Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs

Include audio, video, and interactive 3D objects in your PDF files. Add files directly to your PDF or link to files on the web.

Multimedia and PDFs (Acrobat Pro)

Adding video, sound, and interactive content transforms PDFs into multidimensional communication tools that increase interest and engagement in your documents.

All multimedia that are H.264 compliant can be played back in Adobe Reader 9 and later. (H.264, also known as MPEG-4 part 10, is a video compression standard that provides high-quality video without substantially increasing file size.) Video files of varying formats and filename extensions can be H.264 compliant.

Media files in other formats can be played back in earlier versions of Adobe Reader. However, users must install the appropriate application (such as QuickTime or Windows Media Player) to play the multimedia.

Another way to add multimedia is by entering a URL that refers to a video file or streaming media. Three types of URLs can be used: RTMP, HTTP, and HTTPS. On HTTP and HTTPS servers, H.264-compliant MOV and MP4 files are supported.

Add multimedia files to a PDF

Acrobat Pro supports .mp3, .mov, and other files encoded in H.264 (with AAC audio). You can convert other file types into one of the supported formats by using Adobe Media Encoder. You can also add mp3 audio files to a PDF for playback on any platform.


FLV and F4V files are no longer supported in both Acrobat and PDFMaker. You cannot embed FLV and F4V files using either Acrobat or PDFMaker.

  1. Open the PDF.
  2. Choose Tools > Rich Media, and then select the Add 3D, Add Video , or the Add Sound   tool.

  3. Drag or double-click to select the area on the page where you want the video or sound to appear. The Insert dialog box opens.

    If you double-click the page, Acrobat Pro places the upper-left corner of the video where you clicked. If you drag an area on the page, the media is placed within the area. The play area of the video is the exact size of the video frame (if Acrobat Pro is able to read the video clip dimensions).

  4. Add a URL in the Name field, or click Browse to find the media file, and then click Open.

    For URLs, use the full file address, including the video filename extension, such as .mov or .mp4.

  5. Use the advanced options on the Insert dialog box to change the media if needed, and then click OK.

    Not all of these options are available for all media types.

    Snap To Content Proportions

    Ensures that the play area retains the height and width ratios of the original video or interactive content.

    Show Advanced Options

    Opens the dialog for additional settings such as launch settings, playback controls, and video settings. The options available depends on the format of the media you are inserting.

Advanced multimedia options (Acrobat Pro)

To view advanced multimedia options when you insert video, sound, or interactive content, select Show Advanced Options in the Insert dialog box.

You can also change these options after multimedia has been added to a PDF. Double-click the multimedia with the Select Object tool (Tools > Rich Media > Select Object).


Video and sound quality settings can only be changed when a file is added to a PDF.

Launch Settings tab

Use these settings to determine how the media is started and stopped, where it is displayed, and what is displayed when the media isn’t running.

Activation Settings

Select options to determine when the media is played and stopped. From the Playback Style menu, select Play Content In Floating Window to have the video or interactive content run outside the page. Content in a floating window enables users to read the page and view the video or application at the same time.

Border Width

Creates a black border around the video or interactive content. For sound, the border surrounds the poster image.

Poster Image

To use an image that is not part of the file you are adding, select Create Poster From File. Click Browse to find the image you want to be displayed when the video, sound, or interactive content is not activated.

Controls tab

Use to set up which playback controls (skins) are available.


Select the set of playback controls (skin) you want to be displayed on the video.


Click to open the color palette and choose a color for the controls.


Sets the degree of transparency for the playback controls.

Autohide controls

When selected, hides the play controls when the mouse pointer is not over the multimedia.

Video tab

Available when you are adding a video.

Preview and Trim

Drag the Start and End markers below the slider bar to remove unwanted frames from the clip. This option is only available when a video clip is first added to a PDF.

Set Poster Image From Current Frame

The poster image is displayed when the video isn’t playing. Drag the marker on the top of the slider bar to the frame you want to use, and then click Set Poster Image From Current Frame.

Chapter Points

Use Chapter Points to create markers in a video from which to launch specific actions. For example, in a training video, chapter points can link to additional information in a file or on the Web.

To create a chapter point, move the slider to the frame you want to use. In Chapter Points, click the plus sign. To add an action, highlight the chapter point in the list and click Actions.


Generally, Chapter Point actions can be added only after the multimedia has been created. You can then edit the play area and add Chapter Point actions.  

Edit the play area (Acrobat Pro)

  1. Select Tools > Rich Media > Select Object and click on a multimedia object.

    When you move the tool over the play area, handles appear on the borders of the play area, even when the borders are invisible.

  2. Click the play area to select it, and then do any of the following:
    • Move the clip by dragging its icon to a new location on the page.

    • Delete the clip by selecting it and pressing Delete.

    • Resize the clip by dragging one of the corners of the frame until it is the desired size. Hold down Shift to retain the correct proportions for video clips.

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