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Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. 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. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. 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. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. 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
  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

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.


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.


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.


    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.


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.

    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  .

    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 and Acrobat Std

  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.

    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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