Hyperlinking the Exhibit Index

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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. Open your document and make sure the document type is set to a filing type, such as 10-K, 10-Q, or 8-K. See Document and Section Properties for information about setting the document type.

  2. Right-click the document section that has your exhibit index in your document and select Properties to open the Section Properties panel.

  3. Go to Section Properties and select the Section contains EDGAR exhibit index checkbox at the bottom.

    Indicate exhibit index section

Hyperlinking to Exhibits in Current Filing

  1. Open your filing and add any exhibit documents you have. Wdesk automatically generates the necessary .htm files for the exhibit documents.

  2. Make a list of all exhibit .htm filenames you want to hyperlink.

    Exhibit .htm filenames list

  3. Go to the Exhibit Index section in your document.

  4. 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.

  5. Right-click and select Insert Hyperlink.

  6. Type the filename of the exhibit in the URL field and click Create.

    Creating the hyperlinks

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

  8. Open your filling and click Regenerate or Update All to update your filing.

Making Changes to Exhibits

You can make changes to the original exhibit document any time in the filing steps before live filing.

To make changes to exhibits:

  1. Click the dropdown for the exhibit document in the filing that you want to change and click Open Document.

    Open exhibit document to make changes

  2. Make changes to the exhibit document.

  3. Go back to the Collect step in Filing and update the filing documents.


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

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

Hyperlinking to Exhibits in 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. Hyperlinks from previous filings must be from the SEC.gov website and begin with http://www.sec.gov.



Hyperlinking to an exhibit from a previous filing 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 that you want 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.

    IMPORTANT: If you do not do this, you will get an external reference error during filing.

    Visiting this hyperlink redirects you to the appropriate https://sec.gov site.

    Hperlinking to previous exhibits

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

  8. Open your filling and click Regenerate or Update All to update your filing.

Testing Hyperlinks

After adding exhibit hyperlinks to a document, you can test them:

  1. Open your filing in Wdesk.

  2. Click Regenerate or Update All to update your filing.

  3. Expand the folder for the main document and click the .htm file.

  4. Go to the Exhibit Index section and click the hyperlinks to test them.