How to upload a PDF to WordPress (and link to it)

Step by step instructions to upload a PDF to WordPress and how to link to it from text or from an image.

You have the PDF on your computer and you’d like to link to it from your website or blog.

To start, you need to upload the PDF to your host using the WordPress Media Library.

Instructions to upload a PDF to WordPress

It is really easy to upload a PDF to WordPress – follow my instructions below and use the red arrows on the images for reference.

  1. Log in to the WordPress admin area.
  2. From the menu on the left hand side, click Media.
    You will find yourself within the Media Library where website photos, graphics and other assets are stored.
  3. At the top of the screen – next to the title – click Add New.
  4. Now click Select Files at the centre of the dashed box.
  5. Find the PDF file on your computer, select it and click Open.
  6. The file takes a moment to upload into the Media Library.

How to upload a PDF to WordPress

Upload PDF to WordPress - find the PDF

You have completed the first step by uploading the PDF to the WordPress Media Library.

Copy the link of the PDF within the Media Library

To link to the PDF you will need to copy the URL of the PDF – web speak for the link, the path, or the address. Because WordPress calls it the LINK, we will also call it the link.

Follow the instructions here to copy the link of the PDF, and use the images and red arrows to help.

  1. In the Media Library click on the PDF
    This opens a new window, which contains the file information.
  2. Highlight everything in the COPY LINK field
    Over on the right hand side is field labelled COPY LINK.
    You need to highlight everything in this field, starting with https://.
    An easy way to do that is to double click, in quick succession, anywhere within the COPY LINK field. The link will turn blue when highlighted.
  3. Now click ‘CONTROL-C’ (shortcut for copy) or right click on the highlighted text and then click COPY. The link is now stored on the clip board.
    Note. The clipboard will store one copied item only. Complete the next steps and don’t copy anything else. Tip – I often paste the link to notepad or Word, so I can pick it up later.

Open the PDF within WordPress

Copy the link to the PDF

Great – that is step two.

Now we create a link to the PDF within a WordPress post or page.

Create a link to a PDF with a WordPress post or page

Text links

The next step is to create a WordPress text link. If you’d like to link an image jump to the next section.

  1. Open the WordPress post or page in the admin area.
  2. Find or type the link text, i.e. “How to upload a PDF to WordPress (and link to it)“.
  3. Highlight the text.
  4. Click on the icon resembling a paper clip, above the work space.
  5. Put the cursor in the field where WordPress says ‘Paste URL or type to search’.
  6. Now ‘Control-P‘ (to paste) or right click and hit PASTE. This pastes the link.
  7. Hit Apply (blue button with a return arrow icon) at the end of the field.
  8. Click Upate to save the page or post.

Highlight the text that you want to link from

Paste the link and hit apply

Image links

  1. Open the WordPress post or page in the admin area.
  2. Click the image you would like to link, choose the pencil icon from the menu that appears.
  3. On the new screen find Link To. Use the drop down menu to find CUSTOM URL.
  4. Paste the PDF link into this field, using ‘CONTROL-P‘ or right click then PASTE.
  5. Hit Update to save the page or post.

Link to PDF from an image in WordPress

Link to PDF from an image in WordPress

WordPress does allow you to link an image in the same way as text is linked. Just click the image, click the paper clip and paste in the URL.

I hope that helps you understand how to upload a PDF to WordPress and to link to it.

Keep in mind that you can link to a PDF from other websites or even a newsletter such as one created in MailChimp. Just copy that URL (Copy Link above) and paste it where you want it.

A word about PDF file size

PDFs are often quite large in file size, because they are printable web documents so creators tend to put design elements into them. Reduce the size of the PDF before you upload it to WordPress to keep a website/blog fast.

Use an online PDF compression service like

Using WordPress to link to any PDF on the web

Within WordPress website owners can link to any PDF on the web. Highlight, then copy the URL within the address bar. Then follow the steps above – ‘Link to a PDF’. The red arrow on the image here highlights where you will find the URL.

Find the URL and link to a PDF within WordPress

And voila!

To summarise uploading a PDF in WordPress

  1. Log in to the WordPress admin area.
  2. Select Media, then Add New.
  3. Click Select Files.
  4. Find the file, select it, click Open.
  5. The file takes a moment to upload to the Media Library.

To summarise linking to a PDF in WordPress

  1. Open the PDF file from the Media Library.
  2. Highlight everything within the field named Copy Link.
  3. Control-C to copy.
  4. Navigate to your page or post.
  5. Highlight the text, image or button.
  6. Control-P to paste.
  7. Click the blue Apply button.
  8. Update to save the page.

Click to view my WordPress training course

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8 thoughts on “How to upload a PDF to WordPress (and link to it)”

  1. Hi Kelly,
    I might just be thick, but I uploaded a pdf and want to create a link to it from one of my WordPress pages, but it doesn’t have a URL right now, just a filename. When people click on it, I want a new WordPress tab to open that shows the contents of the pdf. Is this possible using

    1. Hi Gerry, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

      When you say TAB do you mean a tab/button on the main menu? You would need go to APPEARANCE > MENUS. Here you would need to create a main menu, and then add a custom link to that main menu. You will need to paste the URL for the PDF into this. Save the menu.

      To open in a new window is another step. In the same edit menu area, drop down SCREEN OPTIONS (very top of the screen on the right). You need to have LINK TARGET clicked. Now go to your custom link and check the box that says OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW.

      I just warn you that Google likes to see links opening in SAME WINDOW (which is probably why WordPress has this turned off). Google believes users should have the choice if they open the link themselves.

      Does that help?

    1. Hi Stephen, that is a PDF, which has been uploaded to the Media Library. To have it open, just create a link to it as described in this post. Kind regards, Kelly

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