About PDF Portfolios

A PDF Portfolio contains multiple files assembled into an integrated PDF unit. The files in a PDF Portfolio can be in a wide range of file types created in different applications. For example, a PDF Portfolio can include text documents, email messages, spreadsheets, CAD drawings, and PowerPoint presentations. The original files retain their individual identities but are assembled into one PDF Portfolio file. You can open, read, edit, and format each component file independently of the other component files in the PDF Portfolio.

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Acrobat Standard and Adobe Reader® users cannot create PDF Portfolios or edit the layout, colors, headers, and so on.

Depending on the circumstances, PDF Portfolios offer several advantages over merging multiple files into a single PDF:

Layouts and themes (Acrobat Pro)

Customize your PDF Portfolio with unique layouts and visual themes. Color palettes and backgrounds provide more visual interest.

Adding and deleting

Add or remove files easily, without having to find and select all the pages that originated in that file.

Previewing

Quickly preview component files without having to open them in their native applications.

Editing

Change individual files within the PDF Portfolio without affecting the other files. For example, you can renumber pages in one document without renumbering other documents in the PDF Portfolio. You can also edit non-PDF files in their native applications from within a PDF Portfolio. Any changes you make are saved to the file within the PDF Portfolio.

Distribution

Share a PDF Portfolio with others and be sure that they are getting all the component parts. Publish a PDF Portfolio on a website for others to view.

Sorting

Sort component files by categories that you can add to, delete, hide, and customize. Simply click a column name to sort the list.

Reordering

Drag files to change their order. You can then define the new order as the initial sort order—the order in which files appear when someone opens the PDF Portfolio.

Printing

Print all the PDFs in a PDF Portfolio, or selected component PDFs.

Searching

Search one or all files in a PDF Portfolio. You can even search non-PDF component files.

Incorporating other formats

Add non-PDF files to an existing PDF Portfolio without converting them to PDF.

Independence from source files

The source files of a PDF Portfolio—even existing files you add to the PDF Portfolio—are not changed when you create a PDF Portfolio. Changes you make to the component files within a PDF Portfolio do not change the original files from which you created the PDF Portfolio. You can move a PDF Portfolio anywhere on your computer or network without any risk of losing or disconnecting its components.

Reuse

Include the same file in multiple PDF Portfolios.

Additional resources

For videos on PDF Portfolios, see the following resources:

PDF Portfolio window overview

PDF Portfolio window in Acrobat Pro

In Acrobat Pro, you create and edit PDF Portfolios, and work with component files using various elements, such as panes, toolbars, and windows.

PDF Portfolio window in Acrobat Pro
<span class="uicontrol">PDF Portfolio</span> in Click-Through layout in <span class="uicontrol">Acrobat Pro</span>

A. PDF Portfolio toolbar B. Card representing the component file C. Component files and folders in the mini-navigator  D. Layout pane for customizing the appearance 
  • The PDF Portfolio toolbar is located immediately below the menu. Look here for PDF Portfolio viewing options, a search tool, and buttons for common tasks, such as printing and saving.

  • Cards represent each component file in the PDF Portfolio. Click the Show Info View icon  on the card to view information about the file on the back of the card.

  • The mini-navigator is the row of cards across the bottom of the PDF Portfolio window in Click-Through, Linear, and Wave layouts. By default, the cards are displayed alphabetically.

  • The Layout and Details panes include options for customizing the PDF Portfolio, viewing file details at a glance, and sharing the PDF Portfolio with others. In Details view, you can also change the sort order and open a file in its native application (if installed on your computer).

  • Layout (Preview mode) shows the PDF Portfolio in any of several views, depending on the design or type of file or layout specified by the author. If the Layout pane on the right is open, click the Preview button in the toolbar to switch from Edit to Preview mode. For information about each type of preview, see Preview modes.

  • Files mode shows the file details in a list. You can click a column name to sort by ascending and descending order. To return to the original view, click the Layout button.

