Entries in Acrobat X (3)


Simple Steps to Enhance Your PDF

Last week the report regarding the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying scandal was released. The scandal is pretty big news here in South Florida, so I decided to take a look at the report. I wasn’t too interested in the content of the report. I was interested in seeing how it was presented, and honestly, I was kind of disappointed.

I realize most people just open this and see a 148 page PDF that was converted from a document created in Word, giving little thought to what could have been done to present this better content-wise, I’m not going to even go there, but one could have done a few relatively simple things in Acrobat just to add a little more functionality to this document and provide a much better experience for the reader

First off, the table of contents could have been linked. This could have been done through Word using the Create PDF function or added in later using Acrobat’s link tool. Same goes for the bookmark navigation. My post on creating bookmarks can be found here.

The document open options could have been set. This is a little-known feature in Acrobat, but you can set a PDF to open the same way no matter the default settings on the end-user’s computer. For example, my default zoom in Acrobat is set so the entire page is visible. My business partner’s machine is set so PDFs open in Acrobat to the Fit Width zoom level. But if you go into the document properties (File->Properties or Ctrl+d) you can set the Initial View so the document will open the same way no matter the end-user’s settings. My personal preference is Bookmark Panel and Page selected, Page layout set to Single Page and Magnification set at Fit Width.


One could also make the page numbers of the document match the numbers of the PDF. So in this example, if I was to go to page 24 of the PDF it is actually page 20 of the document. This can become quite confusing if you are trying to reference a part of the document with a colleague.


So using the Number Pages tool found under the Document Processing heading you can set the document page numbers to match the page in the actual document.


Finally, to really add functionality to the document, the articles cited in Appendix A could have been hyperlinked. I am assuming the documents were attached to the real report, but for me, I had to do a search on Google Scholar to locate some of them. The links could have directed the reader to either a PDF download of the article or to the website where they could be downloaded for a fee.

Again, I am not rendering any sort of opinion on the document’s content. However, adding a few extra features to this simple PDF would make it really stand out. I took the original report and added these little touches. It can be found here. (Note: I didn’t link all of Appendix A; I just did a couple links just to get a feel.) Even an Acrobat novice could accomplish these tasks in less than 30 minutes. This is just a small example of what one can do with PDF documents. Now imagine using these tips on your next filing or demand letter! If you need further assistance in making your PDF documents more user- friendly, feel free to contact us and let us help you out.


I love java...script.

Lately I have been researching different types of javascripts for use in Acrobat X. There are a number of really cool scripts out there and, from what I have found, some are even free or relatively inexpensive.

I thought it might be helpful to share a few scripts that I have come across or created to make certain tasks simpler or make the end user’s Acrobat experience easier.

Stamping Documents

One site I visit often is Rick Borstein’s Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog. He has numerous tips on how to use Acrobat in the legal field. I met him a couple years ago at a demonstration for Acrobat X. He is a super guy and really wants to help people get the most out of their Adobe investment.  I have downloaded a couple of Rick’s actions, which has made some of my processes much easier to complete.  I find one of the javascripts he has posted to be incredibly useful, and I believe it will be helpful for any attorney using Acrobat.  While the post is a couple of years old, the script is still very relevant. It assists with the stamping of documents and has the option to add page numbers for easy reference. In my line of work I don’t really stamp documents, but if I did, I would definitely be using this tool. The best part of this script: It’s free!

Download it here.

Printing Based on Bookmark Breaks

I recently had a client who had a PDF of merged exhibits separated by bookmark. The problem they were having was that when they would print, they would occasionally forget to change the page range and then accidentally print the entire document. Sometimes this would result in hundreds of pages of wasted paper.

The client needed an easy way for the end user to print a document based on the bookmark breaks. (Note: They were aware that one can print the sections by right-clicking on the bookmark title and then selecting print, but the goal was to make this as user-friendly as possible. When printing this way, the document is sent directly to the default printer, which can be cumbersome when you have multiple printers and prefer a different printer.) I contacted a script developer I have been following for some time and he quickly created a script. This script goes through the document, finds the bookmark page breaks, and creates a button on the first page of each document that will print the specific section. As of this writing, the script was not yet available on his site, but my guess is, if you contact him he will send you a copy for a nominal charge.

Insert PDF Filename in Title Field

Finally, one of the scripts I use regularly is a rather simple process that inserts the PDF filename into the title field of the PDF document information. It helps in instances when I need to shorten the filename, but I still need the information for other tasks. Click here to download the Action and instructions on how to utilize it.


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.