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Workspace basics | Acrobat

  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

Before you begin

We're rolling out a new, more intuitive product experience. If the screen shown here doesn’t match your product interface, select help for your current experience.

In the new experience, the tools appear on the left side of the screen.

Know your workspace

Adobe Acrobat application has the following three views:

  • Home view - The application's landing page or the default page when no document is open in Acrobat.
  • All tools view - Page that lists all the tools available in Acrobat.
  • Document view - The default view when a document is open in Acrobat. When you open multiple documents, each document opens as a tab in the same application window.

Adobe Acrobat application also allows you to customize views, easily navigate through pages, set Preferences, and more.

Home view

The Home view gives you quick access to your recent files, shared files, frequently used tools, to-do tasks, and storage accounts.

Home page of Adobe Acrobat desktop application.

A. Application menu B. Create a PDF C. See all tools D. Help E. Notifications F. Adobe Account G. List view H. Thumbnail view I. Home page menu 

From the Acrobat Home page, you can do the following tasks:

  • Access Recent files - Select the Recent tab to view the list of the files that you recently worked on. It may contain the files on your system, on Adobe cloud storage, or other third-party storage like OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, SharePoint, and Google Drive. You can filter the files to view the list of files that were shared by you,  shared by others, or the files on your system. The Sharing label indicates whether the file is shared or local to you.
  • View quick details - When you select any file from the list, a right panel displays on the right showing a thumbnail preview of the file and a list of frequently used tools. You can select any tool to perform the desired action on the file.
  • Access Starred files - You can view all your starred files by selecting Starred from the left panel. You can label your important files as starred for quick access across various devices. The starred files are copied to Adobe cloud storage. To hide the starred file from your list of recent files, select  > Preferences > General and then deselect View Starred files in Recent tab.
  • Access the files on Adobe cloud storage - All your files stored on Adobe cloud storage can be accessed from the Your files, Scans, Shared by you, or Shared by others links under the Adobe cloud storage menu on the left panel.
  • View and sign agreements - From the left panel, select Adobe Acrobat Sign under Agreements to view and manage the agreements that you have sent or received.
  • Access files from other storage accounts - From your online accounts, such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Microsoft SharePoint. You can add the accounts using the Add Account link in the left pane. For more information, see Working with online accounts.
  • Get notifications - The notification bell notifies you of any status change on the shared documents. It displays notifications about all the incoming and outgoing requests for documents shared for viewing, reviewing, and signing. For more information, see Document Cloud notifications.
  • Access tools - You can quickly access a few tools from the toolbar at the top of the Home page.
  • Manage account - To edit or update your account, select the profile icon from the top-right corner and then select Manage my account. It opens your account page where you can view your subscribed plans or edit your profile.
  • Get help - For any query related to using the Acrobat app, you can select xx from the top bar and access Acrobat Help, view Acrobat Tutorials, provide feedback, or learn about new features.

All tools view

From the toolbars on the Home page, select See all tools to view all the tools available in Acrobat or Reader. The tools are listed in categories. When you select any tool, it displays the tool-specific menu on the left panel. You can select any command to take action on the open document. If you do not have any document open, choose Select a file to open the file that you want to work on.  

List of all the tools available in the Adobe Acrobat desktop applicaiton.
All tools page lists the tools by categories.

Document view

When you open a document in the Acrobat app, it is displayed under a new tab with an 'All tools' menu in the left panel, a Quick action toolbar, and a right side panel, as shown below.   

Adobe Acrobat desktop application view when a PDF is open.

A. Home page B. Quick action toolbar C. Print D. Share E. Get a link to the document F. Comments tool G. Bookmark tool H. Page thumbnails tool I. Reading order tool J. Accessibility tags K. Rotate page L. Page display settings M. Zoom in/out 

View multiple documents

When you open multiple PDFs, the application opens each PDF as a separate tab in the same application by default. Previous and Next buttons are displayed towards the right to navigate through document tabs when you open several documents that do not fit the document view.

Customize views

Change Display themes

You can change the overall look and feel of your Acrobat application by changing the display themes. To choose the theme, go to   > View > Display theme, and then select one of the following themes:

  • System Theme - Acrobat changes the UI as per the OS theme. If the OS theme is changed while Acrobat is running, then Acrobat’s theme also gets updated.
  • Light grey - This is the default theme. All the UI elements and the document background appear light gray.
  • Dark grey -  It improves visual ergonomics by reducing eye strain, improves screen usage in dark environments, and saves battery. The dark theme is now extended to include the top menu, on-page context menu, scroll bar, and comments pane.

Customize Quick action toolbar

When you open a document in Acrobat, it displays a Quick action toolbar that allows you to quickly access the frequently used tools. 

