AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 BibleAutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

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Using hyperlinks

A hyperlink in an AutoCAD drawing can link any drawing object or objects to a URL, any file, or a location in a file (such as a named view in another drawing). If you haven’t been using hyperlinks, consider doing so, as they offer lots of possibilities. Examples of files you can link to are bills of materials, price lists, detail drawings, part specifications, etc.

When you create hyperlinks in your drawing to these other documents, your drawing can become almost like a Web page.

To create a hyperlink, select an object and use the HYPERLINK command. (You can also press Ctrl+K or choose Insert tab> Data panel> Hyperlink.) The Insert Hyperlink dialog box opens.

kkautocad-tips-hyperlink-dialog box

To link to a file, click the File button, select the file, and click Open. You can also type a URL, or browse to it using the Web Page button.

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Now, when you hover the cursor near the object, you see a web cursor.

Using a hyperlink in a drawing is a little different from using one on the Internet. In a drawing, if you click the hyperlink, you just select the object. Duh! There are two ways to open the hyperlink:

  • Press Ctrl and click, but this doesn’t bring the new file to the fore, so you have to find it on the Windows taskbar
  • Select the object, right-click and choose Hyperlink> Open. This brings the new file to the fore.

If you send AutoCAD drawings to clients or contractors in electronic form, be sure to send the supporting documents (that you hyperlinked to) electronically as well.

Here are some issues to be aware of:

  • Hyperlinks aren’t obvious unless you hover the cursor over them. You can add text that says, “Click here for parts specs” and make that text a hyperlink to the document containing the parts specs. For fun, you can underline text to make it look like a hyperlink.
  • You may need to communicate to the user how to use the hyperlink, that is, press Ctrl+click or select the object, right-click and choose Hyperlink > Open.

Have you used hyperlinks? How did you find them helpful? Do you have any tips for using hyperlinks? Leave an answer in the comments!

16 comments to Using hyperlinks

  • ryan

    Is there a way to not have Autocad minimize when a hyperlink is opened? I havent used many hyperlinks since using 2004 version of land descktop but it never used to do it in that version.


  • Great Tip Ellen!

    I have included a link from my Blog:
    How to Add Hyperlinks to AutoCAD geometry | AutoCAD Tips Blog

    Thanks for your hard work :)


  • […] website, or a paper space layout to your office standards PDF.Ellen Finklestein shows us how to add Hyperlinks to AutoCAD drawings in this post on her AutoCAD Tips Blog.Would you like to add multiple Hyperlinks to an object in an […]

  • Merton

    I am trying to find out how to create a hyperlink from Excel to a specific object in an AutoCAD drawing. I am able to create a hyperlink to the drawing but it does not go to the object it just opens the drawing. I would like it to find an object in the drawing. I can get it to link from the object in the drawing to the Cell in Excel but not the other way around. Thanks.

  • Ellen

    Interesting! I have no idea how to do that. I think it would require programming, perhaps using ActiveX.

  • many many thanks .. it is like building a good library at home .. hope more will come

  • Linda

    I am a newbie in AutoCAD. I have a question about hyperlinks.
    I have a dataset of 3500 profile lines. Now I want to link each profile line with a pdf document. Is there a way to generate this once for all lines maybe via a code?

  • Ellen

    You can do about anything with code but I’m not a programmer. Would you like a referral?

  • SG

    Hi hi,

    Thank you for the article. I am having a hyperlinking issue that I have so far been unable to troubleshoot.

    Here is my simplified scenario: drawing “A” (a site plan) contains a hyperlink to drawing “B” (a floor plan drawing with three paper space tabs (first, second, third floors)).

    Creating the link in A’s paper space is straigthforward. The problem is when A’s link is clicked, and B opens, B’s drawing shows its three tabs, along with model space, but the only viewports containing anything are the first floor’s — the paper space at which the file was originally saved. All other viewports (second and third floors) are empty. What’s more, the second and third floor source objects (that should have appeared in the paper space viewports) are also “absent” from model space.


    Oddly, if I open B, all by itself, all elements in model and paper spaces are present and accounted for.

    What am I doing wrong (is it a system variable?!?) either in A or in the hyperlinking process that’s not capturing the entirety of B?

    As always, fellow operators, I am obliged for your help and suggestions.



  • DrJoshua

    AutoCAD doesn´t send any capital letters i hyperlinks?

  • Do you know any way to have one text entry in AutoCAD2015LT automatically change several other text? Sort of like how Excel lets you have smart cells with other cells linked to it? I’d like to be able to have certain parts of our specs declared once, then have that link to other text in the spec so that once changes all text related to that, instead of having to manually change all of them. This is probably not something AutoCAD can do.

  • Luis

    Hi, Ellen!

    I’m brazilian and, first of all, I’d like to apologize for my very bad english. Well, I have a problem with some hyperlinks in a drawing. I have some PDF files and, as you can imagine, are in a specific path in a server. That path will change and I have no idea how to update the drawing with the new path. Can you help me?


  • Dan

    I have been using hyperlinks for quite a long time. Lately, when I enter the hyperlink command for the first time in a drawing session, – I get the windows hourglass and am unable to do anything for several minutes – sometimes enough time to go get a cup of coffee. I don’t have any idea why but it’s very annoying. Any ideas, – or is anyone else having this issue? – Dan

  • Jackie

    I have Autocad 2012 and Autocad 2015 loaded on my computer. The default program we are using is Autocad 2012 and I have created a hyperlink in 2012 but when I try to open the hyperlink, the drawing opens in 2015. Does anybody know how to make the drawing that I have linked open in 2012?

  • Edward

    Jackie, Have you tried right clicking on the drawing file and choosing “Open With”? This should bring up a dialog with at least two AutoCAD program icons (i.e. – the 2012 & 2015 versions you mentioned). The 2012, I believe, will appear first in the list, just in case they both simply say “AutoCAD Application”. Hope this helps!


  • Hans Graveman

    Jackie rightclick the drawing file use the option “open with” search for autocad 2012 and check the option “always open with”

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