    A PDF Portfolio is accessible when it opens in Files mode. This mode provides a better reading experience for people with disabilities—such as mobility impairments, blindness, and low vision. To open all PDF Portfolios in Files mode, open the Preferences dialog box by choosing Edit > Preferences (Windows). In Acrobat Pro only, choose Acrobat > Preferences (Mac OS). Under Categories, select Accessibility, and then select Show Portfolios In Files Mode.

  • Edit mode opens the Layout pane, which allows you to customize the appearance of the PDF Portfolio and add or delete content. In addition, you can modify the file information, reorder files, convert files to PDF, reduce file size, and show, hide, and sort columns. If the Layout pane isn’t visible, click the Edit button in the toolbar to switch from Preview to Edit mode.

PDF Portfolio window in Acrobat Standard

In Acrobat Standard, you preview PDF Portfolios, and work with component files using various elements, such as toolbars and windows.

PDF Portfolio window in Acrobat Standard
<span class="uicontrol">PDF Portfolio</span> in Click-Through layout in <span class="uicontrol">Acrobat Standard</span>

A. PDF Portfolio toolbar B. Card representing component file C. Component files and folders in mini-navigator preview D. Toolbar contains buttons to switch modes 
  • The PDF Portfolio toolbar is located immediately below the menu. Look here for PDF Portfolio viewing options, a search tool, and buttons for common tasks, such as printing and saving.

  • Cards represent each component file in the PDF Portfolio. Click the Show Info View icon  on the card to view information about the file on the back of the card.

  • The mini-navigator is the row of cards across the bottom of the PDF Portfolio window in Click-Through, Linear, and Wave layouts. By default, the cards are displayed alphabetically.

  • Layout (Preview mode) shows the PDF Portfolio in any of several views, depending on the design or type of file or layout specified by the author. For information about each type of preview, see Preview modes.

  • Files mode shows the file details in a list. You can click a column name to sort by ascending and descending order. To return to the original view, click the Layout button.

    A PDF Portfolio is accessible when it opens in Files mode. This mode provides a better reading experience for people with disabilities—such as mobility impairments, blindness, and low vision. To open all PDF Portfolios in Files mode, open the Preferences dialog box by choosing Edit > Preferences (Windows). In Acrobat Pro only, choose Acrobat > Preferences (Mac OS). Under Categories, select Accessibility, and then select Show Portfolios In Files Mode.

  • Edit mode allows you to modify the file information, reorder files, convert files to PDF, reduce file size, and show, hide, and sort columns. To open Edit mode, click the Edit button.

Scroll through component files

Depending on the layout, you can scroll through component files in various ways. Some layouts include a mini-navigator, scroll bar, or Next  and Previous  buttons.

Preview modes

You can preview the component files in several different ways. In Preview mode, you can preview images and pages, play video and SWF files, and view information about a file. You can extract (move) a file to your computer. You can also open a file in its native application (if installed on your computer). To return to the original view, click the Layout button.

Viewing a PDF Portfolio in different Preview modes
Viewing a <span class="uicontrol">PDF Portfolio</span> in different Preview modes

A. Mini-navigator preview B. Card preview C. Full preview D. Platform preview 

Mini-navigator preview

The row of cards across the bottom of the PDF Portfolio window. By default, the cards (component files) appear alphabetically. To hide  or show  the mini-navigator, click the double arrow below the card. In Preview mode, the mini-navigator appears in Click-Through layout only. In Edit mode, the mini-navigator appears in Wave and Linear layouts.

Card preview

A visual representation of each component file (piece of content) added to a PDF Portfolio. A thumbnail image, where possible, appears on the card. Metadata, or details about the file, are available on the back of the thumbnail image. Click the Information icon  on the card to view file details. Click the close button to return to the thumbnail image. Cards also indicate whether a component file is open in another application or being edited.

Full preview

A larger visual representation of the file, with other content visible behind the preview. These file types open in Full preview when you double-click the card: PDFs with no security added, Word documents, and images. FLV files open in Full preview when you double-click the card in the mini-navigator. Move the pointer over the bottom of the file in Full preview to see a semi-transparent floating toolbar with buttons to interact with the file. To return to the original view, click the close button in the upper-right corner of the preview.

