Can a PDF Portfolio have bookmarks?

People just love bookmarks, the TOC-like panel that let you jump from page to page in a PDF:

Bookmarks Panel in Acrobat

People like Bookmarks so much, they wish they could have the same organization tool for a PDF Portfolio, which is a collection of individual documents in a PDF container. I have several other articles you can read on Portfolios in my Portfolio Category.

While PDF Portfolios don’t have bookmarks per se, I do have a workaround that might make many of you happy.

Can’t get enough Rick? Follow my daily life on Twitter.

Before I get started . . .

Because I know someone will call me out on this, I should explain that the PDF Portfolio cover sheet can actually have bookmarks. If you open a Portfolio and choose View—> Portfolio—> Cover Sheet, you can add bookmarks to the “backbone” PDF file. However, it is very challenging to move between the cover sheet and the actual documents, so I don’t find this to be a great solution.

Rick’s Workaround

You can get many of the benefits of bookmarks without a lot of work through this simple workaround to split your screen.

This procedure allows you to easily “walk” across the documents in a PDF Portfolio in a bookmark-like manner.

Here’s how:

  1. Open a PDF Portfolio
  2. Go to the List View
  3. Click the List View button
  4. The screen should look something like this:
  5. List View of a PDF Portfolio
  6. Choose Window—> Split Vertical.
    Your screen will now look like this:
  7. Click on any of the documents in the left panel to preview them on the right:

It’s not perfect . . .

There are a few limitations on this workaround:

  1. Acrobat does not automatically preview the first file in the list. We have this logged as a bug. It’s not a deal breaker, but a little inconvenient.
  2. After you close the Portfolio, the view settings are not retained. You will need to go back to List View and split again. The free Joel’s Portfolio Utilities can help by letting you set the initial view to the List View.