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How to Produce a PDF Portfolio in Adobe Acrobat 9

Author Donna Baker explains how to use Adobe Acrobat 9's new Portfolio feature to bring your content together into one portable, customizable, well-organized package.
This chapter is from the book

Do you have to collect the correspondence for a contract negotiation? Or maybe you need to pull together material for a presentation to a potential customer? An Acrobat portfolio may fit the bill perfectly.

Acrobat 9 takes the idea of packages—the method used to bring together multiple PDF files within a parent file in Acrobat 8—to a new Flash-fed feature called Portfolio. In Acrobat 9 Portfolio, available in Acrobat 9 Standard and up, not only can you gather multiple files into a parent file, but you can also configure the interface used to present your files and explore other new features. For example, you can establish a folder hierarchy, search in a portfolio, apply program commands to the portfolio's contents and the overall portfolio, and use both PDF and non-PDF files in the portfolio. Each file retains its own original features and elements, such as pagination, security, forms, digital signature, and default views.

Since Portfolio is a way to bring together content from different sources, and then manage and edit the component parts in different ways, this chapter includes dozens of references to specific topics mentioned elsewhere in the book.

#25 PDF Portfolio Building 101

Acrobat 9 offers two methods for combining multiple files. Instead of merging the content of a number of files into a single PDF file (described in #20, "Merging Multiple Files into a Single PDF Document"), you can use the Combine Files dialog to build a PDF portfolio.

A portfolio is a great way to bring all the material for a project or a task together, while maintaining the features of the component files and including navigation controls. Follow these steps to compile a basic portfolio:

  1. Click the Combine task button and choose Assemble PDF Portfolio (Assemble Files into a Portfolio). Your Acrobat window is renamed the Portfolio[#].pdf window.
  2. Click Add Files at the bottom left of the window to display the Add Files dialog. Locate and select the files you want to use, and click Open.
    • The dialog closes, and the selected files are listed at the left of the Edit window (Figure 25).
      Figure 25

      Figure 25 The selected files are listed in the Portfolio Edit window.

  3. Select appearance and display options:
    • Select a layout from the Choose a Layout pane options at the right of the Portfolio window. The default uses a basic thumbnail grid (read about the other options in #26, "Customizing the Appearance").
    • Click the Add Welcome & Header bar to display the Welcome Page and Header panes. (For more on designing the Welcome Page, skip ahead to #27, "Branding a PDF Portfolio.")
    • Click the Select a Color Scheme bar to show some color scheme options, or design your own (see how that's done in #26, "Customizing the Appearance").
  4. Click the Specify File Details bar to display the files in a list view; configure the list columns in Details mode using the options in the Specify File Details pane (read more in #28, "Organizing and Modifying Contents").
  5. Click Home ch04-home.jpg on the toolbar to return to the original layout mode.
  6. Click the Publish bar to display options for managing the PDF portfolio. You can save, e-mail, or share the portfolio (see Chapter 11, "Reviewing and Collaboration," for information on sharing a portfolio on
  7. Choose File > Save (File > Save Portfolio) from the Acrobat menu and save the portfolio file.
  8. To close the portfolio and return to Acrobat, click the "X" at the upper right of the menu bar in the Portfolio window.

The finished package provides its own interface for controlling the view of the package and its contents. Read about the different views in the sidebar "The View's the Thing."

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