Platform preview

A full-size preview within the PDF Portfolio window. The navigation pane appears so you have access to page thumbnails, bookmarks, signatures, and layers. These file types open in Platform preview when you double-click the card: SWF files and HTML files. To open other file types in Platform preview, such as email portfolios, form response files, and secured PDFs, choose View > Portfolio > Preview File. To close Platform preview, click the close button in the upper-left corner or press Esc.

Switch between Preview mode and Edit mode

In Acrobat Pro, the button to switch between Preview and Edit modes is a toggle button in the PDF Portfolio toolbar.

In Acrobat Standard, right-click in the PDF Portfolio window and choose Preview Portfolio or Edit Portfolio.

Layouts (Acrobat Pro)

Layouts provide one way to unify a wide range of content in a PDF Portfolio. When you create a PDF Portfolio, you can choose from various layouts included with Acrobat. If available, you can import and use a custom layout from a developer or designer.

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For best performance, use the Click-Through or Linear layout when you have more than 15 component files. Grid, Freeform, and Wave layouts take longer to load because they generate all thumbnails before displaying the first card.

Acrobat includes the following layouts:

Click-Through

Allows you to click through a series of files. You can reorder files, navigate through the files linearly, or find files in the mini-navigator at the bottom of the window.

Freeform

Arranges files in a scattered placement of thumbnails. You can rearrange the order and configuration of files.

Grid

Arranges files in an orderly grid that can scale to accommodate numerous files.

Linear

Arranges files in a linear path and guides the user through each file in the sequence. Descriptive text appears to the left of the card.

Wave

Arranges files in a spinning path that fans out off the screen.

PDF Portfolios created in Acrobat 9 (Acrobat Pro)

PDF Portfolios created in Acrobat 9 can be opened in Acrobat XI and Reader XI. However, layouts, color schemes, and other PDF Portfolio elements differ significantly between Acrobat 9 and Acrobat XI. When you open an Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio in Acrobat XI, the Acrobat 9 design appears as expected. Minor editing is allowed, such as adding or deleting files, and editing filenames or descriptions. You can save these changes in Acrobat 9 format. For extensive edits, you can convert the PDF Portfolio to Acrobat XI, if you’re using Acrobat XI Pro. The layout and colors convert to Click-Through layout with the Clean visual theme. Welcome pages, headers, and color palettes are removed. You can redo headers in Acrobat XI, but Welcome pages are not supported.

  1. Open a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat 9.

    The PDF Portfolio opens in Preview mode.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To edit filenames in Layout view, click the filename and type. You cannot edit descriptions.

    • To add files, drag them in Layout view.

    • To delete files, select them in Layout view and press the Delete key.

    • To save the changes in Acrobat 9 format, choose File >Save Portfolio.

Other functions enabled in PDF Portfolios

These commands are available for component files in PDF Portfolios:

Reduce File Size

Reduces the file size of component PDFs. For more information, see Reduce file size by saving.

Secure Portfolio With Password

Adds document security to a PDF Portfolio or to component PDFs within a PDF Portfolio. To add security to component PDFs, choose File > Portfolio Properties and select the Security tab. For more information, see Securing documents with passwords. To add security to the entire PDF Portfolio, use the Cover Sheet (View > Portfolio > Cover Sheet). For example, you can use the Cover Sheet to sign the PDF Portfolio parent file, or add a password to open the PDF Portfolio. Functionality you specify in the Cover Sheet pertains to the entire collection of component files in the PDF Portfolio.

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Other security features, including certificate security, are also available for PDF Portfolios and component files. For more information, see Choosing a security method for PDFs.

Convert to PDF (Acrobat Pro)

Converts multimedia files to PDF. For more information, see Convert multimedia files in a PDF Portfolio.

Print

Prints component documents. For more information, see Print PDFs in a PDF Portfolio.

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