Linking Newsgroups from a PDF file
By Don Lancaster                                                                   
Version 1.3 March 5, 1998
Copyright c. 1998 by Don Lancaster and Synergetics, Box 809, Thatcher AZ, 85552
(520) 428-4073. All commercial rights and all electronic media
rights are *fully* reserved. Linking welcome. Reposting is expressly forbidden.

Consulting services available.
Further support on  

(The following is believed correct. Please report any errors or differing experiences.)

This short note is more a plea for help than a tutorial.

It is a simple matter to actively hot link a url or an email response inside a PDF file.
Either use the PDFMark operator from ATN 5150 in your source code or post set
the link using Exchange. Many examples in

I would expect it should be equally easy to link a newsgroup. We had placed some
simple news:comp.text.pdf links in dozens of files and they seemed to behave just
fine in an older Apache server. Reached by Netscape 4.1 or other browsers.

We recently switched to a Microsoft Internet server, and all of the newsgroup links
stopped working. What appears to be happening is exceptionally bizarre. While a
workaround temporarily exists, it may introduce more problems than it solves.

Assume the SERVER Acrobat file is in a directory of A
link request of will ask the news server to go to a news source
of and look for a newsgroup named glib/ Like as if a file:
command was being passed to the news server! After stripping out the news: command
and properly routing it!

A bizarre link request of news:/// provides the proper newsgroup link,
asking the news server to go to its default server and get and appears
to work ok. Only three slashes work.

But such a command embedded in an Acrobat file is highly device dependent, since it
depends on the number of subdirectories currently active in the host web server!!!!
And it is not at all clear whether it will work at all for certain web clients. And use of some
DOS specific backslash and dots thingy is likely to cause UNIX or Mac servers fits.

Please check the newsgroup links on the third page of and tell me if they work for you. Please report to

And please report WHY this is happening and WHAT can be done for a permanent fix.

Server is service pack three status. All HTML links work properly, as do all Acrobat email
and website links.

Note that use of a NNTP protocol does not seem to work because this all happens before
the news server, not after.

Your help, please.

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