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Adobe Acrobat 9 How-To #110: Bookmarking Drawings, Maps, or Layers

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Bookmarks are familiar to all of us from their use in browsers. Donna L. Baker explains how to extend the capability of bookmarks by adding them to Adobe Acrobat documents containing special elements such as drawings, maps, or layers.
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Say you have an Acrobat document made up of several pages—some containing layers, some containing maps with georeferenced locations, and still others containing content with headings that you want to hyperlink with bookmarks. You can make that document easier to use by navigating from one pane only—the Layers pane.

Acrobat lets you attach bookmarks to layers, which you can use in various ways. For example, you can distribute the same information using different languages without having to provide documents in different languages, or you can show customers samples in different colors in the same document. Use bookmarks in conjunction with layers to give readers control over what they see and print. Use actions to extend the function of a bookmark beyond just pointing to a location in your document.

Bookmarking a Layered Document

The process of adding a bookmark to a drawing or map is the same as for adding a basic bookmark—that is, add and name the bookmark, display the correct view, and set the destination. The process for bookmarking a layered document requires more document manipulation.

Follow these steps to bookmark a layered document:

  1. Open the Bookmarks pane and add default bookmarks corresponding to the layers you want to link (see Figure 1). At this point, if you click any bookmark, it displays the same location on the same page.
    Figure 1

    Figure 1 Add the bookmarks used to initiate the action.

  2. Select the first-layer bookmark and name it. (To minimize confusion, sometimes it's easier to name the bookmarks and arrange them in the same order as the layers listed in the Layers pane.)
  3. In the Layers pane, toggle off the visibility for all layers except the one associated with the first bookmark.
  4. In the Bookmarks pane, right-click (Mac: Control-click) the bookmark to open the shortcut menu. Choose Properties to open the Bookmark Properties dialog box, and then select the Actions tab.
  5. From the Select Action pop-up menu, select Set Layer Visibility (see Figure 2) and then click Add. The action automatically appears in the Actions section at the bottom of the dialog box.
    Figure 2

    Figure 2 Specify the bookmark's link to the displayed layer in the Actions tab.

  6. A notification dialog box opens to tell you that the target layer state of the selected actions will be set to the current state. In other words, set the destination layer you want to see as a result of clicking a bookmark, and leave the rest hidden. Click OK. The action is added to the Actions list.
  7. Repeat these steps with the other layers. Be sure to hide all layers except the one you are attaching to the bookmark.
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