I often use \input{glyphtounicode} \pdfgentounicode=1 to generate PDF-files whose contents paste with the correct Unicode codepoints. However I noticed that as a side effect of these commands, some weblinks are created that I didn't explicit call for (using for example hyperref).


% If at least one of the following two lines is omitted,
% the two text strings won't generate weblinks.





If either of the two relevant commands above is omitted, www.google.com and http://www.google.com/ will not appear as hyperlinks in the generated PDF-file. (I use Adobe Reader to view them.) Why? How can I prevent these text strings from producing hyperlinks?

  • 1
    Ask adobe (assuming you are using adobe reader). Obviously the reader is guessing that these are links. Jul 8, 2013 at 10:38
  • a lot of others PDF viewer assume that and it can be disabled in the prefences of the viewer.
    – user2478
    Jul 8, 2013 at 10:40
  • @Herbert Why do these links not appear when one of the two commands above is commented out? It must be more complicated than that. Also, if I for example replace the two lines in the preamble by \usepackage{hyperref}, no links are created. Jul 8, 2013 at 10:44
  • 3
    If I try with xpdf I see no link, so it's a previewer's feature.
    – egreg
    Jul 8, 2013 at 10:46
  • 3
    @LoverofStructure: The reader is using the names of the glyphs to decide if a sequence of glyphs is a link or not. So everything that change this names can affect the heuristic. E.g. \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} and \usepackage{lmodern} "creates" links too. Jul 8, 2013 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Why are these links generated?

In this case, Adobe Reader is deducing that they are links. (Ulrike Fischer) But this is viewer-dependent: the TeXworks viewer doesn't produce automatic links, but Preview does (and even without glyphtounicode.tex's mechanics). (Joseph Wright)

How can I prevent these text strings from producing hyperlinks?

For Adobe Reader XI, one can enable or disable the following checkbox: PreferencesGeneralBasic ToolsCreate links from URLs.

Why is link creation dependent on the two commands \input{glyphtounicode} and \pdfgentounicode=1?

The reader is using the names of the glyphs to decide whether a sequence of glyphs is a link. Usage of the glyph names depends on these two crucial lines. (adapted from Ulrike Fischer)

The most important parts from glyphtounicode.tex seem to be the following lines:




Without colon or slash, the lower text will have only its second part appear as a link. Without period, only the lower text is linked, but it is linked in its entirety.

The lower-case letters seem to have duplicates


that seem to not make a difference.

As for the capital letters:





the lower but not the upper text will be linked. Without capital letters, www.GOOGLE.COM is still recognized. This indicates that the capital letters play a role, but there are some details to explore.

Thanks to Ulrike Fischer for significant contributions to the solution. Herbert deserves credit for an idea and Joseph Wright and egreg for data points.


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