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pdf bookmark editor freewareLike it or hate it, Adobe rules the roost when it comes to the Portable Document Format (PDF). Even as Adobe Reader puffed up with importance and size, free alternatives 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader Read More came into the scene. They brought in new features and some you could only find in the commercial Adobe Acrobat, the paid big brother of the still free Adobe Reader.

Great! But for me as a lay reader, the one thing that strikes a discordant note when I am using the free Adobe Reader X is the absence of a bookmarking feature. Just how the heck am I supposed to start from where I left off reading a 1000 page ebook?

Why Adobe would nix out such a basic feature is beyond me, but that forced me to look for solutions as a workaround.

The Easy Way to Remember a Page in Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader does not let you create and place new bookmarks, but there’s one little setting you can apply that will help the software remember the last page that was opened by the PDF reader. It is ‘technically’ not a bookmark, but it’s a handy workaround that takes just a checkmark. Follow the steps below to enable the native feature.

1. In Adobe Reader, go to Edit – Preferences (or CTRL + K).

2. Click on Documents under the listed categories on the left.

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3. As shown in the screenshot, enable the feature that says – Restore last view settings when reopening document. Click OK and exit.

pdf bookmark editor freeware

Now, open any number of PDF documents; Adobe Reader remembers the page you left it at. This may not be a bookmarking solution, may not give you the option to mark out multiple points in a book, but is a simple elegant answer to our basic requirement when we open up an ebook in a PDF reader.

JavaScript Has the Answer

Call this a plug-in or an Adobe back, but it is the only solution I could find to deliberately introduce a bookmarking feature in Adobe Reader. The small 5KB JavaScript file is packaged in a downloadable ZIP file at PDF Hacks.

1. Download and unzip the small file. Copy it into your Acrobat Reader JavaScript’s directory. In my Win XP machine it is located at – C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 10.0\Reader\Javascripts.

2. Open any PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Reader and open the View menu. Four new items are clearly visible under the menu – Bookmark this page, Go to bookmark, Remove bookmark and Clear bookmarks. The numbers (5,6) next to the top two options refers to the keyboard shortcut keys.

bookmark a pdf

3. The functions are pretty much self-explanatory. From the page you want to bookmark, click on Bookmark this page. The following box opens up and you can assign a name to the bookmark.

bookmark a pdf

4. Clicking on Go to bookmark opens up a floating box and a click on each takes you to each successive bookmark you have set. You can bookmark as many numbers of pages as you want.

bookmark a pdf

5. Remove bookmark allows you to remove a single bookmark and Clear bookmarks wipes out all the bookmarks in one go.

Note: For some PDF files, the hack works smoothly. In others, you might get an internal error notification. Right click on a page in the PDF file and click on Page Display Preferences. Under JavaScript, make sure the boxes on the right are checked as in the following screen.

pdf bookmark editor freeware

Inspite of the larger memory footprint of Adobe Reader in comparison to other (free) alternatives, there are some benefits like better rendering of PDF documents. The new Sandbox feature has also improved security. But the missing feature of user-bookmarking is an irritant when it comes to readers like you and me. These two simple, no hassle solutions allow us to use Adobe Reader and enjoy a few of its merits.

Do you know of any other way to bookmark ebooks in Adobe Reader? Did these two tips solve your PDF bookmarking issues? Let us know.

 

  1. Yead
    September 26, 2016 at 6:03 am

    awesome stuff and very useful. Thanks

  2. Aloha
    September 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    works, many thanks!

    • Saikat Basu
      September 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Yes...it stil does. And the many comments here just underscore the importance of having this as a default feature.

  3. Bestsellers
    September 1, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Good solution.

  4. antonio
    August 25, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Good solution.
    It would be neat though if it were possible to integrate those bookmarks into the navigation pane.
    More straightforward access.
    The suggested software (pdfhacks) seems to be from 2004, a less privileged time for pdf stuff.
    Looking for alternatives.
    But great start! Thank you.

    • Saikat Basu
      August 27, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Should be a default feature TBH. Do post here if you find a good alternative.

