Exporting PDF maintaining links in table of content

Copper Contributor

Hi everyone


Does anyone know how to export a PDF from Word maintaining the links in table of content? I want to be able to navigate the DPF document by clicking on the headings in the table of content, the way one does it in Word. I exported the PDF via "Save as" and via "export" and in both cases the table of content in the PDF doesn't have links to the headings. I may remember doing that once, but now I don't remember how.


Word: Word for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2109 Build 16.0.14430.20256) 64 bit

PDF-Reader: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (Version 2021.007.20095)

24 Replies

Hi! I'm having the exact same issue. My table of contents and bookmark links, cross reference links are no longer working when I PDF.
I have used the same methods as I did about 2 weeks ago, tried all alternative methods, (Adobe, Save as PDF/XPS and it's no longer working. Reinstalled Word, removed and reinstalled pdf maker, tested with different files and different computer, and it's not working at all. Glad I am not the only one having this issue!!

Hi! So I'm not alone, nice :). Today I had a call with Microsoft (the low-tech-I-dont-know-how-to-install-office-guys) and they couldn't help. Same here: I've tried all kind of how-tos and instructions on the internet, two PCs with windows 10, many Word files. Still no links in PDF docs. But yet I havent reinstalled Word. Tomorrow I will test the export on my office workstation. Interesting: the issue is not present in Word for Mac (version 16.53 21091200) on a Mac Book Pro (via "Save as").


I noticed there was some updates recently I wonder if this has broken the function.

"In certain customer configurations, it was discovered that document exports to PDF or XPS formats from Office would fail due to recent updates. This update fixed these regressions and reenabled export to these formats."


Good to know, I will test my files on a mac.
I am using version
Microsoft® Word for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2109 Build 16.0.14430.20256) 64-bit

Same issues as others reporting.

Microsoft® Word for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2109 Build 16.0.14430.20154) 64-bit

@Luca_Roncarati same issue here, I have multiple machines on the semi-annual channel with version 2102 installed and some users on the current channel with 2109 installed. None of the 2109 version are creating links when exported to PDF, all of the 2102 versions are working fine.


This needs to be remedied asap. I have a critical support ticket open with microsoft for this, I will keep you posted of my progress.

I'm having the same issue. Looks like an issue with Word version 2109.
Rolled back to version 2108 to fix, with the assistance of this postL



This is a known issue which is being investigated by Microsoft.

Any updates on this? I really need these internal links working for my documents.



As far as I know, there hasn't been any news yet. A workaround is to upload your Word document to OneDrive and download it in PDF format.

@Stefan_Blom this "workaround" did not work for us.  The same issue, links do not work. 

Microsoft, please fix this ASAP.



To clarify, you would have to upload the Word document and then, in Word Online, click File > Save As and choose the option to download a PDF version. Uploading the PDF won't work around the issue.

Word online is not supporting custom fonts and canvas, or complex nested tables in my doc (which I know Word doesn't work well with to begin with). Internal links don't work, this method for online PDF does not work.

I have critical files heavy with cross references to submit today. I need this table of contents working. I hope we get an answer soon, I'm going to try install Word on a different computer and hope I can back-date the version somehow. So frustrating that it's not even working with Adobe PDF maker.
I spoke too soon. Rebooted my computer and its appears to be fixed!
Using version
Microsoft® Word for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2109 Build 16.0.14430.20292) 64-bit



Hmm, sounds promising. I'm not seeing it here, though (as stated in a previous message of mine). A hyperlinked table of contents still converts to a TOC without hyperlinks when saving in PDF format. :(

There's something really strange going on with this, we updated to 14430.20306 this morning and it worked for our test user on a new laptop (same user same laptop that didnt work on 20296) , we then updated all the users that reported the problem initially to 20306 and it didn't resolve the issue for them. I then logged into the same laptop that it was working on with the same version of word (no changes made to the install) and it didnt create links on my user. Switch back to the other user on the same laptop and it works.

@Stefan_Blom and just as strangely, without updating or changing the version of Word the issue is gone today, links are now being created again.

@Nicolaus Dewitt 


With some updates, the server just pushes the update and all we, as users, have to do is restart Office applications. :)

Hello @shaylab ,

while I am not familiar with PDF/XPS, simple Save as - PDF/A always worked for me, both Word and PowerPoint. All links working.