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Like this article? We recommend Add Bookmarks to Your Document

Add Bookmarks to Your Document

Bookmarks in a PDF are sort of like an interactive table of contents that allows you to navigate a PDF by clicking the bookmarks in the Bookmarks panel in Acrobat or Reader. They are really easy to set up in InDesign, but can take a little bit of time.

  1. In your document, navigate to the first page.
  2. Open the Bookmarks panel by choosing Window > Interactive > Bookmarks.
  3. In the Bookmarks panel, click the Create New Bookmark button at the bottom of the panel.
  4. Change the name of the new bookmark in the panel from “Bookmark 1” to whatever you like. Just know that people that open the PDF will see those names, so name them appropriately so as to help them know where the bookmark will lead them in the PDF (see Figure 12).
  5. Figure 12 Create your first bookmark

  6. Test out the bookmark by navigating to another page in the document, then double–click the bookmark name in the Bookmarks panel.
  7. Navigate to another page in the document (page 2). Select some text on the page like a heading, then create a bookmark using the method described earlier. Notice how the bookmark is named in the Bookmarks panel with the selected text (see Figure 13). Also, notice that the icon for each bookmark in the Bookmarks panel looks different. That doesn’t matter when you export to PDF—they are both bookmarks, but the “Meridien’s ‘Green Light’ District” bookmark is actually a destination.
  8. Figure 13 Create a bookmark from selected text

  9. In the Bookmarks panel, try dragging a bookmark to reorder the bookmarks listed, much like layers in the Layers panel in InDesign. As you drag, you will notice a black line appear above or below another bookmark, telling you where it will be placed. If you want to nest bookmarks, drag a bookmark in the panel on top of another bookmark. An arrow appears to the left of the bookmark name indicating nested bookmark(s) (see Figure 14).
  10. Figure 14 Reorder bookmarks in the Bookmarks panel

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