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Guest Post: Linking to a specific page in a PDF

Intro: Hi, I’m Cheryl Becker, Public Library Administration Consultant at SCLS, a job I’ve been doing since 2001

PDFs are nice, aren’t they? They have certainly made it easier to share a lot of content that was previously only available in what we used to call “hard copy.” Especially if the document you want to share is already posted on the web and you just want to link to it from a web page, or in an email. 

But sometimes if the document was long, I would find myself saying in my email something like “the paragraph I’m referring to is on page 13, a little below the middle of the page...,” or even, “it’s on page 13 of the actual PDF, even though the page number at the bottom of the page is 10...” It was almost like getting a special gift the day I discovered that you can link to the actual page you are referring to! 

One day, while finding information on an organization’s web page, I clicked on a link to a PDF, and found, lo and behold, although it was a multipage document, it went right to the page the specific information was on. How did they do that? AngledhandI studied the URL that I clicked on.  Could it really be that simple? Apparently so, because I’ve been using it ever since. And sharing it with others who like me, had struggled with the issue, and were just as happy to hear about it. 

Here’s how it works:

To take the user directly to a specific page of a PDF when the URL is clicked on, simply add the following to the URL for the PDF: #page=X where X is the page number you want to go to.

So, let’s say you want to link to Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Now let’s say that what you really want it to point the reader to is 43.58, which addresses the powers and duties of a library board. That’s on page 10 of the PDF.

Here’s a link to Chapter 43:  http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0043.pdf

To have the reader go directly to page 10 instead of the first page of the PDF, add the following to the URL above: #page=10. The URL becomes http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0043.pdf#page=10

Nifty, huh?  I hope you enjoy this tip, and find it as useful as I have!

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