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How to add a PDF to a Joomla Article

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Creating links to articles or menu items or files such as a PDF is not so easy using the default editor supplied with Joomla. So in this tutorial I demonstrate how to achieve this easily by replacing the standard editor with JCE.

Click images below to enlarge

1. LOGIN to Administrator

2. NAVIGATE to Content ---> Media Manager

3. Underneath the file listing window, locate the box where you can create a new folder. 



4. ENTER a name for the folder e.g. docs and CLICK Create Folder

5. If you haven't already, DOWNLOAD and INSTALL JCE

6. I recommend that you set JCE as the default editor. NAVIGATE to Global Configuration ---> Site and look for Default Editor. Change this to JCE.



7. Now you're ready to create or edit an article or module. In this example I will edit an existing article. NAVIGATE to Content ---> Article Manager and find the appropriate article. CLICK the heading to enter edit mode.

8. Note that if you just installed and enabled JCE that the editor looks quite different. HIGHLIGHT the text that will act as the link and CLICK the link icon in the editor. This looks like a chain is is usually found in the bottom row of the editor. This opens a new window.



9. CLICK the Browse icon towards the top right of the window. This opens yet another new window.



10. In the left column, HIGHLIGHT the name of the folder that was created in Step 4.



11. CLICK the Upload icon towards the top right. You will see yet another new window. 



12. CLICK the Browse button, LOCATE the file from your local computer and CLICK the UPLOAD button.



13. You are returned to the File Browser window and the file you just uploaded is displayed. It should already be selected, but if not, CLICK it so it appears highlighted. CLICK the Insert button.



14. You are returned to the Link window. Note that the URL field now contains the path to your file. CLICK Update at the bottom of the window.



15. You have now created a location for your file uploads, uploaded a file and linked to it. Remember to save your article or module.

Rate this blog entry:


  • Guest
    Sean Owens Thursday, 7 February 2013

    You need to make sure your JCE editor is up to date as there is a serious site hack that exploits the JCE editor that you are using in the demonstration above.

  • Richard Pearce
    Richard Pearce Thursday, 7 February 2013

    I downloaded the latest version specifically for this demonstration.

  • Joe Podcast
    Joe Podcast Sunday, 10 February 2013

    Hi Richard,

    Been receiving your emails for some time now. So after the last one
    being the 200th one we wrote an article about your endevours on the
    blog. Link is enjoy and
    the best of everything for your business. Mozimax

  • Giovanni Yarabek
    Giovanni Yarabek Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Hi Richard:
    With this process (described above) - is there a way to make the .PDF also a download for site visitors?

    #2. Is there a way to require them to provide name/email to get the download for free?

    Or do you recommend another program? I'm after the free download .PDF in excahnge for providing name/email/OPT-IN.

    Many thanks.

  • Richard Pearce
    Richard Pearce Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Not sure what you mean by download. Do you mean when the link is clicked it saves instead of opens in a new window? If so, check this post from a couple of weeks ago:

    You can get an email first by using most form components. Just create a "thank you" page that contains a link to the download. Do not publish this page in a menu. Form components often have an option to redirect to a particular URL on successful completion of the form. So enter your URL there. Then when someone completes the form, they go to your page containing the download.

    There are also several document management extensions, the best known of which is DOCman:

  • hn1255
    hn1255 Tuesday, 5 March 2013

    Good idea.But my i can't install jce in my host.oo:(
    I can intall jce in my localhost.

  • Richard Pearce
    Richard Pearce Wednesday, 6 March 2013

    Just JCE or every extension? If it is just JCE then ask them why. If it is every extension, then you have an issue with your hosting. Some hosts are more "Joomla-friendly" than others. However enabling the FTP settings in Global Configuration often gets around these issues.

  • Tristan Montano
    Tristan Montano Friday, 8 March 2013

    Is there a way to keep outsiders from getting to the pdf file? Example I have a registered user on my site I then post several pdf files to required login side of my site. However once the link is posted you can just give out the direct web link to the file. Can we hide this? Secondly I am also worried that Google Bots will find and publish direct links to the files. The files are not top secrete but I would prefer them not being to easy to get to.

  • Richard Pearce
    Richard Pearce Monday, 11 March 2013

    You're best to use a download management extension. Some have the ability to hide the URL. Docman is popular. See

    In regards to stopping files from getting indexed, place them in a particular directory and specify that this directory not get indexed in your robots.txt file.

  • johnab
    johnab Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    Am also have the same problem, now its clear. thanks for this valuable information.

  • Ibukun
    Ibukun Friday, 21 November 2014

    it worked perfectly, but what if i have a pdf file of 10mb, how can i do it? because i think the maximum file size is 1024kb

  • Richard Pearce
    Richard Pearce Monday, 24 November 2014

    The maximum file upload size is determined by a setting at your host. You should ask your host if this can be increased.

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Guest Tuesday, 6 December 2016