Bookmarks are used to quickly jump back to your last spot in a book, or to find an important section in a textbook or other long document.
But do you ever use bookmarks in PDFs?
Much like their paperless counterparts, bookmarks in PDFs allow us to quickly find our spot, page, or section that we wanted to.
But what are bookmarks and how do we add them to PDFs?
Bookmarks in PDFs work much like bookmarks in a book; they allow you to quickly jump back to your spot.
In the case of bookmarks in PDFs, you can leave a bookmark to any page or section that you want to be able to jump back to quickly. This includes multiple bookmarks.
Multiple bookmarks can make jumping to several key pages easier and quicker. And you can add or remove bookmarks as you need them.
You can also nest bookmarks within each other; further organizing your PDF and making it more accessible (more about this later).
Bookmarks make PDFs more accessible by allowing you to jump to a specific page, section, or location. Bookmarks in PDFs can be read by most PDF readers and viewers, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Chrome and Edge PDF viewers.
This makes bookmarking PDFs extremely useful. Especially for PDF documents that contain many pages or large amounts of text that needs to be navigated. With bookmarks, PDFs becomes more convenient both for you and for those you send PDFs to.
Keep in mind that PDF readers can only view and read PDFs, and use bookmarks, they cannot edit PDFs or bookmarks.
You can nest bookmarks within each other, creating a logical hierarchy of bookmarks for your PDF.
Nesting means placing your bookmarks within other bookmarks, like how we store files in a folder.
Nesting allows you to organize your bookmarks in a logical way for your needs, so you can quickly get to the page or section you intended.
Like a table of contents that lists different chapters, and subchapters in books, nested bookmarks work much the same way in PDFs. Nested bookmarks can be used to organize and compile relevant information/pages together, even if the pages are in different locations of the PDF.
Nested bookmarks allow further control of your bookmarks, and are an additional way to make your PDF documents more accessible and easier to navigate or use.
Note: You’ll need a PDF editor to add bookmarks to PDFs. We recommend PDF Pro, our affordable All-in-One alternative to Adobe Acrobat Pro.
1. Open your PDF in PDF Pro, and navigate to the page you want to bookmark.
2. Click the Show Bookmarks icon, on the left side of the screen.
3. Press the Create Bookmark icon to place a bookmark on the current page.
4. Name your bookmark.
1. Use your mouse, click elsewhere on the Bookmarks Tree with your mouse so no bookmarks are highlighted, then press Create Bookmark icon.
2. Name bookmark.
1. After doing steps 1-4 (above), click to highlight the "parent" bookmark that you want to add more bookmarks within.
2. Press the Create Bookmark icon.
3. Name your nested bookmark.
Repeat above steps until satisfied.
Adobe Acrobat Pro is a household name when it comes to PDFs. Please note that you will need a subscription Adobe Acrobat Pro to use this method.
Adobe Acrobat Reader (and other PDF readers) can not create bookmarks or edit PDFs, it can only read and view PDFs as well as the bookmarks.
1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
2. Press [ctrl] + [b] on your keyboard to open up the Bookmarks panel (on the left side of screen).
3. Click the Create Bookmark icon to add a bookmark to your current page, then type the name of your bookmark. Repeat this process for all bookmarks/pages you wish.
If you have a Word document that you would like to turn into a PDF, you can add bookmarks directly in Word before saving it. Saving you time and steps involved.
Quick tip: if you have access to Word, this is a great way to add bookmarks to documents for free.
1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
2. Navigate to the page or section you wish to bookmark.
3. Click the Insert tab.
4. Press the Bookmark button. The bookmark dialog box will open.
5. Type the name of your bookmark, then press Add. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you’ve bookmarked everything you wish.
6. Go to the File menu.
7. Press Save As.
8. Press Browse.
9. Select PDF from the dropdown menu.
10. Press the Options… button. Options dialog box will open.
11. Select Create bookmarks using: checkbox, and select Word bookmarks radio button (if not already selected).
12. Press Ok.
Bookmarks in PDFs work much like bookmarks in paper books.
Bookmarks make PDFs more accessible, easier to navigate, and makes it quicker to jump to important sections or pages of your document.
PDF readers such as Adobe Acrobat Reader let you view PDFs and use their bookmarks, but they cannot create or edit bookmarks.
The easiest way to add and edit bookmarks to PDFs is with a PDF editor.
PDF Pro is our affordable Adobe alternative. It's an All-in-One PDF editor, creator, converter, and annotation tool. It makes it easy to convert any printable documents to PDF, edit PDFs, add bookmarks, annotations, comments, and more.
Ready to edit your bookmarked PDF?