  5. Mohsen
    August 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    thank you for help me :)

  6. MorganTWD
    April 9, 2016 at 2:54 am

    How do I use the keyboard shortcuts, pressing 5 or 6 on my keyboard doesn't do anything. What am I doing wrong?

    • Saikat Basu
      April 11, 2016 at 6:29 am

      It's been some time since I used this. Press CTRL and then the number key.

      • MorganTWD
        April 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        Thanks for the reply, but that doesn't work for me. I tried other key combinations too but no joy. Pressing CTRL + 6 adds a sticky note instead of the 'Go to bookmark' function. Maybe the keyboard shortcuts just don't work with my version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (2015 Release). I'll have to stick to using the mouse. Still good, just slower.

        • Jeff Tan
          May 6, 2016 at 5:55 am

          Press Alt and V at a same time, then press the number key.

  7. Rinaldo
    April 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    That is awesome! One Doubt, can i create nested bookmarks?

    • Saikat Basu
      April 6, 2016 at 11:52 am

      No...nested bookmarks isn't possible with this. But it is an idea.

  8. Ayaz
    March 16, 2016 at 5:38 am

    good

  9. Indhumathi
    March 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    A handy solution for an important problem. Thank you so much!!

  10. Gretchen
    March 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    So simple yet so brilliant! Thank you!

  11. Jose
    January 13, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Many thanks, you are so helpful

  12. Mani
    December 31, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I tried to load it but keep getting an error. What am I doing wrong?

  13. Bob
    December 27, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Worked like a champ. You saved me may waster minutes. Thanks!

  14. efinito lafable jr
    December 15, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    very useful specially now that i'm pursuing my mba..thanks a lot.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Glad it helped. Best of luck with your MBA. Try out John's advice with sticky notes (below) too.

  15. John
    December 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I have also used sticky notes as de facto book marks. When you click on comments on the right-top corner of the document, it will list all of your sticky notes, and you can navigate through the document by clicking on them.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 13, 2015 at 8:10 am

      That's a good workaround as well. Thanks John.

  16. Guldem
    December 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you very much! This has been the perfect solution that I have been looking for for a long while.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      You are welcome. I am glad this is helping out so many of our readers. Most of the credit goes to PDF Hacks of course.

  17. santosh
    November 19, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    superb thanks

  18. Darshan Patel
    November 3, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Thank u soooooooooooo much........for this solution...........it help's me a lot.........great work.......

  19. Digvijay K.
    October 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

    That was one easy solution. Just applied in my reader DC. Thanks.

  20. Fiaz Mohammed Raffi
    October 22, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Thanks a lot... this is really awesome and works well

    • Saikat Basu
      October 26, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Fiaz, Glad to know that so many readers are finding this useful. All credit to the guy who created the PDF Hack in the first place :)

  21. Adrian Mbugua
    September 27, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks works great ! Finding this was a miracle since Adobe insist on calling table of content bookmarks so all you get when you google is how to create a table of content !

    I don't know why the have insisted of not including such an obvious feature on their reader, remembering I have to start scrolling my books just to find where I left of is enough for me to procrastinate on my reading !

    Again Thanks Alot

    • Saikat Basu
      September 28, 2015 at 3:24 am

      The other alternative is to use a lightweight PDF reader that actually supports bookmarks.

  22. John G. Rivera
    September 17, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Here's what doesn't make sense.... When I opened my PDF ebook on the left hand side of Adobe Reader it says right there bookmarks and it has a list of each and every chapter and sub chapter and you can click on them. Although this bookmark feature does not bookmark/ save your page it makes me wonder what is the purpose of this bookmark feature in adobe reader if it doesn't do anything? I tried it and it wouldn't bookmark my ebook when I opened up the ebook again I was back to page 1 however using your methods described here did the trick. Just doesn't make sense especially since it's a feature I am sure many people will use.

    • Saikat Basu
      September 17, 2015 at 3:17 am

      My best guess is that Adobe just wants to keep it as a simple reader -- nothing more, nothing less.

      But yes, they should probably rename "bookmarks" to something like Contents or Table of Contents.

