I'm trying to make a pdf with link in it to open local video files.

I succeeded to do it with Acrobat, and Reader open the files correctly. But Preview.app refuses. Regular http link are correctly open, but not file://

I need only Preview.app to make the finder launch the file, not open it inside preview. Since Reader.app can do this correctly, Does anyone have ideas how to correct this for Preview.app?

  • Adobe Reader uses Quik Time or Adobe Flash player to open hyperlinked videos. Preview.app has no such capability.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


I would not expect preview to allow this as a result of conscious design decision by Apple. This is in essence how one design decision of OS X was made different from Windows. One allows core programs that ship with the OS to do all sorts of things and the other attempts to embed security by controlling cross-program interactions.

If Preview.app could open arbitrary, document-specified files (or worse have Finder execute that action on behalf of the user), it opens the door for all sorts of security risks.

Apple's restrictions on permissions is based in part on the difference between local files (being more trusted, and perhaps operating with elevated system privileges) and files from the internet (which are quarantined, subject to less permissions to run locally).

You could file a bug report with Apple to ask how to accomplish a link, but my guess is that this is how preview was designed and not some oversight or bug that prevents this from working on the current build of OS X.

  • Definitely likely. Preview is sandboxed, so it cannot access external files on its own. Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 18:18

This is probably just an oversight in Preview, not a security-oriented limitation. For example, Apple allows Safari to open any file:// or 3rd party URLs like evernote:// embedded in web pages. Similarly, the latest version of Pages/Keynote will open any embedded URLs too (though the iWork 09 versions did not.)

Since URLs works in these apps, it's not a sandboxing issue either (Sandboxing is about restricting direct access to files, the file:// URL is still handled by Finder, not by the app where the click originated.)

  • And how are you opening and adding a file:// link to pages?
    – markhunte
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 12:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .