Entries in PDF (3)


Exhibit Lists - Do You Hyperlink Them?

Sometimes our clients ask us if we can hyperlink their exhibit list or index.  We are always more than happy to assist.  However, when working on a recent project, I learned of a way to hyperlink an exhibit list in Excel that blew my mind.  I felt compelled to share it even though it may result in some clients no longer requiring our assistance for this particular service.

Excel is an awesome program. I love going through the Microsoft template site and seeing spreadsheets that users developed to make certain tasks easier. I even took an online class to learn more about how to utilize the program. I have always thought of creating links in Excel as quite an arduous task, until now. With a simple setup and file organization you can “automatically” link your exhibit list.

To begin, this is a quick guide and works with linking to PDF files. You can link to other file types, but I want to keep this simple.

This guide also assumes that all of the files are going to be in the same folder. You can modify the formulas to direct the links point to subfolders, but again I am aiming for simplicity.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

First, filenames are important for this to work correctly. For this example we will keep it general using an EX####.pdf schema. You may use a DX, PX or JX prefix depending on which side you represent.

Next, move all of the exhibits into a folder. For this example I have them in a folder named SmithvJones on my C:\ drive.

Then copy the spreadsheet into the same folder as the exhibits.  Rename it by putting underscore in front of the file name so it will appear first in the folder. Your folder should look like this.


Open the spreadsheet and insert a new row and a new column.  Row 1 and column A will now be blank.

Also notice the “Exhibit Number” column. The easiest way for this to work is to have it match the filenames of the PDFs you have in the folder.

Select cell A1 and insert in the following formula:


When you enter that formula in you should notice that the cell now populates with the path of where your exhibit list is located.


Next, you are going to copy the exhibit numbers from the “Exhibit Number” column and paste them into column A.

Now select the cell with the first exhibit number. In this example it is cell B3. Once you have that cell type in the following: =HYPERLINK(CONCATENATE($A$1,A3,".pdf"),A3)

You may not notice anything change with the text, but if you hover over the cell you will see a dialogue box appear describing a hyperlink. This formula is creating a hyperlink based on the file path created in cell A1 then merging it with the text in column A and adding a .pdf at the end. The final part of the formula uses the text from column A to populate the cell with user-friendly text.


You can now copy that formula for the rest of column B.

Finally, you can adjust row 1 and column A over so they aren’t visible and your end product looks like this:


You could go even one step further and make the text blue to designate that you hyperlinked your exhibit list. If you choose to add this step, this is the shade of blue I like to use.



I hope you find these formulas as useful as I did. I look forward to hearing your experience with it!


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.