Adobe Acrobat user interface has three views - Home, Tools, and Document.
Further, the Document view can have one of the two interfaces - Single Document Interface (view one document at a time) or Multiple Document Interface (tabbed interface for multiple PDFs viewing).
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This is the default view whenever a document is opened in Acrobat. When you open multiple documents, each document opens as a tab in the same application window.
This is the gateway or the landing page when you don’t have a PDF opened in Acrobat. When you launch Acrobat or Reader, you see a welcome message with the Learn More button pointing to a quick introduction document.
The Home view displays file lists and storage accounts.
- File Lists: Shows Recent and Sent files views. All your recently accessed files are displayed in the Recent files view, and all the files that you sent using Adobe Send & Track and Send for Signature are displayed in the Sent files view.
- Storage: It lists various places or accounts from which you can open and work on files from within Acrobat or Reader - My Computer, Document Cloud, and Add Account (a SharePoint or Dropbox account).
In the Recent files view, you can see your recently used files. For a selected file, a details panel appears on the right showing a thumbnail preview of the file, its location, and a list of frequently used tools.
For local files, you can click the location in the details panel to open the folder in Explorer. However, you cannot open the location if it’s Adobe Document Cloud or Dropbox.
The Remove from Recent option in the details panel allows you to selectively remove files from the Recent files list.
In the Sent files view, you can track and manage your sent files online. The available options are displayed when you choose a file in the right pane. You can also manage your files sent for signature using the Manage Document Sent for Signature link at the bottom in the right pane.
Storage lists offline and online places from where you can access your files. Apart from your local computer, you can access files:
- Stored securely in Adobe Document Cloud using the Document Cloud link in the left pane.
- From your online accounts, such as Dropbox and Microsoft SharePoint. You can add SharePoint or Dropbox accounts using the Add Account link in the left pane. For more information, see Working with online accounts.
This is the go to place to navigate and discover tools available in Acrobat/Reader. All the tools are listed by categories. When you choose a tool, the tool-specific commands or toolbar appears in the document view if a file is opened.
You can also open some tools even without opening a document. If the tool requires a document to be open, choosing a tool prompts you to select a document.
A new custom tool is displayed in the Customize category. All third-party plug-ins are displayed in a new category named Add-ons.
To remove the shortcut of a tool from the right pane, click the Down Arrow button next to Open below the tool name, and then choose Remove Shortcut.
By default, you see tabbed interface for multiple PDFs viewing. When you open multiple PDFs, each PDF opens as a tab in the same application window. You can switch among the tabs from the top – tab name shows the name of the file opened in the tab. A previous button and a next button are displayed towards right to navigate through document tabs when the number of documents are high and don’t fit the document view.
The menu bar and the toolbar are visible at the top of the work area. The work area for the stand-alone application includes a document pane in the middle, a navigation pane on the left, and tools or task pane on the right side. The document pane displays PDFs. The navigation pane on the left side helps you browse through the PDF and perform other options on PDF files. Toolbars near the top of the window provide other controls that you can use to work with PDFs.
If you want to switch off the tabbed view and go back to the single document view, go to Edit > Preferences > General, and then clear the checkbox for the preference - Open documents as new tabs in the same window (requires restart). Restart Acrobat.
Ordinarily, it’s a good idea to keep the Acrobat menus visible so that they are available as you work. It is possible to hide them, using the View > Show/Hide > Menu Bar command. However, the only way to display and use them again is by pressing F9 (Windows) or Shift+Command+M (Mac OS).
Unlike the menus that appear at the top of your screen, context-sensitive menus display commands related to the active tool or selection. You can use context menus as a quick way to choose commonly used commands. For example, when you right-click the toolbar area, that context menu displays the same commands as the View > Show/Hide > Toolbar Items menu.
(Mac OS) If you don’t have a two-button mouse, you can display a context menu by pressing the Control key as you click with the mouse.
Initially, you may not see various tools in the toolbar. You can add tools to the toolbar for easy access.
To add tools in the toolbar, right-click an empty space in the toolbar and choose the tools that you want to appear in the toolbar.
