf the viewer of the pdf will be able to click on the text.

I'm open to using any plugins, or even editing the pdf with a different program afterwards.


  • Are you editing an existing PDF file, or do you create one from scratch? Oct 9 '17 at 6:31

You can't, GIMP's text layers and text tool do not support adding links to text at this point. You can style text to look like some commonly recognized representation of a link - e.g. blue and underlined - but there won't be any special functionality.

Also, GIMP is not really meant to be used as a PDF creator or editor application. Only the very recent development versions have brought some improvements to PDF export, but this is still far from what other tools offer.

You are better off to use applications more specialized to work with documents rather than individual images - Scribus and LibreOffice are two examples of Free Software tools which can be used to create PDF documents from scratch (you didn't specify whether you want to edit an existing PDF file, please clarify this in your question). Actually, many current word processors should preserve links if they offer to export to PDF.


I have not found a way to save a GIMP image as PDF without changing all text to an image. In PDFs that spoils hyperlinks and the editability of the texts.

Hyperlinks can be added to PDF in PDF editors such as Adobe Acrobat. There an area can be selected and marked to be a hyperlink activation button. That area can contain anything.

Acrobat is a high cost program. There are plenty of more affordable programs that can open a PDF, allow adding comments and hyperlinks and ave the result as new PDF. Unfortunately freeware has limitations just in this. For example Adobe reader adds comments, but not working web links. Some other add web links only to text, some even want the link to be visible in its full text form.

I have not tested all PDF editing freeware, so my knowledge is very limited. But I have found some affordable PDF editors with usable hyperlink capablity: Serif PagePlus, Foxit Fantom.

Usable means any "any area can be marked to be a hyperlink button - with or without visible hyperlink symbols".

  • This is not an issue anymore as for today. Gimp 2.10 comes with a built-in PDF export tool (just like exporting to a JPG) and works great. It also preserves actual text, fonts, formatting and layers.
    – Lis
    Jun 21 at 20:44

I realize this is question has some age on it, but I thought I would offer a more clear explanation for any future curious Gimp users.

No option to link within Gimp. So... Save the image as a .png or .jpg or .gif. I often create images in GIMP, saving them as a .png file. You can use Open Office (I prefer Open Office vs LibreOffice... Better control and functionality) I will not use LibreOffice. Not professional enough for me.

Open new document in Open Office. Add your text, Add your image. You can drag the image onto the page or can use the "add image" function. Can work with the image functions for Inline |Wrap text. Once the image is added, can then hyperlink to the image. Hyperlink function will be in the toolbar. A small window opens with a section for adding the url. I like to add the full natural url which includes the http(s)://www.....

Save the document. Open office will autosave, but I like to make sure it's saved. Can save as Open Office doc or alternative such as MS Word Doc. Once saved, then export as a PDF file. Export function is under "File". As an alternative to the pdf function in the program, I use a PDF writer program called PrimoPDF (Google it).

I use the free version, and it allows me to print any doc as a pdf and depending on the use or purpose, can print based on multiple options ranging from screen, ebook, print, prepress and custom options. The different options provide different files sizes. The may be smaller than the PDF file created in Open Office. Additionally, I can control who prints, security, password, etc from within the PrimoPDF options.

  • Hmm. How is this answer significantly different from Michael Schumacher's, who also recommends xxxOffice?
    – xenoid
    Aug 27 '18 at 18:56

I think this question needs an update. As for today (june 2021) Gimp comes with a built-in PDF export tool (just like exporting JPGs; tested on Gimp 2.10.12). It preserves the actual layers, has an option to automatically convert graphics to vector whenever possible and reasonable and preserves the actual text with formatting, custom fonts etc.

While directly adding a link in a text field is not possible, the vast majority of PDF browsers (including Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android Browser) will automatically detect links and treat them accordingly, allowing to click them to open a website. At the same time you can also style it to suggest it's clickable (and for 99% users it will be; note that the browsers don't do it by themselves at any case). So just put www.example.com wherever in your text and that's it.

The downside is that you obviously can't add a link with a custom text, like this one. For that I'd recommend using another program (OpenOffice should be fine) or exporting the PDF from Gimp and editing it with such program.

I realize this does not directly answer your question, but it obviously makes the reason behind it perfectly achievable.

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