Save, view, and search PDFs

Save PDFs

If the PDF author has enabled local saving, you can save a copy of a PDF or PDF Portfolio.

Web browser

  • To save a PDF, click the Save File icon in the Heads Up Display (HUD) toolbar at the bottom of the PDF view.

The HUD toolbar in a web browser
The HUD toolbar in a web browser

Acrobat Reader application

  • To save a PDF, choose File > Save or click the Save File icon in the Heads Up Display (HUD) toolbar at the bottom of the PDF. The Save As dialog box is displayed. Choose the location where you want to save the PDF and then click Save.

Note: By default, the save operation shows the Save As dialog box for the first time. You won't see the dialog box again for saving subsequent changes to the same file while it’s open in Reader. This default behavior of Reader is controlled by its protect mode setting, and it prevents any possible tampering of a PDF when it opens in Reader. To disable the Protected Mode for Reader (not recommended), go to Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) and unselect the Enable Protected Mode at startup check box.

  • To create a copy of a PDF, choose File > Save As.
  • To save the PDF as accessible text, choose File > Save As Other > Text.

Why can’t I save a PDF?

Because the PDF author has disabled local saving for security, copyright protection, or other reasons.

If you need to save the PDF, contact the author, and ask the author to enable local saving. For more information, see Enable Reader users to save form data in Acrobat Help.

View and navigate PDFs

Do any of the following:

  • In Acrobat Reader, to enlarge or reduce the page, use the zoom, magnification, and fit options in the HUD toolbar at the bottom of the PDF view.
The HUD toolbar
The HUD toolbar contains - Selection, Zoom, Magnification, Page Thumbnail, and Page Fit options

You can also use the quick navigation options available in the main toolbar and the left navigation pane.

Quickly navigate with these options
Quickly navigate with these options

A. To go to a specific page, specify the page number and press Enter. B. To quickly navigate to the next and previous page. C. To navigate visually, click the Page Thumbnails icon in the left navigation pane. D. To jump to areas of interest, click the Bookmarks icon in the left navigation pane. 

To set scrolling and multi-page view options, choose View > Page Display menu. In the browser, right-click the Acrobat Reader toolbar and choose Page Display.

Zoom into a specific area

  • Right-click the document and choose Marquee Zoom from the pop-up menu. Then drag across the area you want to magnify.

  • (Acrobat Reader application only, not browser) From the View > Zoom menu, choose Dynamic Zoom , Pan & Zoom , or Loupe Tool . For more information about each option, see Adjusting PDF views in Acrobat Help.

Find information in a PDF

To search page content, do either of the following:

  • Right-click the document, and choose Find from the pop-up menu. In the upper-right corner of the document window, enter the search term, and click the Next or Previous buttons to navigate to each instance.
Right-click the document, and choose Find
To display the search box, right-click the document, and choose Find.

  • To perform a more complex search for whole words, phrases, comments, and other options, do either of the following:

    • In a web browser, press Ctrl+Shift+F to open the advanced Search pane.

    • In the Acrobat Reader application, choose Edit > Advanced Search.

    At the bottom of the Search pane, click Show More Options to further customize your search. For more information, see Advanced Search options in Acrobat Help.

View and search a PDF Portfolio

A PDF Portfolio is a collection of files in various formats created in different applications. You can use the Reader search tools to find text throughout the PDF Portfolio. Type the text you want to find in the Search box in the PDF Portfolio toolbar. The search results show all files where the text was found.

  • For PDF files, expand the list to see the results in context. Click a search result to go to the location of the text in the PDF.

  • For other types of files, click Open, and then search the file.

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