Hyperlinking the Exhibit Index

Use this article to set up your document to meet the SEC requirements for filing with exhibits. If you aren't sure about including an exhibit in the index or hyperlink to it, please consult your filing advisors.

Requirements for Exhibits

Make sure your document meets these SEC requirements:

  • You must indicate which section contains the EDGAR Exhibit Index.

  • You must make sure the Exhibit Index comes before the final signature in your filing document.

  • You must hyperlink to either a current exhibit in your filing or a previously filed exhibit .htm file on sec.gov for each item in the Exhibit Index.

  • You are not required to hyperlink to XBRL exhibits and paper/pre-electronically filed exhibits.

Indicating the EDGAR Exhibit Index Section

Make sure to indicate that your filing document contains an Exhibit Index section. If you do not do this, you will get an error message during filing.

NOTE: The document retains this section setting during roll-forward, export and import, project copy, etc. So you need to complete this step only one time for each filing type.

  1. Right-click the Exhibit Index in your document and select Section Properties.

  2. Click the Advanced Options tab.

  3. Select the Section contains EDGAR exhibit index checkbox and click OK.

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Hyperlinking to Exhibits in Current Filing

  1. Go to the Filing tab for your project and Generate EDGAR Documents.

  2. Make note of the exhibit HTML filenames in the Documents Details at the bottom of the Filing tab.

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    TIP: To make the process faster, make a list of all the exhibit filenames that you can refer to when creating the hyperlinks.

  3. In the document, select the text you want to make a hyperlink in the Exhibit Index section. To select text in a table cell, double-click the cell to make the cell active and then select the text.

  4. On the Edit tab, click Insert > Hyperlink. The text you selected appears in the Display field of the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

  5. Click the Exhibits drop-down menu and select the exhibit you want to hyperlink.

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  6. Click Apply Hyperlink and click OK on the prompt about external hyperlinks if it appears. The exhibit name appears and is hyperlinked to its location in the document.

  7. Repeat the hyperlinking steps for each exhibit you want to hyperlink to.

  8. Share your changes and Generate EDGAR Documents again because the document changed.


  • If you change the exhibit filename at any time, you’ll need to update any related hyperlinks and regenerate EDGAR documents.

  • After rolling forward, make sure to update the Exhibit Index hyperlinks to the current filing’s exhibits.

Hyperlinking to Exhibits in Previous Filings

You can also hyperlink to exhibits from previous filings. While filings normally don’t allow external hyperlinks, you can hyperlink to previously filed exhibits on the SEC public website in your EDGAR documents. The process is nearly the same as other hyperlinking with one important change to avoid issues during filing.

  1. Go to sec.gov and find the archived exhibit you want to hyperlink to.

  2. Open the exhibit and copy the URL from the browser.

  3. In the Wdesk document, select the text to hyperlink.

  4. Right-click the selected text and click Insert Hyperlink.

  5. Select the URL option and paste the exhibit URL.

  6. Remove the s after http at the beginning of the URL so it starts with only http://. If you do not do this, you will get an external reference error during filing.

    NOTE: When anyone clicks this hyperlink, it redirects to the https://sec.gov site.

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  7. Repeat the hyperlinking steps for each exhibit you want to hyperlink to.

Testing Hyperlinks

After adding hyperlinks, you can test them by re-generating EDGAR documents and viewing the .htm files. To do this, follow the instructions in the Filing Wizard - Generate EDGAR Documents article.