Acrobat (and other PDF software) deep linking to bookmarks?

The ability to have deep links into a PDF is so useful. Am I right that it’s only possible to link to a highlight? I don’t think it’s possible to link to a bookmark, but this would be very useful as I could then link to a chapter or section without having to create a highlight that I have no other need for. Similarly, it would be useful to be able to link to a comment that is not connected to a highlight.

The limitation is only in Adobe PDF apps is there such a limitation ( that deep links can only be anchored on user created items). Essentially, Hook needs to make the best use of the API it has. However, other PDF apps supported by Hook do not have that limitation. And deep PDF hook://file/ URLs are interchangeable, so you could create your deep links in one app, and open them in another.

A feature request would need to be made of Adobe. Adobe has recently improved its API, so they do seem to see the value of an API for their PDF software.

Thanks, Luc. I keep trying other PDF software, and I quite often use Preview and Skim, but I still find that the tools Acrobat gives me are so much better than the others that I keep reverting to it being my default. It’s very frustrating that interoperability between PDF highlighting in various apps is inconsistent. Hopefully they’ll extend the API.

FWIW, I ended up using for PDF annotation.

  1. Cross-platform
  2. Shareable comments
  3. Auto-import to Readwise
  4. Deep linking.
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Sorry, I just noticed a grammar error. I meant “The limitation is only in Adobe’s PDF apps”. But I think you understood what I meant.

thanks, @stevelw . I haven’t tried Hook in there recently. If you have time: Is Hook helpful there? What do their deep PDF URLs look like? thank you.

Oh! I only use it (not consistently enough!) for highlighting and making notes on web articles. I didn’t even realise there was PDF capability. This could be really useful. Thanks!

Sorry, I’m wrong.

  1. CAN do deep linking to comments on webpages.
  2. CAN do comments on local PDFs.
  3. fingerprints local PDFs so you can access the same comments on different machines.


For some reason, if you copy a link to a PDF comment (as works for webpage Deep-linking) it only links to the text of the comment not the PDF. I assume this is because Chrome can’t open the PDF programatically for security.

Thanks for the clarification.

Does that mean that highlighting and commenting of local PDFs can only take place within Chrome then? I gave up on Chrome a couple of years back and don’t really want to go back to it.

I’m pretty sure the Chrome browser plug-in is the only method they have for this. Only reason I have Chrome installed.