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Dead Links in PDF/A Files

The legal world is becoming more aware of the PDF/A archive format, and as discussed in the Litigation Support Tip of the Night for September 25, 2015, many court require that filings be in this format. Beware that saving a Word document in the PDF/A format may cause hyperlinks in the resulting image to deactivated.

If you're done editing a Word document, and you choose to select the built-in option under File . . . Save to convert to a PDF file (note that I'm using Word 2016).

. . . you'll see you can click on Options and check off the option to save in the PDF/A format.

If this option is selected, instead of the link being active as shown here:

. . . a URL prefix will be added and the link will be dead.

Courts have put attorneys on notice about this problem. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama has a notice on its site about the problem and states that "the court may want to advise filers to use unmasked links in their documents".

The notice includes its own tip on how to solve the dead link problem. In Adobe Reader under Edit . . . Preferences, select the Documents category and set 'View Documents in PDF/A mode" to 'Never'. The links will then function without taking any further action.

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