To make hyperlinks to theorems in plaintex one can use commands that are available in a file called Hyperbasics. When running pdftex instead of tex on the file, Miktex ignores some of the special commands of Hyperbasics. This leads to the question in the title.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Bobyandbob, Stefan Pinnow, Troy, Phelype Oleinik, Milo Sep 4 '18 at 15:52

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    The entire point of specials is that they are driver dependent. Presumably, the ones you are talking about are PostScript specials: you'll therefore need to run in DVI mode and use dvips to convert through to PostScript. – Joseph Wright Feb 16 '14 at 11:20
  • You might try the hyper-reference features of eplain (documented in eplain.pdf. You can just put \input eplain at the start of most plain-tex documents. – Dan Feb 17 '14 at 21:17
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    you can use xetex instead of pdftex it can handle \special commands and has the pdf output by default. – user2478 Mar 1 '14 at 10:17
  • Do you mind providing a MWE so that we may test it on our systems? – texnezio Oct 31 '15 at 22:11

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