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I'm trying to maintain a series of publications that are currently in Microsoft Word format and are updated annually by different people. I need to publish them to web and so I thought the best solution would be to keep a Word copy and a Converted PDF copy.

Where this gets tricky is that these Word files contain hyperlinks to each other. One publication will usually have at least 15 chapters and each chapter will link to the others.

So if I choose to make these links relative links all the browsers on a Mac won't be able to follow the links and anyone using Chrome on a Windows machine wont be able to open them either.

Chrome for some reason doesn't know how to interpret relative links in PDF files. It will error out because it will try to get the relative path and not the full path. like if the link is to "documents/doc1.pdf" most browsers know to look for "" but chrome will give the error "Oops! Google Chrome could not find /documents/doc1.pdf"

And on a Mac Safari and Chrome do the same thing, Firefox will download and open the file in Preview or in Adobe Reader, and because it's a relative link it will try to find the file being linked in the local directory.

Alright, so I'm forced to make these links absolute links. What's the best way to do this if I have a lot of files with a lot of links?

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why not publish them as html and not pdf? opening pdf files from other pdf will not be fun for anyone online. PDF files are slow loading and ponderous.... there are easier ways to handle this depending on the website your publishing these documents to... – Logman Feb 4 '13 at 23:00
@Logman I wanted to avoid letting Word write HTML because the HTML it generates is pure junk. The formatting is either horrible or non-existing and if someone reading the publication wanted to save it, it'd be better if it was as a PDF file, right? It's my understanding that PDF is the standard and to publish something in Word's HTML is frowned upon. – Mundo Calderon Feb 4 '13 at 23:45
Yes, using word to publish to html is the wrong way of doing it. And pdf is needed for final distribution... but editing and getting the urls to work across files on a website will be a big problem. Maybe get rid of word altogether and try an online collaboration app like Google Docs, Zoho, some are free... you can edit online, publish them online and include pdf versions too just something to keep in mind – Logman Feb 6 '13 at 2:10

Did you try setting the Hyperlink base property of the documents?


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