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Adding multimedia to PDFs

Learn how to add multimedia elements, such as audio, video, and interactive media, to PDF documents.

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  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. Introducing the new Acrobat experience
    3. What's new in Acrobat
    4. Keyboard shortcuts
    5. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. PDFs converted to web pages
    12. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    13. PDF articles
    14. Geospatial PDFs
    15. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    16. Change the default font for adding text
    17. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. Create a web form
    5. Request e-signatures in bulk
    6. Collect online payments
    7. Brand your account
    8. About certificate signatures
    9. Certificate-based signatures
    10. Validating digital signatures
    11. Adobe Approved Trust List
    12. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
    7. Cloud-based auto-tagging
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Multimedia and PDFs (Acrobat Pro)

By incorporating video, sound, and interactive elements, PDFs can be transformed into dynamic communication tools that effectively capture readers' interest and engagement.

Acrobat Reader can play back all H.264 compliant multimedia, which is a video compression standard that offers high-quality video without significantly increasing file size. This includes video files with various formats and filename extensions.

While media files in other formats can be played in earlier versions of Acrobat Reader, users must install the appropriate application, such as QuickTime or Windows Media Player, to enable multimedia playback.

Another option for adding multimedia is to insert a URL pointing to a video file or streaming media. Three types of URLs are compatible: RTMP, HTTP, and HTTPS. HTTP and HTTPS servers support H.264-compliant MOV and MP4 files.

Add multimedia files to a PDF

Acrobat has the ability to play back files that are encoded in H.264 with AAC audio, such as .mp3 and .mov formats. To convert other file types into one of the supported formats, Adobe Media Encoder can be used. In addition, mp3 audio files can be added to PDF documents for playback on any platform.


FLV and F4V files are no longer supported in both Acrobat and PDFMaker. You cannot embed FLV and F4V files using either Acrobat or PDFMaker.

  1. Open Acrobat and choose the PDF file in which you want to add multimedia files. You can navigate to your files using the left-hand pane, as shown:

    Navigate to your pdf file

  2. Select the All Tools menu from the left top corner. From the left sidebar, select the View more option and navigate to the Add rich media option. Then choose either the 3D Media Video, or Soundtool, depending on the type of multimedia file you want to add.

    Add Rich media

  3. To add a video or sound to a specific area on a page, you can either drag or double-click the desired location. This action will open the Insert dialog box.

    If you double-click the page, Acrobat will place the upper-left corner of the video where you clicked. Alternatively, if you drag an area on the page, the media will be placed within that designated area. Acrobat will automatically adjust the play area of the video to match the exact size of the video frame (if it is able to read the video clip dimensions).

  4. To add a media file, either input the URL in the File field, or select Choose to find the media file, and then select Open.



    When adding URLs, be sure to include the complete file address along with the video filename extension, such as .mov or .mp4.

  5. Use the advanced options on the Insert dialog box to customize the media if needed, and then select OK.

    Not all of these options are available for all media types.

    Snap to content proportions

    Opens the dialog for additional settings such as launch settings, playback controls, and video settings. The options available depends on the format of the media you are inserting.

    Show Advanced Options

    Ensures that the play area retains the height and width ratios of the original video or interactive content.

Advanced multimedia options (Acrobat Pro)

To view advanced multimedia options when you insert video, sound, or interactive content, select Show Advanced Options in the Insert dialog box.

You can also change these options after multimedia has been added to a PDF. Double-click the multimedia with the Select object tool (All tools > Add rich media > Select object).


Video and sound quality settings can only be changed when a file is added to a PDF.

Launch Settings tab

Use these settings to determine how the media is started and stopped, where it is displayed, and what is displayed when the media isn’t running.

Activation Settings

Select options to determine when the media is played and stopped. From the Playback Style menu, select Play Content In Floating Window to have the video or interactive content run outside the page. Content in a floating window enables users to read the page and view the video or application at the same time.

Border Width

Creates a black border around the video or interactive content. For sound, the border surrounds the poster image.

Poster Image

To use an image that is not part of the file you are adding, select Create Poster From File. Select Browse to find the image you want to be displayed when the video, sound, or interactive content is not activated.


Controls tab

Use to set up which playback controls (skins) are available.


Select the set of playback controls (skin) you want to be displayed on the video.


Select to open the color palette and choose a color for the controls.


Sets the degree of transparency for the playback controls.

Autohide Controls

When selected, hides the play controls when the mouse pointer is not over the multimedia.

Video Tab

Available when you are adding a video.

Preview and Trim

Drag the Start and End markers below the slider bar to remove unwanted frames from the clip. This option is only available when a video clip is first added to a PDF.

Set Poster Image From Current Frame

The poster image is displayed when the video isn’t playing. Drag the marker on the top of the slider bar to the frame you want to use, and then select Set Poster Image From Current Frame.

Chapter Points

Use Chapter Points to create markers in a video from which to launch specific actions. For example, in a training video, chapter points can link to additional information in a file or on the Web.

To create a chapter point, move the slider to the frame you want to use. In Chapter Points, select the plus sign. To add an action, highlight the chapter point in the list and select Actions.


Generally, Chapter Point actions can be added only after the multimedia has been created. You can then edit the play area and add Chapter Point actions.  

Edit the play area (Acrobat Pro)

To modify the play area, we need to personalize the Quick action toolbar by adding the Select Objecttool to it.

  1. Select the ellipsis from the Quick action toolbar as shown:

    Select ellipsis

  2. In the Customize quick action toolbar, go to Rich Media, and then select the Select Object tool. Then, select Add to Toolbar as shown. Once done, select Save

    Add Select Object tool

Use the Select Object tool from the Quick action toolbar to edit the play area. Follow the steps:

  1. Use the Quick action toolbar to select the Select object tool, and then select a multimedia object.

    When you move the tool over the play area, handles appear on the borders of the play area, even when the borders are invisible.

  2. Select the play area to select it, and then do any of the following:

    • To relocate the clip, simply drag its icon to a different spot on the page.
    • To remove the clip, select it and press Delete.
    • If you want to adjust the size of the clip, grab one of the frame's corners and drag it until you reach the desired dimensions. For video clips, you can hold down the Shift key to maintain their aspect ratio.


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