How to Upload & Link to a PDF in WordPress

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing a product through one of these links generates a commission for us at no additional expense to you.

You know how to upload images, but what about PDFs?

Well, I’ve got good news.

Uploading PDFs to WordPress is just as easy.

In the next couple of minutes, you’ll learn how to add a PDF to WordPress, and how to link to it anywhere on your website.

Oh, and you’ll also learn a cool trick to make the PDF downloadable for visitors.

How to upload a PDF

Subscribe to Compete Themes on Youtube

Start by logging into your WordPress site, and then hover your cursor over the Media menu item and click the Add New link.

Add Media

On the next page, click the Select Files button and select the PDF you’d like to upload.

Select file button

Once selected, the PDF will be quickly uploaded to your site.

I’m sure you’ve already uploaded dozens of images to your site, and now you know that you can upload PDFs just as easily.

And while we’re on the subject, this part of WordPress is called the “Media” Library because it’s not just for images. You can also upload videos, MP3 files, even PowerPoint presentations all in the same way.

You probably didn’t upload your PDF just to say it’s on your site, so let’s talk about how to share it next.

How to share your PDF

With your PDF uploaded, it now has its own URL on your site. All you need to do is get this URL and then you can share the PDF on any post or page on your site (or on social media sites).

If you visit your Media Library, you’ll see the PDF at the top left because it’s the latest media item you’ve uploaded.

Pdf Uploaded

Click on it, and you’ll see a popup window with a preview of the PDF and the editable meta info on the right. There’s one field, in particular, you want to locate at the bottom:

The “Copy Link” text only highlights the URL so make sure to still press cmd+c

This field contains the URL that points to the PDF. Triple-click on the URL to select the whole thing and then press cmd+c to copy it to your clipboard (ctrl+c for Windows).

Using keyboard shortcuts will make you much more effective with WordPress. Here are some more tips for getting things done quickly in WordPress.

With the URL in hand, you can share the PDF anywhere. If you wanted to add it to a post, you can link to it the same way you link to other webpages:

Link To Pdf
Press cmd+v to paste in the URL and you’re done!

When anyone clicks this link, they’ll be taken directly to the PDF.

If you want people to download the PDF rather than view it in their browser, that’s easily done too.

How to make a PDF downloadable

First off, a regular link to the PDF already makes it downloadable.

While it may not be obvious for your less tech-savvy visitors, if you right-click the PDF link, you can simply choose the “Save as…” option to download the PDF.

Downloading a PDF

You don’t need to do anything besides link to the PDF for this to be an option.

However, if you want it to be really simple for your visitors then here’s how you can add an automatic download link.

Back in the editor, click on the paragraph, then click the More options button (three dots), and select the Edit as HTML option.

Edit As Html

This will expose the raw HTML for the paragraph block including the link element.

I know this might look intimidating to you if you don’t work with much code, but this is going to be easy.

Inside the opening “a” tag, add the word “download” with a space on either side of it, like this:

Make PDF Downloadable

When you’re done, you can click the More options button and hit Edit visually to return to the regular view of the paragraph.

With the download link attribute added, when someone clicks on the PDF link, it will automatically download without them having to right-click and choose “Save as…”

This technique works great with links and if you really want to sell the effect you can use a Button block instead.


Adding PDFs to your site is pretty straightforward once you know what to do. You can follow these steps to upload and link to any number of PDFs on your WordPress site.

If you want to take things a step further, you can also embed PDFs in your posts to visitors can read them without leaving your site.

And if you find your Media Library is getting messy with too many PDF uploads, check out this collection of the best document library plugins.

Since the Media Library doesn’t have categories, those plugins can go a long way towards organizing your uploaded documents.

If you found this post helpful, share it with someone else before you go.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.