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I am working with some data that cannot be presented in an attribute table. Therefore I would like to attach a specific PDF to each point within a shapefile.

Is there a way this can be done in ArcGIS for Desktop and then uploaded to ArcGIS Online so that an interactive map can be published with this information?

  • What you are describing is hyperlinks so perhaps try searching on that. – PolyGeo Jun 9 '15 at 21:41
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    See ... Using Hyperlinks – Jeff Jun 9 '15 at 22:25
  • I'd say this is more about attachments, not hyperlinks. – ianbroad Jun 9 '15 at 23:14
  • Then try ... Enabling Attachments – Jeff Jun 10 '15 at 0:15
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    @ian I would have hoped that ArcGIS Online would support web accessible PDF file locations as hyperlinks, but when I last investigated this a couple of years ago I had to use a file geodatabase and attachments too. If there is not an existing ArcGIS Idea for ArcGIS Online to support hyperlinks on shapefiles then I think it would be very useful for someone (perhaps the asker here) to submit. – PolyGeo Jun 11 '15 at 1:08
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I've just tested this using a point feature class in a file GDB. The point feature class contains two attributes (Name and Hyperlink). The Hyperlink field is just a Text(200) so should be compatible with shapefile limitations. enter image description here

Published this up as a feature service in ArcGIS Online, open in a Map Viewer, click on the feature then click on the More info tag. The hyperlinked PDF opened in a new browser tab (Chrome) with no issues. I did not do any configuration in the Map Viewer...this appears to be default behaviour.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

I did not test publishing a shapefile to ArcGIS Online...I only ever use shapefiles as a export file format and never use them for processing or data storage, the format has too many limitations. It's a simple matter to import the shapefile to a staging file gdb and publish from there.

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I would have hoped that ArcGIS Online would support web accessible PDF file locations as hyperlinks, but when I last investigated this a couple of years ago I had to use a file geodatabase and attachments too. If there is not an existing ArcGIS Idea for ArcGIS Online to support hyperlinks on shapefiles then I think it would be very useful for someone (perhaps the asker here) to submit.

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You can link to a file on a local drive or server by adding the prefix "file://" before the path ex: file://C:\users\joeb\desktop\test.txt

  • that is correct for files needed to be shared over the internet however, I specified that my answer was for local drives or servers. – Daniel Dahms Dec 28 '16 at 22:12

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