      • John G. Rivera
        September 17, 2015 at 4:15 am

        Well as a reader who reads a lot of books digitally through my tablet I use adobe reader quite often. A bookmark feature would be perfect to bookmark the page you left off on when you're in the middle of a chapter and have to stop reading for whatever reason. Nonetheless it is what it is at least I was able to use the workaround to bookmark my pages.

        • gp_70
          October 14, 2015 at 3:20 pm

          Actually, the reader will already do that, but you have to change a setting in the preferences. Go to edit, then preferences. In the "documents" section, check "restore last view settings when opening documents".

  23. Barun Ghosh
    September 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Thanks a lot !

  24. Code Obfuscator
    August 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    thanks...that was very useful.

  25. Tom Crombie
    August 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Both work great, thanks!

    • Saikat Basu
      August 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I wish they would make this default features in all PDF readers. C'mon -- anything that has to do with reading has to have a bookmark!

  26. Joecha Thomas
    June 7, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Wonderful. so simple Thanks

  27. suresh
    May 14, 2015 at 4:53 am

    thank you sir

  28. Charl
    May 12, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Thanks a million, it works 100%! I've been looking for something like this for a long time.

  29. Mike
    April 26, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Very nice fix, and a good example of technical communication.

  30. Travis
    April 22, 2015 at 3:25 am

    It doesn't work for me! >:(

  31. some guy
    April 22, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Thanks. Trying to study for a logistics course & was baffled as to why there wasn't a goddamn bookmark.

  32. Jarmo
    April 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  33. Alan
    March 20, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Very useful. Is there a way to make the bookmarks appear in a bookmark pane on the left?

    • Saikat
      March 21, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Using the JavaScript hack opens up a floating box but not anything on the left pane.

  34. JamesR404
    March 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

    That's great! I have to read large volumes of PDFs at the moment, and this is a godsend. T H A N K S.

  35. Daniel
    March 7, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks!!
    Perfect for a pdf addicted like me.

  36. RavenMind
    February 27, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this info. This is exactly what I was looking for! :)

    • Saikat
      February 27, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Thanks for the note of appreciation. That's fuel for us writers.

  37. jakee308
    February 22, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Tried this and it was just what i was looking for. I have a bunch of tech books to read and I was very frustrated by the lack of being able to bookmark where I left off. Thank you.

    • Saikat
      February 23, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Glad it helped. I am still surprised that such a basic thing isn't part of Adobe Reader.

  38. Fran
    February 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    It works great in the first document I read, but then all the bookmarks show up in the next one, too! Can you help fix this?

    Thank you.

    • Fran
      February 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Never mind! I found the answer: apparently the bookmarks you create persist across sessions because the data is stored in a persistent, global JavaScript variable. So that's the way it is, apparently.

    • Saikat
      February 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Great! I was just about to try it out myself.

    • tay
      May 12, 2015 at 2:18 am

      having the same problem... how did you fix it?

  39. Karl
    January 19, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Worked for me. Thank you.

  40. joe
    January 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Adobe is so stupid, why would they call table of contents, "bookmarks"? It should be as simple as view/add bookmark.

  41. Jagz W
    July 5, 2012 at 3:39 am

    It worked ! Great help. thx

  42. lalalala
    June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    When all else fails, you can insert a text. I go to Chapter 1 of my book and insert a text that says "Chapter 1" then when I have to refer to it I do a Ctrl F "Chapter 1"

    • Saikat Basu
      June 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Notes, annotations, even highlighting the title...anything that works :) Earlier, I used to write it in a Notepad file.

  43. Sandhya
    May 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

    9. Ggarlic 2008/04/06 12:36 ls???Acrobat????????acrobat????????????????adobe rdaeer?acrobatdolph 2008/04/06 22:25reader??????acrobatacrobat rdaeer??????????acrobat rdaeer speedup ???????????????????????pdf??????????????????????????acrobat rdaeer????????????dolph 2008/04/06 22:26???acrobat rdaeer ???????????Nice 2008/04/07 03:49???? Acrobat ????????????????????????????????????????????????????……Nice 2008/04/07 03:50SP 1?“??????????”

  44. Joyce Njambi
    January 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

    thanks for this.. I had stopped using Adobe Reader and switched to Foxit because of bookmarks!

  45. Everyonelikesthis
    January 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    it worked great..I like it

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