Linking to a file in WordPress

The Media Library in WordPress is used to store PDFs and other text files, as well as images. Videos should be housed on YouTube and embedded in pages of your site - see instructions (coming soon).

Viewing the Media Library

To view a list of media files on your site, select Media > Library on the left menu. You can find media using filters at the top, including type, date, and keyword search.

Linking to a File (i.e. PDF or Word)

You can link to any text file that is contained in your Media Library. PDF is a great format to use for documents on the web, because most everyone has a PDF reader. Word documents can be used, but if a visitor doesn't have Word on their computer or device, they will not be able to open your document.

Step 1: Add your file to the Media Library

  • Select Media > Add New on the left menu.
  • Drag and drop your files on the browser window, or click Select Files to choose a file from your computer. Your file will be uploaded and will show up in the Media Library.
  • You will now need to find and copy the URL (location) of the file you want to link to. Click on that file in the Media Library. An Attachment Details window will open.

    the attachment details window, showing the URL to be copied

  • On the right side of the screen, you will see a URL listed, starting with "http://". Highlight this URL and copy it. (Command + C on a Mac, Control + C on Windows)
  • Close the Attachment Details window (click the X at the top right.)

Step 2: Link to your file on a page or post

  • Find the page or post to which you would like to add the file link. (Click Projects or Pages on the left menu.)
  • Click Edit under the page or post to begin editing it.
  • Type the text that you would like to use as a link to the file.
  • Highlight the text that you would like to make into a link.
  • Click the "Insert/edit link" icon on the toolbar. link icon  An "Insert/edit link" window will appear.
  • In the box next to URL, paste the URL that you copied. (Command + V on a Mac, Control + V on Windows)
  • Click the Update button at the bottom of the window.

Your link should now be underlined and colored to indicate it's a link.

  • Click Update to save the changes to your page or post.
  • Check your link to make sure the file downloads or displays properly.

Get Help

Questions about this topic? Don't see what you're looking for?

Email engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu, call the Help Desk at 217-333-1313, or contact your primary IT support professional.