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Guidance: Adding and Moving PDF Bookmarks

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Any PDF document over 9 pages must have bookmarks included. Bookmarks are navigational links to content/points of interest within the document. They provide users with a means of quickly navigating the document.

This module supplements “Making Accessible PDFs” and assumes you are working with Adobe Acrobat 8.0.

If the source document was properly formatted, bookmarks will transfer over to the PDF.

Bookmarks should be checked to ensure they correspond to the table of contents (if one is included in the document) or highlight points of interest in the document.

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Display Bookmarks

Adobe Acrobat 8 displays bookmarks by clicking on the Bookmark icon Acrobat bookmark icon on the left side of the window.

Bookmark Icon in the navigation panel

The bookmark icon will open up and display all bookmarks available in the document.

If no bookmarks are available, the panel will be blank as shown below.

Empty Bookmark Panel

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Insert Bookmarks

Bookmarks may be inserted by two methods. Typically there is a bookmark for each item listed in a table of contents.

Method 1 to insert a bookmark to a top of page:
This method is used when the topic being linked to the bookmark is at the top of a page.

To insert a bookmark at the top of a page:

  1. Page down through the document to the desired page for the bookmark and click on the New Bookmark iconAcrobat new bookmark icon.
  2. An “Untitled” bookmark will be displayed in the bookmark panel. Enter an appropriate title.
New untitled bookmark

Method 2 to enter a bookmark that goes directly to a topic on a page:
This method is used when the topic being linked to is in the middle of a page.

  1. Go to the page with the topic.
  2. Click on the “Select Text” tool found in the “Select & Zoom” tool bar.

    Select Text icon

  3. Highlight the text that will be set as a bookmark.

    Highlighted text in PDF document

  4. Click on the New Bookmark IconAcrobat new bookmark icon.
  5. The new bookmark will be displayed beneath the last bookmark entered.

    New Bookmark has been inserted

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Move a Bookmark

In the example shown below, the bookmark, “Summary of the Strategic Framework” should actually be a sub-heading under the bookmark “Background”.

Displaying out of order bookmark

To move a bookmark:

  1. Click on the bookmark to be moved, it will become highlighted.

    How to select a bookmark

  2. Keep the mouse button depressed and move the cursor to the area where it should be located. The line icon Acrobat line iconwill indicate the position of the bookmark being moved.

    Display move bookmark image in navigation panel

  3. Release the mouse button once the bookmark is properly positioned.

    Bookmark in new position

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Testing Bookmarks:

To test the bookmarks, click on a bookmark mark icon  in the navigation panel; be sure the page displayed matches with the bookmark title.

Bookmark and document location display

This completes the supplement for adding bookmarks into PDF documents.

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