Hyperlinks or Cross References BETWEEN DOCUMENTS

I have compiled a LARGE document and want to divide it into volumes but need to have hyperlinks or cross references between the volumes so the content can be understood better. I ultimately convert these for distribution into PDF files. Is there any way to use hyperlinks, bookmarks, or cross references (Which I do not understand yet) to accomplish this process? In other words can I link a text reference “word 1” in document 1 with a definition in another document for word 1 which will convert in PDF file format?

They have not the same purpose.

Hyperlinks are used to jump to the destination with a click.

A cross-reference inserts information (page number, chapter, text itself) about the destination.

The question is: which one do you want?
Note also that working with multiple volumes is much more complex than managing a single one. Would it be simpler for you to create a “multi-part” document. By multi-part, I mean you have intermediate full-page “subtitles” (frequently, this is printed on coloured paper) so that you can quickly jump to it. It is called sometimes “sections” but word section has a special technical meaning in Writer, not related to book subdivision. This would eliminate the problem of cross-referencing across documents. This is usually handled by applying Heading 1 to these intermediate “titles” and Heading 2 to chapters (i.e. you start one level deeper in the hierarchy).
Writer also has a “partial TOC” feature such that you can insert a TOC for every “part”.

I am not producing printed documents, but PDF files for electronic distribution. I have used Master documents with links within them to subdocuments and externally to URLs I use for reference. What I need to do is LINK between 2 documents. For instance, I am writing and I have a term, “WORD” and it is an obscure or technical term and I need a definition or explanation for it but that resides in a separate “volume” or document. I want to LINK to it if possible?

Thanks for the reply



I was not clear,

I have links WITHIN a master document to subdocuments I wanted to LINK between 2 separate documents, specifically separate master documents. The work I am producing is TOO BIG and I have to split it up to make if functional but would like the PDF files I produce to be able to LINK to the other parts of the whole thing if possible

thanks for the reply


Have you really tried to Insert>Hyperlink?

The first step is to bookmark the target document(s). Define bookmarks on the destination “words”. Save so that the dictionary is accessible.

In the “source” document(s):

  1. select the word which will be the trigger forf the link
  2. Insert>Hyperlink
  3. click on Document and enter its path (with the file browser button)
  4. choose Target in Document with the “target” button (if needed expand the Bookmarks category)
  5. OK

Export to PDF with File>Export As>Export as PDF so that the export configuration dialog pops up. Go to the Links tab. Make sure Convert document references to PDF targets is ticked.

I will try this to see if it works out OK

Thanks again


First thank you for the help, I have used hyperlinks for subdocuments in a master document very successfully. I have tried this solution and found that I can link to non combined documents and when they become PDF files they will still link BUT!

When the link is activated it ONLY jumps to the beginning of the PDF file not to the bookmarked word trying to be accessed.


If I move the files to another folder this does not work at all then.

I want to be able to provide these PDF files for others to use and there is no way to know where they will end up on their reading systems. Is there someway to make the Path to the “dictionary” file universal? Like */file.odt when the pdf “dictionary” is created from dictionary.odt?

The ODT files work perfectly when moved and it seems that the hyperlink destination is altered when the file is moved to a new folder.

Is it possible that I am not setting something in the PDF export function properly?


Thanks, this document could be made 1 master with subdocuments but it is already over 1000 pages long so I would really like to be able to split it up.


Have you exported with the “full” command File>Export>Export as PDF? If you directly export as PDF, you get reduced functionality. This may be the cause of the problem.

Regaring the link path, there are only two possibilities in any OS: absolute or relative.
Absolute paths are not ideal because they require the exact same structure on both computers.
Relative paths are handier because you can store the “local root” anywhere. Only paths within this local root (a directory) need to be the same. This is usually what happens. Relative link paths are relative to the location of the “origin” document. Your master?

Thanks again,

I do use the full command for exporting to PDF and I have changed many of the options on the PDF setup screen as well. When I create small documents to link and move them from place to place the ODT files under Libre Office retain the links. The problem seems to be that the PDF files will only function when in the original directory folder and then they only link to wherever the reference file was last closed at. If I close the “dictionary” file on page 3 and then try to use a hyperlink from the WORDS file I am linked ONLY to the place where I closed it NOT to the bookmark I wanted to use to connect to.

I realize this may not be possible when converting to PDF files so I will probably use a generic link to the other volumes I want to create to let the user search the Table of contents for what he is looking for or just make a HUGE file hahahahaha

thanks again for spending the time to even think about this


I have not experimented recently with PDFs. It may be that links in PDFs are absolute only. Or it is a limitation of the LO converter. Try to open a PDF with a text editor (a PDF is a plain text document written in a language similar to PostScript). Find one of your links. See if it is absolute or relative. If it is absolute, change it for a relative form and see if it works as you expect.

This is what I see on the text editor when I load the PDF with Kate in Linux.

33 0 obj
<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/Rect[149.443 724.2 207.357 740.1]/Contents<FEFF00320043006F007200200034003A0033002D0034>/A<</Type/Action/S/URI/URI(./XXX%20Passages.pdf#2Cor%204:3-4)>>
/StructParent 1>>

This command above here and the last one are for bookmarks in the subdocument but they did not link to the specific bookmark just the file generically

_______________________________my insert here -------------------------------------------

34 0 obj
<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/Rect[107.993 660.6 160.107 676.5]/Contents<FEFF00530061006D0070006C0065002000490049>/A<</Type/Action/S/URI/URI(./XXX%20Passages.pdf#2.Sample%20II%20Heading%7Coutline)>>
/StructParent 5>>

35 0 obj
<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/Rect[107.993 676.5 164.057 692.4]/Contents<FEFF00530061006D0070006C00650020004900490049>/A<</Type/Action/S/URI/URI(./XXX%20Passages.pdf#2.1.1.Sample%20III%20Heading%7Coutline)>>
/StructParent 4>>

36 0 obj
<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/Rect[107.993 692.4 156.157 708.3]/Contents<FEFF00530061006D0070006C006500200049>/A<</Type/Action/S/URI/URI(./XXX%20Passages.pdf#1.1.Sample%201%20Heading%7Coutline)>>
/StructParent 3>>

These 3 consecutive lines or commands are headings I set in the document to see if they would link but they did not link to the heading as such just into the document UNTIL I move the document to another folder then they give an error NOT FOUND.

_______________________________my insert here -------------------------------------------

37 0 obj
<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/Rect[252.743 708.3 330.107 724.2]/Contents<FEFF00320043006F0072002000310031003A00310033002D00310035>/A<</Type/Action/S/URI/URI(./XXX%20Passages.pdf#2Cor%2011:13-15)>>
/StructParent 2>>

Well I will quit pestering you but thanks for the help in any case I will keep experimenting and let you know if I discover a way to do this.


The URI contains a “fragment designator” (e.g. 2Cor%204:3-4 in the first sample, translating to “2Cor 4:3-4”). Have you such a “label” definition in the target file?


The “dictionary file” is a series of biblical passages which have been more correctly translated from the original languages for better understanding. I want to reference these in the text of the document file.

The label is a bookmark which again works well in a master document where all the parts are merged into one file but now when I split the files into separate categories.

Thanks you must be bored hahahahahahaha


Warning! Bookmarks and cross-references are two different things. Bookmarks are intended for navigating inside a single document. Cross-references are made for tagging a location and referencing it from anywhere. In a sense, they are more general than bookmarks which can be considered “volatile”.

When references and hyperlinks across documents are concerned, I’d recommend using only cross-references.

OK so thanks again,

I will research cross references and see if I can get that to work