I currently include an email address in a text element created using the Rectangle Text tool and its map gets exported to a PDF file.

Is it possible to use ArcMap text formatting (or any other means) to assign a mailto: hyperlink to that email address so that it persists into the PDF file as something that can be clicked on to start an email?

  • 1
    Would a programmatic solution that uses something like ITextSharp be acceptable? – Kirk Kuykendall Oct 13 '11 at 14:32
  • Thanks for suggestion Kirk but sounds like too much development effort for the priority this requirement currently has. Also, I'm likely to keep my development efforts to Python only at the moment. – PolyGeo Oct 13 '11 at 23:04

The answer seems to be that this is not possible, certainly not out of the box, and so I have posted an ArcGIS Idea to have it implemented as an enhancement.

The Idea I posted has now been Merged with another ArcGIS Idea which will hopefully give it more momentum.


Adding a hyperlink to text is possible in ArcMap. You’ll even be able to export the map to .pdf and the link will work in the .pdf as well. All you need is Microsoft Word and a few pointers… First, type your text in Word and select the specific text that should be hyperlinked. Right click on the selected text and choose “Hyperlink”. There are multiple options in the hyperlink dialog box but it’s pretty intuitive. One piece of advice is if you are linking to a website you will need to put the entire address in the address bar. (include the http://) Once you’ve set up your hyperlink the linked text should be blue. Save the Word document. Open the .mxd and go to insert. Choose object and click the “create from file” radio button. Hit the browse button and find your newly created Word document. Hit OK and the text along with the hyperlink will be in your .mxd

  • Thanks Tylor - although your method does not appear to use the Rectangle Text tool, and I am unable to test it at the moment, it sounds like it should be a viable workaround in some/many circumstances. Incidentally, I recall having had a hyperlink show up in a PDF I exported from ArcMap recently so am not sure whether something may have changed recently. I need to revisit this topic which I hope to do soon. – PolyGeo Jul 31 '12 at 22:54

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