I am hoping this is an easy question with a straightforward answer, but I have been poking around for a while now and I haven't seen any instructions for how to do this:

I just want to add clickable links for URLs, I don't want to generate internal links at all. I have just installed hyperref, and I was hoping there was some nice option called "urlonly" or something but I can't see it.

\section{This is a section, but I don't want a link in the toc}
I want this link to work. \href{http://news.bbc.co.uk}{BBC news}

Can anyone tell me how to do this?

  • 1
    Could you please add a minimum (working) example demonstrating your situation?
    – Malipivo
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 9:55
  • I don't think a MWE is relevant - it is a pretty general question relating to the standard behaviour of a package... but if anyone else asks for one, I will!
    – FionaSmith
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 10:30
  • 1
    Thanks @IanThompson for doing my work for me :) Sorry I was too lazy.
    – FionaSmith
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 10:33
  • If the link appearances are disturbing you, then you can use option hidelinks. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 10:39
  • Thanks @HeikoOberdiek I was using that already, and I know I can switch off the bookmarks, but I think it is a little odd to have thousands of hidden links throughout a document - someone might click by accident and wonder what on earth happened when they zoom to another part of the document. Maybe I just need to embrace internal hyperlinks!
    – FionaSmith
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46

2 Answers 2


I am enclosing my patch. I am partly executing the draft option as defined in the hyperref.sty file from the hyperref bundle with two key lines commented out.

%! *latex mal-hyperlinks.tex
% Patch: draft option do all this:
    % \def\hyper@linkurl#1#2{#1\Hy@xspace@end}%
    % \def\hyper@link@[#1]#2#3#4{#4\Hy@xspace@end}%
    \Hy@WarningNoLine{Draft mode on}%
% End of patch...
\section{This is a section, but I don't want a link in the toc}
\label{test}Cross-reference~\ref{test} on page~\pageref{test}. Cited book is~\cite{mybook}.\par
I want this link to work. \href{http://news.bbc.co.uk/}{BBC news}
\bibitem{mybook} A book about\ldots


  • Fantastic. Messy to have to include all that code, but fantastic! I guess I just have to persuade @HeikoOberdiek that this is an option that would be useful to more people than just me!
    – FionaSmith
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 11:55
  • While I wouldn't use it in anything I'm working on at the moment I should think it would be a valid option, worth including.
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 12:47

A partial answer to my own question: I use cleveref and I only just noticed the part of the documentation that says to use the starred variants \cref*{}when combining with `hyperref if you don't want the references to generate links.

I doubt this would have helped solve my MWE though, as I am sure the table of contents works differently, but I thought it would potentially help others in my position to know that most of my internal linking issues could have been fixed with this answer!

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