When your work does not involve using the tools in a toolbar, you can close the toolbar to tidy up the work area. If several PDFs are open, you can customize the toolbars for each PDF independently. The different customized states persist as you switch between PDFs.
- To hide all toolbars, choose View > Show/Hide > Toolbar Items > Hide Toolbars.
- To return toolbars to their default configuration, choose View > Show/Hide > Toolbar Items > Reset Toolbars.
If you have hidden all the toolbars, you can show them again by pressing F8.
You can assemble your own customized collection of Acrobat features, then save it and share with others. It allows you to quickly access the tools and commands you use the most.
To add a tool to the toolbar, click the panel on the left, select the tool, and click the Add To Toolbar icon.
To remove a tool from the toolbar set, select its icon, and click the Delete icon.
To change a tool’s position in the toolbar, select its icon, and click either the move left or move right icon.
To add a vertical line to separate groups of tools in the toolbar, click the Add Vertical Line icon.
A. Arrange or delete tools in the Tool's Toolbar B. Add custom panels, instructions, or divider line between tools C. Rename, arrange, or delete tools D. Add to Tool's Toolbar above or Custom Tools set on the right
To add a tool in the Custom set, click the panel on the left, and then click the Add To Custom set icon.
To create your own panel, click the Add Section icon on the right. Give the panel a name, and click Save.
To add a tool to a panel, select the panel on the right, select the tool on the left, and click the Add To Custom set icon.
To remove a tool from the set, select its icon and click the Delete icon.
To change the position of a tool, select it on the right, and click the Up or Down Arrow icons.
To add a horizontal line to separate groups of tools, click the Add Divider icon.
To edit instructions or section name, select it, and click the Edit icon.
You can edit, rename, copy, delete, rearrange, or share tool sets. You can specify the order the tool sets appear in the Customize menu by moving them up or down in the list. You can share tool sets with your workgroup using the Import and Export options.
- Choose Tools > [custom tool name] > click the Down Arrow button and then choose an appropriate option.
The navigation pane is an area of the workspace that can display different navigation panels. Various functional tools can appear in the navigation pane. For example, the Page Thumbnails panel contains thumbnail images of each page; clicking a thumbnail opens that page in the document.
When you open a PDF, the navigation pane is closed by default. Buttons along the left side of the work area provide easy access to various panels, such as the Page Thumbnails button and the Bookmarks panel button . When Acrobat is open but empty (no PDF is open), the navigation pane is unavailable.
The creator of the PDF can control the contents of some navigation panels and may make them empty.
To change the width of the navigation pane, drag its right border.
To view a different panel, on the left side of the navigation pane, select the button for the panel
All navigation panels have an options menu in the upper-left corner. The commands available in these menus vary.
Some panels also contain other buttons that affect the items in the panel. Again, these buttons vary among the different panels, and some panels have none.
Many program settings are specified in the Preferences dialog box, including settings for display, tools, conversion, signatures, and performance. Once you set preferences, they remain in effect until you change them.
Restore the Acrobat Preferences folder to eliminate problems that damaged preferences cause. Most preference problems are caused by these file-based preferences, although most Acrobat preferences are stored within the registry.
In Windows 10 or 8, if you cannot see the AppData folder, click the View menu on the ribbon in Windows Explorer and select the Hidden items checkbox under Show/Hide.
If the problem recurs after you restore the Acrobat Preferences folder, then the problem isn’t related to the Preferences folder. To restore custom settings, drag the folder you moved in step 2 back to its original location. Then click Yes To All to replace the new Preferences folder.
Re-creating the Acrobat preferences files restores settings to their defaults.
Acrobat WebCapture Cookies
com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist or com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_x86_9.0.plist
Acrobat Distiller Prefs and com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist (if you are troubleshooting an issue with Distiller)
The Acrobat folder, which contains preferences for forms (MRUFormsList), collaboration (OfflineDocs), and color settings (AcrobatColor Settings.csf)
If the problem recurs after you restore the Acrobat preferences files, then the problem isn’t related to preferences files. To restore custom settings, drag the files you moved in step 2 back to their original location. Then click OK to the alert “A newer item named ‘[filename]’ already exists in this location. Do you want to replace it with the older one you're moving?”