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Wrong TOC hyperlinks when exporting to PDF

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  1. TOC hyperlinks to wrong pages.
  2. Index hyperlinks to wrong pages.
  3. Hyperlinks to anchors causes Export to PDF to crash.
  4. Doesn't support PDF bookmarks.

At this point, why even have an Export to PDF option? I'm so frustrated that I feel like I should go back to using MS Word because that just works without any problems.


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That seems to work, but that's a pretty simple document. 

My book release is Tuesday, so I need to get my PDF working before then for digital and hardcover release. 

I need to spend the rest of the week finding all of the bad hyperlinks and then fixing them one-by-one using Adobe Acrobat Pro. I should have just bought InDesign, because I'm not saving any money (and especially not any time!) by having to spend all this time doing fixes for bugs. I'm the first creator to use Publisher (for print and PDF) at my publisher, so I'm definitely going to recommend the other creators stay away from Affinity Publisher's buggy PDF export and inability to support our printer's bleed requirements.

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Okay. After studying the TOC hyperlink problem, I've figure out what's really happening on export to PDF.

For h1s, the exported PDF has 2 hyperlink boxes - first box surrounds the h1 text, second box surrounds the page number.

In some (not all), the first box overlaps the second box, causing the page number hyperlink to be under the h1 text hyperlink box.

All of the h1 text hyperlink boxes are invalid, so when the h1 text hyperlink box overlaps the page number, it goes to page 4. In the other instances, where the h1 text hyperlink box doesn't overlap, then the page number hyperlink is visible and correctly works. 

The problem is that the h1 text hyperlink boxes all go to TOC page +1 (in this instance TOC is page 3, so next page is page 4.)

When I delete the h1 text hyperlink boxes (and leave the h1 page number hyperlink boxes), the TOC works as expected. With the sole exception of the very first chapter 1 hyperlink text box which doesn't contain a page number hyperlink box and overlaps both the first and 2nd hyperlink name and page number boxes - which I resize to just the page number to make it work.

Screenshot attached

This doesn't fix the anchor problem or Index problem, but at least it's an easy fix but that requires me to buy Adobe Acrobat Pro.


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I have no idea how the TOC links are generated. Here's what I've done to fix things:


1) Delete all hyperlink boxes for TOC text

2) Remove all column breaks in Index

3) Manually insert hyperlinks to places where anchors break the Export to PDF


I'd love to know how to turn off the TOC generation of hyperlinking the text and only hyperlink the page numbers - That would fix problem 1 with the overlapping hyperlink boxes.


Next, I discovered that my Index problems was because col break were making the hyperlink box the entire height of the page (somehow the col break was being done before the Index hyperlink was finished. I fixed this by removing all col breaks from Index and using empty picture boxes with text wrap to force breaks.


Here's what my Index looks like the boxes are the hyperlink boxes/clickable area, so you can see why the links were bad (one box was overlaying over all of the other boxes)


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1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

I think that's the default operation -- conversely I'd like to know how the link can be extended to cover the whole TOC entry! I just did it manually by adding invisible boxes and then creating and attaching hyperlinks to them that point to anchors that have been added just below the headings on corresponding pages. This works fine and allows also updating the TOC without losing these links, so for me this is the solution if there is no way to have automatically extended TOC links.

The page number hyperlinks (just around the page number) should be automatically generated when you insert (or update) TOC and have checked the heading styles to be included in scanning, and ensured that the page number column has check mark so that the TOC entry gets the page number. But do you actually have a generated TOC, or purely manually created and hyperlinked text frame (but possibly in TOC frame)? When you have the TOC panel visible, do you have any styles checked for inclusion?

Have you tried if you can avoid the problem with column breaks (either in the TOC or in the Index) by using a paragraph attribute or TOC/index style with flow option for starting the entry at next column, similarly as I have done in the attached publication? I suppose this method could avoid mistakenly created overlarge hyperlink boxes.

When you have the Hyperlinks panel active and go through the links, do they lead to correct anchors when you click "Go to Target" button? (and just fail when you create the PDF)?

The following are updated versions of same files in earlier post:



In my Hyperlinks panel, only external hyperlinks are shown. Is there a way to see hyperlinks that go to anchors?


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