PDF articles

About articles

Many traditional print documents, such as magazines and newspapers, arrange text in multiple columns. Stories flow from column to column and sometimes across several pages. While the format is effective for printed material, this type of structure can be difficult to follow on-screen because of the scrolling and zooming required.

The article feature enables you to guide readers through material presented in multiple columns and across a series of pages.

The flow of an article thread
The flow of an article thread. The user reads through text A, skips text B and C, and moves on to text A again.

Define articles

You create an article by defining a series of boxes around the content in the order in which you want the content read. The navigational path you define for an article is known as the article thread. You create a thread connecting the various boxes, unifying them into a continuous text flow.


Most desktop publishing programs allow you to generate article threads automatically as you convert the files to Adobe PDF. If the file you’re viewing has articles, you can show the names of the articles on a tab and navigate easily through them.  

  1. Choose Tools > Edit PDF  > More > Add Article Box. The pointer appears as a cross-hair pointer in the document window.

  2. Drag a rectangle to define the first article box. An article box appears around the enclosed text, and the pointer changes to the article pointer.

    Each article box you create has a label that consists of the article number and its sequence within the article. For example, the first box for the first article is labeled 1-1, the second box 1-2, and so on. The boxes for the second article in the same document are labeled 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, and so on.

  3. Go to the next part of the document you want to include in the article, and draw a rectangle around that text. Repeat until you have defined the entire article.

    To resize or move an article box, you must first end the article.

  4. To end the article, press Enter.
  5. In the Article Properties dialog box, enter the article title, subject, author, and any keywords to describe the article, and click OK.

View and edit an article

Use the Article tool to create, display, and make changes to an article box in the PDF document.

View articles on the page

  1. Choose Tools > Edit PDF  > More > Add Article Box.

View articles in the PDF

  1. Choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Articles.
  2. To read an article, double-click it, or select the article and choose Read Article from the options menu  in the Articles panel.

    The first line of the article appears in the upper left corner.

  3. To hide the Articles panel after the article opens, select Hide After Use in the options menu  of the Articles panel.

Delete an article or article box

  1. In the Articles panel, do one of the following:
    • To delete the entire article, select the article in the Articles panel, and press the Delete key.

    • To delete only one box from an article, right-click the box, and choose Delete. In the warning message, select Box. If you select Article, the entire article is deleted.

      The remaining articles or article boxes are automatically renumbered.

Insert an article box into an article thread

  1. In the Document window, select the article box that you want the new article box to follow.
  2. Click the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the selected box, and click OK when prompted to drag and create a new article box.
    An example of selecting an article with the Article tool
    An example of selecting an article with the Article tool

  3. Draw a new article box. The new box is inserted into the article flow, and all following boxes are renumbered.

Move or resize an article box

  1. Using the Article tool, select the article box, and do one of the following:
    • To move the box, drag it to the new location.

    • To resize the box, drag a center handle to change only height or width, or drag a corner handle to change both dimensions.

    An example of resizing an article box
    An example of resizing an article box

Edit article properties

  1. Using the Article tool, select the article box that you want to edit.
  2. Right-click the box, and choose Properties.
  3. Change the information in the Articles Properties dialog box, and click OK.

Combine two articles

  1. In the document pane, select any article box in the article you want to be read first.
  2. Select the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the article box, and click OK to dismiss the prompt to create a new article box.
  3. Ctrl-click an article box you want to be read next. The second article is appended to the end of the first article. All article boxes in the piece are renumbered automatically.
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