Tuesday
Nov292011

Bookmarks are the Bomb!

Probably one of the most helpful, yet underutilized feature of Acrobat is the bookmark tool. I like to think of a PDF is as a binder of paper. That binder is obviously useful since all of the paper is in one location and you can page through it, but what makes that binder even more useful? The tabs. You wouldn’t put a group of exhibits in a binder without tabs to denote the exhibit breaks, would you? So why not treat your PDFs the same way? Adding bookmarks creates your “tabs.”

Creating bookmarks is a skill that should become second nature to anyone using PDFs to review a set of documents. This post will be a quick overview of how to use bookmarks in Adobe Acrobat X on a Windows PC.

For this example, I have a 291-page PDF which is made up of numerous exhibits. First, I am going to check to see if there are any bookmarks in the document by selecting the bookmark button located on the left hand side of the screen.

 

Doing so opens the bookmark panel.  In this case, there are no bookmarks.

 

Now to quickly create a bookmark, the keyboard short cut is Ctrl+B. This will create a bookmark to the current page. You can then type in whatever text you want for the bookmark. In this example we will simply call it EXHIBIT 1.

 

Now paging through the file I come to a slip sheet for EXHIBIT 2, and I will create the bookmark by following the steps above.

 

You can easily test the functionality of the bookmarks. Clicking on the EXHIBIT 1 bookmark will take you to Exhibit 1. Same for EXHIBIT 2. Simple, right?

Now if your document is text searchable, magic can really happen. Let’s page through to Exhibit 3. Select the Selection Tool for Text and Images.

 

Now highlight the text on the slip sheet.

 

Now that the text is highlighted, press Ctrl+B. BAM!

 

How awesome is that!

Now paging through the remainder of the file, I am going to add bookmarks for the rest of the document breaks.

 

Sometimes this is all that is necessary to make your document easier to navigate. But let’s say you want each exhibit to be its own PDF document. We can use Acrobat to split the file by its bookmarks.

First, select the Split Document option under the Tools heading.

 

A dialogue box will open for options. Select Top-level bookmarks then the Output Options button.

 

The Output Options are pretty customizable, but for this example I am going to keep it simple and keep the files in the same folder and use the bookmark names for the file names. Then click OK. The Split Document dialogue box will open once again. Click OK.

 

 

The process will run and a dialogue box will appear once it is complete.

 

Now navigating to the folder you will see that each exhibit is now its own PDF named by the bookmark.

 

As you can see bookmarks can make navigating a PDF much easier and are simple to add once you get the hang of it.  Want to learn more about the power of bookmarks in creating hyperlinked eBriefs, check out our e-manual, Creating eBriefs – A Step-by-Step Guide for the Legal Professional, available in both the iBookstore and at Barnes and Noble.

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