How to create structured bookmarks using Acrobat XI

Learn how to add PDF bookmarks or create PDF bookmarks from tagged PDF files.

By January 7, 2014


In this infographic, learn how to create structured bookmarks from tagged PDF files. Structured bookmarks are a great way to create various TOCs and navigation techniques. The best method to create tagged PDF files is to use an authoring application like Adobe InDesign, FrameMaker, or the PDFMaker Add-on for Word on Windows.

How to create structured bookmarks using Acrobat XI
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How to create structured bookmarks using Acrobat XI

Lori KassubaJanuary 7, 2014

  1. Select Properties from the File menu and click the Description tab.
  2. At the bottom, check to see if the document is Tagged PDF and click OK. If the file is tagged skip to Step 6.
  3. If the file is not tagged, re-create the PDF and check the box to add tags during the creation process.
  4. Tags can only be added during the creation process from programs like Adobe InDesign and the PDFMaker Add-on for Word (Windows).
  5. If you cannot re-create an untagged PDF, open the Tags navigation pane* and select Add Tags to Document from the Options menu.
  6. Open the Bookmarks navigation pane and click New Bookmarks from Structure from the Options menu.
  7. Select the Structure Elements you want specified as bookmarks. Ctrl-click (Cmd-click on the Mac) to add multiple elements and click OK.**
  8. Add a name for the top-level bookmark.

* If you do not see the Tags navigation pane, choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Tags.

** The number of structure elements that are listed is dependent on the number of tags that were created.

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Products covered:

Acrobat XI

Related topics:

Create PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

6, 2015-12-23 23, 2015

Hi prochrist,

You’ll only see tags if the PDF was created in a program that can add tags like the PDFMaker Add on in Word or InDesign. If you’re using one of these programs, then just make sure the check box is ticked to add tags as detailed in step 3.



9, 2015-12-22 22, 2015

thank you for the help Sir, but I did not see any tags under the navigation pane.

Lori Kassuba

4, 2015-09-29 29, 2015

Hi gcdavis,

These infographics were created using Adobe InDesign & Photoshop.



6, 2015-09-21 21, 2015

Hi…which CMS program did you use to create this tutorial? Is this XML based? Or Snagit?

Lori Kassuba

7, 2014-09-10 10, 2014

Hi Kayleigh,

Let me know if this is what you’re looking for:



9, 2014-09-09 09, 2014

Do you know where I could find a list describing each of the structure elements available for the bookmarks? Thanks!

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-03-21 21, 2014

Hi Christian Kofoed,

I’ve resized the dialogs as much as I can to make them easier to read.


Lori Kassuba

3, 2014-03-20 20, 2014

Hi Christian Kofoed,

Thanks for your feedback, I’ll see what I can do to make the first few screenshots larger so they are easier to read.


Christian Kofoed

1, 2014-03-18 18, 2014

The snapshots are too dim to be read - Make them clear!
Per favore.

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.