I was just upgraded to Visio 2016 and now the links in the PDF created from a Visio 2016 file open a browser an give a download link instead of opening the file in Word or Excel.

I created several files with Visio 2013 that opened the files in their native program.

The Visio file, PDF and linked documents are all in the same folder on our corporate network.

In Visio 2016: (So detailed so you can see if I'm doing something wrong) I select the shape I want to add the hyperlink to I right click and select "Hyperlink..." I click "Browse..." after the "Address" field I select "Local File..." (the other option is "Internet Address...") I change the file type from Visio Files to Office Files so I can see the files I navigate to the file I want to link and click "Open"

---I've tried this with the "use relative path for hyperlink" checked and unchecked

In Visio, when I CTRL Click the link it opens the Word document in Word, Excel in Excel, PDF in Acrobat

In visio, I "Save as...", "PDF" or I "Export...", "Create PDF/XPS Document" (both give the same results as far as links opening)

I open the PDF and click the link A security warning dialog box opens telling me the document is trying to connect to file:////networkdrive/myfolder/flowchart%20folder/checklist.docx - which is where the file is located I click the "Allow" button My browser opens and I get the download button allowing me to open the Word document. PDFs open in a browser tab.

I am hoping someone has an idea on how to get the linked files to open in their native application. This is needed because most of the forms are filled in as the person is going through the process.


THis will be due to the default application for opening PDF files being set to your web browser, I assume that Edge has taken over. Using File Explorer find a PDF file, right-click and select Open With, select Choose another app, select the appropriate PDF application and tick the box marked Always use this app to open PDF files. Visio should now use this setting in the future, or at least, until Edge takes over again.

  • Thank you, Paul! Well, Edge is not involved. I do have PDF files set to open with Acrobat Pro and they do, except for the files I create from Visio. I've created PDF's from Word and Excel that have links to other documents and those documents open in the application for the file type. Word files open in Word and the Excel files open in Excel, PDF's in Acrobat.
    – MBeth
    Nov 29 '16 at 21:48
  • Which application do they open in? Nov 30 '16 at 9:39
  • Hi Paul, I use Chrome. The PDFs open in my browser. The Word files just give me a download link in Chrome.I did a test using FireFox as my default browswer and neither the PDFs or Word files opened. The address in the FireFox tab is: file:////(network)/(folder)/(filename) BUT nothing opens The Chrome address for PDFs is file://(network)/(folder)/(filename) So, not sure why FireFox added the extra // to the address
    – MBeth
    Dec 5 '16 at 15:56

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