Hyperlinks in PDF/A Documents
When a document with active links is displayed, clicking a link will normally take the user to the referenced document or site. Two notable exceptions are described below.

Masked Hyperlinks


Hyperlinks are commonly “masked,” meaning that the full address of the referenced file is not written out; for example, clicking the word Brief may open a brief which was previously filed in CM/ECF. An “unmasked” hyperlink has the full address visible to the user, such as ”https://ecf.hib.uscourts.gov/doc1/04512244142".

Masked hyperlinks may or may not work in a PDF/A document, depending on how it was created. Currently, masked hyperlinks are preserved in PDF/A documents produced by the “Save As” method in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010; the “PDFMaker” method in Microsoft Word 2007; and OpenOffice 2.4 (“PDF Export”). With other production methods, such as WordPerfect, the PDF/A document includes underlined words that appear to be links, but clicking them has no effect. To avoid this potential problem, the court may want to advise filers to use unmasked links in their documents; this would also be helpful to anyone viewing a printed copy of the document who needs to see a referenced item.

Adobe’s PDF/A View Mode

If version 9 of Adobe Reader or Acrobat is being used for display, links will not work in “PDF/A View Mode” (the default mode). A user who wants to use the hyperlinks must disable “PDF/A View Mode”, as shown below. Adobe reports that with Version 10 of the Adobe products (and perhaps with a patch to Version 9), this disabling will not be necessary; hyperlinks will be active in PDF/A View Mode.

From the
Edit menu, select “Preferences” and click the “Documents” category; select “Never” in the PDF/A View Mode drop-down list:

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