Consider image sample below. I'm including it using \includegraphics and I have linked it to an url using \href.

What I would like is to have it in the pdf file in such a way that the mouse would only allow you to follow the link when passing over the grey zone and not through the white background.

I'm using a png file with no background but with no success...

Does someone know how to do this?

Thank you so much in advance!

enter image description here:

  • 1
    The only way I can see this being possible is if you break up the shaded area into small rectangles (yes, a rectilinear object), overlap them with the shaded area manually and hyperlink them all. Good luck.
    – Werner
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 15:55
  • Hi Werner! Thanks for the answer. It would take me forever to get it done... So i'm going to give up on this feature. Although I would really love to have it :) Thanks anyway.
    – Pedro
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 17:23
  • This could be done, but it would take a lot of work. Basically one could construct a somewhat pixelated version of the image using a tikz matrix. For a 50x50 grid using 1 letter (local) macro names would involve 50 lines of 151 characters each. You would need both upper and lower case for the map shown. Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


This was done on a smaller scale for a map of Hawaii using a 20x20 grid. For the final version you set the opacity of the map to 1. I find using a checkerboard background helps when aligning links to the map. Using a \parbox instead of tikz \matrix is much faster.

I stole the map from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/hawaii/map.GIF and converted to png.

map of hawaii



\setlength{\cellwidth}{\dimexpr \wd\tempbox / 20}
\setlength{\cellheight}{\dimexpr \ht\tempbox / 20}
\node (links) {\parbox{\wd\tempbox}{\lineskip=0pt
\node[opacity=.5] at (links) {\usebox{\tempbox}};

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