I am using the hyperref package in my LaTeX document, and then using pdflatex to generate the pdf file.

Is there any harm in print quality, in using the hyperref package?

Or should I have two versions of my document, one for viewing on the screen (with hyperref) and one for printing (without hyperref)?

This is how I have set up the package.

\usepackage[all]{hypcap} % Correct a problem with hyperref, don't know 
                         % what problem it is supposed to correct :)
    unicode=false,          % non-Latin characters in Acrobat’s bookmarks
    pdftoolbar=true,        % show Acrobat’s toolbar?
    pdfmenubar=true,        % show Acrobat’s menu?
    pdffitwindow=false,     % window fit to page when opened
    pdfstartview={FitH},    % fits the width of the page to the window
    pdftitle={My Title},    % title
    pdfauthor={My Name},     % author
    pdfsubject={Subject of Document},   % subject of the document
    pdfcreator={My Name},   % creator of the document
    pdfproducer={My Name}, % producer of the document
    pdfkeywords={Test} {Document}, % list of keywords
    pdfnewwindow=true,      % links in new window
  • 3
    I don't think you have any harm. Colorlinks can be other than black so that you have colored links in pdf. To make them black only while printing, please use ocgcolorlinks instead of colorlinks.
    – user11232
    Jan 15, 2013 at 22:43
  • 5
    The main possibly negative impact is colorlinks (and other use of colour) if you are printing in monochrome this greys out all link text, and generally coloured links may be distracting in a format like paper where they are not active (but you can turn off colour for print versions without removing hyperref) Jan 15, 2013 at 22:45
  • 2
    To add to the isssues already mentioned, you have to remember that the URL's are gone in printing. E.g., I set up my bibliography style so that URL's are links on the title of references, because it looks much nicer, and noone will type those URL's by hand anyway. In a print version, I consider printing the URL's visibly.
    – mafp
    Jan 15, 2013 at 22:49
  • 3
    The ocgcolorlinks option is marked experimental in the manual for hyperref, and at least on Linux (via CUPS) it prints in color (really grayish on B&W printer).
    – vonbrand
    Jan 17, 2013 at 2:06
  • 5
    some third party pdf viewer tend to not behave properly with pdf documents that have thing for display and different things to printing. the most common example is the box around links: adobe reader will not print them while it will display then on screen, however packages such as linux viewer of the type of okular will print them. I suspect it is due to the underlying pango library not supporting these elements yet, but it is an issue.
    – ArTourter
    Jan 17, 2013 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


There is no harm in using hyperref for a document that will go to printing. To illustrate its flexibility should an issue occur, you could use any of the following options:

colorlinks - Gives color to your links or boxes off your links with colored borders

hidelinks - Hide all of your links, removing all the colors and borders

linkcolor - Set the color of all your links

citecolor - Set the color of all your citations

filecolor - Set the color of all your file links

urlcolor - Set the color of all your URL links

Given in RGB specification:

linkbordercolor - Set the color of your border around links

citebordercolor - Set the color of your citation borders

urlbordercolor - Set the color of your URL borders

In summary, the only foreseeable issue with hyperref and printing may be the colors it may impose on your document. Switching from color to grayscale is as simple as modifying a global setting in your document beforehand. There is no need to compile without hyperref when you can compile with hyperref on color and hyperref on black.

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