Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs

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About page thumbnails

Page thumbnails are miniature previews of the pages in a document. You can use page thumbnails to jump quickly to a selected page or to adjust the view of the page. When you move, copy, or delete a page thumbnail, you move, copy, or delete the corresponding page.

Note:

If you do not see page thumbnails in the navigation pane, try using F4 to open the navigation pane. Or choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Page Thumbnails.

Page thumbnails in Acrobat

Create page thumbnails

Page thumbnails increase file size, so Acrobat does not create them automatically.

Note:

Acrobat no longer supports embedding and unembedding page thumbnails. However, Acrobat Distiller® provides an alternate method of embedding page thumbnails.

Create page thumbnails

  1. Click the Page Thumbnails button on the left.

    Page thumbnails appear in the navigation pane. This process may require several seconds, particularly in larger documents. The drawing of page thumbnails may pause if you interact with the application during this process.

Resize page thumbnails

  1. In the Page Thumbnails panel, choose Reduce Page Thumbnails or Enlarge Page Thumbnails from the options menu  . Page thumbnails revert to their default size if you close and reopen the PDF.
    Page Thumbnails options in Acrobat

Define the tabbing order

In the Page Thumbnails panel, you can set the order in which a user tabs through form fields, links, and comments for each page.

  1. Click the Page Thumbnails button on the left.
  2. Select a page thumbnail, and choose Page Properties from the options menu  .
  3. In the Page Properties dialog box, click Tab Order, and select the tab order:

    Use Row Order

    Moves through rows from left to right, or right to left for pages with a right-to-left binding.

    Use Column Order

    Moves through columns from left to right and from top to bottom, or right to left for pages with a right-to-left binding.

    Use Document Structure

    Moves in the order specified by the authoring application.

    Note:

    For structured documents—PDFs that were created from desktop publishing applications or that contain tags—it’s best to select the Use Document Structure option to match the intention of the authoring application.

    If the document was created in an earlier version of Acrobat, the tab order is Unspecified by default. With this setting, form fields are tabbed through first, followed by links and then comments ordered by row.

About bookmarks

A bookmark is a type of link with representative text in the Bookmarks panel in the navigation pane. Each bookmark goes to a different view or page in the document. Bookmarks are generated automatically during PDF creation from the table-of-contents entries of documents created by most desktop publishing programs. These bookmarks are often tagged and can be used to make edits in the PDF.

Initially, a bookmark displays the page that was in view when the bookmark was created, which is the bookmark’s destination. In Acrobat, you can set bookmark destinations as you create each bookmark. However, it is sometimes easier to create a group of bookmarks, and then set the destinations later.

In Acrobat, you can use bookmarks to mark a place in the PDF to which you want to return, or to jump to a destination in the PDF, another document, or a web page. Bookmarks can also perform actions, such as executing a menu item or submitting a form.

Note:

An Acrobat user can add bookmarks to a document only if the security settings allow it.

Page Bookmark options in Acrobat
Bookmarks act as a table of contents for some PDFs.

Create a bookmark

  1. Click the Bookmarks button on the left to open the Bookmarks panel.
  2. Open the page where you want the bookmark to link to, and adjust the view settings.
  3. Use the Select tool to select the area of the page you want to bookmark:
    • To bookmark a single image, click in the image or drag a rectangle around the image.

    • To bookmark a portion of an image, drag a rectangle around the portion.

    • To bookmark text, drag to select it. The selected text becomes the label of the new bookmark. You can edit the label.

  4. Select the bookmark under which you want to place the new bookmark. If you don’t select a bookmark, the new bookmark is automatically added at the end of the list.
  5. Choose Tools > Edit PDF > More > Add Bookmark.

  6. In the Bookmarks panel, type or edit the name of the new bookmark.

Edit a bookmark

In Reader, you can make bookmarks easier to read by changing their text appearance.

In Acrobat, you can change a bookmark’s attributes at any time.

Rename a bookmark

  1. Select the bookmark in the Bookmarks panel, choose Rename Bookmark in the options menu  , and type the new bookmark name.

Wrap text in a long bookmark

  1. Click the Bookmarks button, and choose Wrap Long Bookmarks from the options menu  .

    All the text of long bookmarks shows regardless of the width of the navigation pane. (This option is on when checked, and off when not checked.)

