How To Bookmark A Page In A PDF Document (in Adobe Reader)

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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 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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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26 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Everyonelikesthis

it worked great..I like it

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Joyce Njambi

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

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Sandhya

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Reply

lalalala

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

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

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Jagz W

It worked ! Great help. thx

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joe

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

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Karl

Worked for me. Thank you.

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Fran

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

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

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

tay

having the same problem… how did you fix it?

Reply

jakee308

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

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

Reply

RavenMind

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

Saikat

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

Reply

Daniel

Thanks!!
Perfect for a pdf addicted like me.

Reply

JamesR404

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.

Reply

Alan

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

Saikat

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

Reply

Jarmo

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Reply

some guy

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

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Travis

It doesn’t work for me! >:(

Reply

Mike

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

Reply

Charl

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

Reply

suresh

thank you sir

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