Quick actions toolbar in work on PDFs in Adobe Acrobat desktop application.

A. Select tool B. Comment tool C. Highlight tool D. Draw tool E. Fill text fields F. Add Sign or Intials 

You can change the tools that appear on the Quick action toolbar as per your specific requirements.

To customize the Quick action toolbar: 

  1. From the Quick action toolbar, select   > Customize.

    Customize quick actions toolbar

  2. In the Customize quick action toolbar dialog that opens, take the following actions as required:

    • To add a tool, select the tool in the right pane and then select 
    • To remove a tool from the toolbar, select the tool and then select 
    • To change the position of a tool, select it and use up and down arrows to move it to the desired position. 
    • To add a vertical line to separate groups of tools in the toolbar, select 
    Customize the quick actions toolbar by adding or removing tools.

Customize side panels

Acrobat allows you to customize the side panel menus to view the tools that you want to quickly access while working on a document. To customize the side panels, use any of the following two ways:

  • Right-click on the side panel and then from the dialog that opens, select the tools that you want to view or deselect the tools that you want to hide.
  • Go to   > View > Show/Hide > Side panels and select the tools you want to view and deselect the ones you want to hide.

Unlike the menus that appear at the top of your screen, Context menus display commands related to the active tool or selection. You can use context menus as a quick way to choose commonly used commands. For example, when you right-click the side panel, it displays the side panel customizing menu. When you right-click on the document, it displays the document context menu, as shown below. 

Context menu of a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat


(Mac OS) If you don’t have a two-button mouse, you can display a context menu by pressing the Control key as you click with the mouse.

Navigate through pages

You can easily navigate through the pages of a document by going to  > View > Page navigation and using the navigation menu tools, as shown below. 

PDF document navigation tools in Adobe Acrobat desktop application

The navigation tools also appear at the bottom of the right panel which allows you to have quick access to the navigation buttons.

  • You can use the up and down arrows to navigate through the pages.
  • To jump to a page, type the desired page number in the box.
  • To rotate the page, select the rotate icon.
  • To change the page display settings, select  and then select the desired tool. 

Buttons at the top of the side panel provide access to tools such as Page Thumbnails Bookmarks Comments , and more. 

When you select a tool, it appears in a column on the left side of the work area. You can change the width of the navigation pane by dragging its right border.


The creator of the PDF can control the contents of some navigation panels and may make them empty.

Set preferences

You can go to  > Preferences to change settings for display, tools, conversion, signatures, performance, and more. 

In the Preferences dialog, under Categories, select the type of preference you want to change. Once you set preferences, they remain in effect until you change them.

Restore (re-create) preferences

Restore the Acrobat preferences files in Windows

Restore the Acrobat Preferences folder to eliminate problems that damaged preferences cause. Most preference problems are caused by these file-based preferences, although most Acrobat preferences are stored within the registry.


This solution removes custom settings for Collaboration, JavaScripts, Security, Stamps, Color Management, Auto Fill, Web Capture, and Updater.

  1. Quit Acrobat.

  2. In Windows Explorer, go to the Preferences folder:

    • (Windows 10, 8, or 7) C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\[version]


    In Windows 10 or 8, if you cannot see the AppData folder, click the View menu on the ribbon in Windows Explorer and select the Hidden items check box under Show/Hide.

  3. Move the Preferences folder to another location (for example, C:\Temp).

  4. Restart Acrobat.

If the problem recurs after you restore the Acrobat Preferences folder, then the problem isn’t related to the Preferences folder. To restore custom settings, drag the folder you moved in step 2 back to its original location. Then click Yes To All to replace the new Preferences folder.

Restore the Acrobat preferences files in Mac OS

In case you are facing problems due to a damaged preferences file, you can restore the Acrobat preferences files to get the default settings. To do so:

  1. Quick the Adobe Acrobat application.

  2. Drag the following files from the Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences folder to the Desktop:

    • Acrobat WebCapture Cookies

    • com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist or com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_x86_9.0.plist

    • Acrobat Distiller Prefs and com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist (if you are troubleshooting an issue with Distiller)

    • The Acrobat folder, which contains preferences for forms (MRUFormsList), collaboration (OfflineDocs), and color settings (AcrobatColor Settings.csf)

  3. Restart the application.

If the problem recurs after you restore the Acrobat preferences files, then the problem isn’t related to the preferences files. To restore custom settings:

  1. Drag the files you moved in Step 2 back to their original location.
  2. For the alert “A newer item named ‘[filename]’ already exists in this location. Do you want to replace it with the older one you're moving?”, select Ok.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Under Categories, select the type of preference you want to change.


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