I know that I can use hyperref to make cross-references and hyperlinks clickable. That makes the clickable areas outlined in fluorescent green, however. How can I make the green boxes go away?

  • 41
    Seeing what an important and popular question this is, I suggest choosing @meep.meep's answer as the accepted answer because it does exactly the same as Jukka's (which is nonetheless correct), but in a much more elegant way. Many new and unexperienced users will come across this question so it's worth thinking about it.
    – doncherry
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 16:28
  • 3
    And what if I want to keep them even for printing? How can i do that, please?
    – Perlnika
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 18:06
  • 3
    Some PDF viewers like qpdfview show boxes around links. So disable this first or make sure with other viewers that these boxes are actually in the PDF before you try to remove them. Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:32
  • 1
    In particular in qpdfview deselect the setting: Edit->Settings->Grapics->General->Decorate links
    – Harald
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 15:30
  • @Harald This settings does not seem to have any effect (even after restarting qpdfviewer). Links to references (green) and to figures & tables table of content (both red) and external links (cyan) all remain marked in in the program. (Though I if I view the same PDF in e.g. chromium then there are no color markings.)
    – zrajm
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:07

8 Answers 8


With \usepackage[hidelinks]{hyperref} you get active links in \textcolor (usually black) without a box around them.

  • 99
    I think there is no need for using \usepackage[hidelinks]{hyperref}. This problem may be fixed by just adding [hidelinks] as a global option to the \documentclass declaration (for instance: \documentclass[hidelinks,12pt]{report}). I read this in the quick help of MiKTeX 2.9.
    – user13436
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 1:50
  • 106
    @AhmedNaji: This is because global options, specified with the document class, will be passed down to the packages. However, I'm not aware of any package other than hyperref that knows an option hidelinks, so imho it isn't really helpful to move the option to the document class. An example where it does make sense to specify such an option globally (i.e. with the document class) is the option draft, which will influence e.g. graphicx and hyperref, or perhaps a language option like ngerman.
    – doncherry
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 23:41
  • 8
    What if other packages refer to hidelinks, that you may not want to disable? Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 9:02
  • 5
    The suggested solution causes an "option clash" if you use the classicthesis package. In that case the comment of @user13436 solves the issue. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 8:09
  • 8
    \usepackage[hidelinks]{hyperref} doesn't work. my code here and here
    – alhelal
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 5:53

I use something like


This gets rid of the ugly color boxes, but uses dark colored fonts which still make it clear that they are clickable.

  • 140
    I really think something like this should be the default rather than the neon boxed links.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 21:32
  • 17
    The use of dark colours here is also important: brighter colours, like the defaults, usually come out too pale when printing. Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 1:17
  • 4
    @einpoklum, at the time the "hypertext" was popularized not long ago, the idea was to highlight it as much as possible, just because it was new. Remember that hyperlinks in web pages used to be highlighted and underlined in bright blue.
    – alfC
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:49
  • 14
    @alfC: But not boxed in bright green... :-)
    – einpoklum
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:59
  • 7
    @alfC By default, they still are in most browsers.
    – JAB
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 18:05

Well, I see there are a lot of answers already, and they work, however I thought I'd give more detail:

As above, you can use




However, if your problem is with the ugly green boarder there are very nice ways to remove that, without making it unclear what is a hyperlink.

I like

  colorlinks   = true, %Colours links instead of ugly boxes
  urlcolor     = blue, %Colour for external hyperlinks
  linkcolor    = blue, %Colour of internal links
  citecolor   = red %Colour of citations

That should be pretty self-explanatory, since I've commented everything so I can keep track of it.

There is also


Which replaces the colour with small caps. No idea why it is French, or why small caps, but it is also an option.

There, I felt this helps complete the above answers; Yes, you can remove the box by hiding all the links, but there are other choices out there.

  • 8
    This is a real solution, otherwise how is the reader supposed to distinguish clickable links from plain text? Thank you
    – neurino
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 23:06
  • You are very welcome.
    – Canageek
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:10
  • @Canageek, I used your suggestion and it worked perfectly, but it changed also all text color from black (dark) to grey. How can I control this problem? I mean, what should I do to have the black (dark) color in the text?
    – Gilson
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 2:33
  • @Gilson I've not had that problem, at least, not that I've noticed. Could you make a new question with a MWE so I can test it out? Tag me in the comment please.
    – Canageek
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 18:31
  • @Canageek I've just done it in link
    – Gilson
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 19:57
    pdfborder={0 0 0},

Edit: Fortunately, this is no longer needed. Since 2011-02-05 (hyperref version 6.82a), you can use the hidelinks option to achieve the same result; see this answer.

  • 7
    Besides \hypersetup you may provides those settings as options when loading the hyperref package.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 17:03
  • 6
    Although I find them helpful- otherwise some people wouldn't know that clicking on a reference will take them to a bibliography entry. They don't show up in the printed copies.
    – Sharpie
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 17:26
  • 3
    I agree with Sharpie. It's better to change the borders and/or colours to something more pleasing but still visible (see Juan's answer), than to get rid of them entirely. Commented Aug 11, 2010 at 21:24
  • 7
    I personally use \ifpdf\usepackage[pdftex,pdfborderstyle={/S/U/W 1},hyperfootnotes=false]{hyperref}\fi. This gets rid of the box by making links underlined instead. You can then use the linkcolor option to make the colours more palatable to humans.
    – kahen
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 14:39
  • 2
    Congrats! The fact that your answer was un-accepted got you the first Populist badge ever awarded here, this is quite a funny turn. Referring to the more up-to-date answer is really good style though, kudos for that!
    – doncherry
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 17:15

You can also use \usepackage[colorlinks=true, urlcolor=blue, pdfborder={0 0 0}]{hyperref}.

Can add any options of your choice, in order to only have urls without color or anything, use only pdfborder={0 0 0} option


If you are using a modern release of LyX, then these options can be set in Document -> Settings -> PDF Properties -> Hyperlinks -> No frames around links.


As Canageek mentions, there are already a bunch of answers here, but there's another option that I developed in answer to another question, which you can see here: it refines the experimental "ocgcolorlinks" option so that the text is highlighted on screen and not in print, but avoids the boxing that caused weird line-wrapping of the current ocgcolorlinks implementation.

  • 1
    Thank you for your idea of implementing line-breakable ocgcolorlinks! It is the basis for further refinement made in the ocgx2 package, allowing for ocg colour links that also wrap around page breaks and which can be nested. Also the empty-link issue could be solved. See here .
    – AlexG
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 10:49

For the sake of completion, if you use qpdfview, check that the option Decorate links is unselected (Edit -> Settings). I spent quite some time finding this was the actual problem!

enter image description here

  • 3
    Thanks! I was about to debug the hyperref package as none of the above work to hide the decoration around links and refs.
    – scrutari
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 17:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .