I have been battling to have URLs appear with borders in my manuscript, and after poking around, it appears the problem is the way I am generating my final PDF output. I cycle through latex -> dvips -> ps2pdf to get my final output and for some reason, the resulting document ends up having very faint borders for URLs --I believe my problem is similar to hyperref url breaking. Incidentally, my other links (cross-references and DOIs) are not affected.

  1. Running pdflatex on minimal example below gives desired result, however, my manuscript can not be processed using pdflatex in its current form; is their a work around for this?
  2. I tried fiddling with pdfborder properties, however, this affects my other internal links...
  3. An alternative would perhaps be to find a substitution to the breakurl package (I currently use a combination of breakurl& sloppy directive to break long URLs), however, I was unable to find a suitable replacement.

I have added some sample outputs below of different approaches I used to try and resolve this issue.

Output using hyperref colourlinks

enter image description here

Output using default pdfborder options --pdfborder(0 0 1)

enter image description here

Output using modified pdfborder options --pdfborder(0 0 10)

enter image description here

Minimal Example





\title{Issue with breakurl package and hyperref package}

\author{Munthu Wakuda}



This is a test citation \citep{Wiltshire2011}...



title = {{Spatial analysis of archaeological sites in the Western Cape using an integrated digital archive}},
author = {Wiltshire, Nicolas},
institution = {University of Cape Town},
year = {2011},
url = {http://uctscholar.uct.ac.za/R/N8XKKNNCY76DM8GQG33X3C8LCDJ7N6MUKFFKAHMT67HVDJN9TT-03715?func=results-brief},
@note = {Online; accessed February 14, 2013},
urldate = {2012-02-14}

Update #1

Added sample usecases of different possible outputs

  • Can it be, that there is no three difference between your three examples (at least no difference in line-breaking)? I don't think that the solution will be in customizing pdfborder
    – MrD
    Apr 8, 2013 at 20:07
  • @DL6ER, the issue is not with line breaking but with rather with faint borders around URLs. I know its a trivial thing, but I'd love it if my manuscript was consistent :). Incidentally, I use a combination of breakurl package and \sloppy to break long URLs. Apr 8, 2013 at 20:34
  • 1
    Hmm, I just put your example in latex -> dvips -> ps2pdf and the PDF seems ok (x-linux.de/tex/MWE2.pdf), I'm using a up-to-date version of texlive and Linux. What is your setup? Can you add \listfiles to your file to show us, what versions you are using? (For example on my side: biblatex.sty 2013/01/10 v2.5 programmable bibliographies, hyperref.sty 2012/11/06 v6.83m Hypertext links for LaTeX) -- OH -- found a problem! Will append my answer as I will have to show you some screenshots...
    – MrD
    Apr 9, 2013 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


The link-lineborder-border problem seems to be PDF-reader-depended.

For example (Adobe Reader 9 on Linux):


Green border ok, but blue missing.

And the same PDF (Evince 3.4 on Linux):


All ok.

And again the same PDF (using the new firefox pdf-engine):


All borders missing.

The displayed PDF can be found here.

So what reader are you using? I have printed the PDF on all readers and these are the same, as the linkborders are always removed completely.

  • you are right! I feel sheepish... I primarily use Acrobat Reader 9 on Ubuntu& didn't bother to check output using other readers. I tried viewing document in Okular& borders are there... Thank you :) Apr 9, 2013 at 12:49
  • No problem, haven't known that for sure, just assumed it. So we both got value out of your question :-) +1 for that!
    – MrD
    Apr 9, 2013 at 13:48

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