Portfolios and Reader Versions
The next question I hear is something like, “So, I create a portfolio masterpiece in Acrobat X and send it to people to be viewed in previous versions of Adobe Reader. How well does that work?” If the person views the portfolio in Adobe Reader 9 or X, it will appear as you created it. When opened in Adobe Reader 8, the PDF Portfolio will act like a PDF Package and in version 7 and 6, the contents will appear as attachments (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 How the portfolio may appear in earlier versions of Reader
Because the portfolio layout is actually a SWF file and only Acrobat 9 can view it, earlier versions (typically Reader 8) will display a cover sheet (see Figure 3). The cover sheet was introduced in Acrobat 8 as part of a PDF Package (the precursor to portfolios) and by default is a single page PDF that was used as a wrapper around the other content. In Acrobat 9 and X, the cover sheet appears when you view it in Adobe Reader 8. You can create your own cover sheet as a way for the portfolio to “degrade gracefully.” Check out the “The PDF Developer Junkie Blog” to learn how to create a custom cover sheet.
Figure 3 The cover sheet as seen in Reader 8