Change the text appearance of a bookmark

You can change the appearance of a bookmark to draw attention to it.

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, select one or more bookmarks.
  2. (Acrobat only) To change the color and style of the text, choose View > Show/Hide > Toolbars Items > Properties Bar.
    Note:

    After you have defined a bookmark’s appearance, you can reuse the appearance settings. To do this, select the bookmark and from the options menu , choose Use Current Appearance As New Default.

  3. To change the font size, from the options menu  , choose Text Size > [size].

Change a bookmark’s destination

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, select the bookmark.
  2. In the document pane, move to the location you want to specify as the new destination.
  3. If necessary, adjust the view magnification.
  4. Choose Set Bookmark Destination in the options menu  .
    Note:

    The Set Bookmark Destination option is context sensitive. It appears only when you have an existing bookmark selected.

Add an action to a bookmark

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, select a bookmark.
  2. From the options menu  , choose Properties.
  3. In the Bookmark Properties dialog box, click Actions.
  4. Choose an action from the Select Action menu, and click Add.

Set the default zoom level for bookmarks

Applicable to Acrobat Pro DC and Acrobat Std DC

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, click the Options menu .

  2. Click Set Default Bookmark Zoom Level, and choose the desired zoom level. By default, the Inherit Zoom option is selected.

    Set default bookmark zoom level

Change the page number while adjusting the zoom level of multiple bookmarks

When you adjust the zoom level of multiple bookmarks, the destination page number for the selected bookmarks is retained by default.

Option to retain the destination page number when you adjust bookmarks zoom level
Bookmark > Properties > Actions > Go To A Page In This Document > Edit

To change the destination page number of the bookmarks, do the following:

  1. Select two or more bookmarks that you want to change the zoom level.

  2. Right-click the bookmark and then choose Properties.

  3. In the Bookmark Properties dialog, click Actions.

  4. Choose Go To A Page In This Document and then click Edit.

  5. Uncheck the option Keep Page Number Unchanged.

Delete a bookmark

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, select a bookmark or range of bookmarks, and then press Delete.
    Note:

    Deleting a bookmark deletes any bookmarks that are subordinate to it. Deleting a bookmark does not delete any document text.

Create a bookmark hierarchy

You can nest a list of bookmarks to show a relationship between topics. Nesting creates a parent/child relationship. You can expand and collapse this hierarchical list as desired.

Nest one or more bookmarks

  1. Select the bookmark or range of bookmarks you want to nest.
  2. Drag the icon or icons directly underneath the parent bookmark icon. The Line icon  shows the position of the icon or icons.

    The bookmark is nested; however, the actual page remains in its original location in the document.

    Nesting Bookmarks in Acrobat
    Nesting a bookmark (left), and the result (right)

Move bookmarks out of a nested position

  1. Select the bookmark or range of bookmarks you want to move.
  2. Move the selection by doing one of the following:
    • Drag the icon or icons, positioning the arrow directly under the label of the parent bookmark.

    • Choose Cut from the options menu , select the parent bookmark, and then choose Paste Under Selected Bookmark from the options menu.

    Moving a bookmark out of its nested position (left), and the result (right)
    Moving a bookmark out of its nested position (left), and the result (right)

Expand or collapse all top-level bookmarks

  1. From the options menu  , choose Expand Top-Level Bookmarks or Collapse Top-Level Bookmarks.

Add tagged bookmarks

Tagged bookmarks give you greater control over page content than do regular bookmarks. Because tagged bookmarks use the underlying structural information of the document elements (for example, heading levels, paragraphs, table titles), you can use them to edit the document, such as rearranging their corresponding pages in the PDF or deleting pages. If you move or delete a parent tagged bookmark, its children tagged bookmarks are moved or deleted along with it.

Many desktop publishing applications, such as Adobe InDesign® and Microsoft Word, create structured documents. When you convert these documents to PDF, the structure is converted to tags, which support the addition of tagged bookmarks. Converted web pages typically include tagged bookmarks.

If your document doesn’t include tags, you can always add them in Acrobat.

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, choose New Bookmarks From Structure from the options menu  . (If this option isn’t available, the document isn’t structured.)
  2. Select the structure elements you want specified as tagged bookmarks. Ctrl-click to add to the selection.

    The tagged bookmarks  are nested under a new, untitled bookmark.

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