How to manipulate pages in Acrobat XI

Learn how to edit PDF, including how to manipulate pages in a PDF, insert pages into a PDF and delete pages from a PDF.

By Donna Baker – September 20, 2012


In this tutorial, learn how to edit PDF, including how to manipulate pages in a PDF, insert pages into a PDF and delete pages from a PDF using Adobe Acrobat XI. You'll learn to manipulate pages in a PDF, including removing, extracting, replacing, and cropping pages within your PDF document.

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How to manipulate pages in Acrobat XI

Donna Baker – September 20, 2012

What is the easiest way to insert and delete pages in Acrobat?

Just follow these 5 simple steps to manipulate pages in a PDF document using Acrobat XI Std. or Pro.

  1. Customize the width of the Page Thumbnails pane, and the thumbnail size.
    Click to open the Page Thumbnails pane
    ...or drag to widen the pane
    Click to widen the Page Thumbnails pane to full-width...
    Drag the slider to increase thumbnail size
  2. Use commands on the toolbar or from the Options menu.
    Use toolbar commands...
    ...or pick them from the Option menu
    The commands are also on the Pages tools
  3. Add more pages with the Insert command.
    Click the thumbnail where you want to add content
    Click Insert page from another file and select the file
    Specify the location and click OK.
    Choose Insert Pages > A Blank Page
    The new page drops into place
    Use the Options menu to add a blank page
  4. Delete selected thumbnail(s) in the Page Thumbnails pane.
    Click the thumbnails for pages you want to delete
    Click Delete on the toolbar.
    Click OK to confirm.
    The extra pages are deleted.
  5. Rotate selected thumbnail(s) Counterclockwise or Clockwise in the Page Thumbnails pane.
    Click the thumbnail to be rotated
    Click a rotation command
    The thumbnail rotates
    The page orientation changes

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Products covered:

Acrobat XI

Related topics:

Edit PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.


8, 2016-03-09 09, 2016

In my previous version of adobe X (10.1.15) I was able to combine files by dragging and dropping one page from a file to another file. I now have adobe XI (11.0.14) and can’t seem to do the same function. Was this option taken away?

Lori Kassuba

7, 2016-03-02 02, 2016

Hi Robert Wilson,

Can you give a bit more background on what you’re looking for? Or post your question here:


Robert Wilson

11, 2016-02-17 17, 2016

I am combining two pdf forms which was successful.  Now I want to copy text entered (a name) within in a field on page one to the same field on page two but unable to copy the image into the field. How do I do that?

Lori Kassuba

4, 2015-10-01 01, 2015

Hi Sandy Cryer,

Are you by chance combining pages in another PDF after you’ve extracted the pages? If so, the issue may have to do with having the same form field names on different pages. You can’t combine PDF that use the same form field names.
Let me know if this is part of your process.

If not, have you tried creating a copy of the PDF file and deleting the unwanted pages instead of extracting?


Sandy Cryer

10, 2015-09-29 29, 2015

Hi Lori,
I’m sorry, used the wrong verbage, I AM ‘extracting’ the pages.
the steps:
open the adobe file (usually about 5-12 pages) I need to use 1 page from. I have in the past just dragged the page out from the ‘pages’ thumbnail view (I’m using Adobe XI)this created a ‘Untitled Extract Pages’ file with the 1 page.  This works most of the time.  But I have a few adobe documents that have many form field filled out, when the page is ‘dragged’ from the thumbnail view, often 1 or more of the form field either blanks out, or changes (if it was a drop down menu-it changes).  Since that system didn’t work 100% I decided to try extracting the pages from the same file: the same thing occurs.  I hope this explains the process that I use. Let me know if I can send you samples, it happens on all of our 5 pc computers using windows 8.1.  (they are all laptops-Toshiba)
Thanks for any help or suggestions.
Sandy Cryer

Lori Kassuba

4, 2015-09-29 29, 2015

Hi Sandy,

You don’t need to export the page just extract. Can you walk me through the steps you’re using to create the new pages?



11, 2015-09-23 23, 2015

When I export pages from a document some of the form fields are blank, prior to exporting, the data was filled out and saved,then the pages are exported.  Not all fields are blank, only some (or even 1 field), but it is the save field throughout the document.  I am using Adobe XI with windows 8.1 (sorry for the repeated question, but I didn’t include the adobe/computer info in the last post)


11, 2015-09-23 23, 2015

Some of my data fields are blank after ‘exporting’ pages to a new pdf document. The data fields were filled out prior to exporting, then blank in the new document.

Lori Kassuba

6, 2015-01-29 29, 2015

Hi Silvano,

You can use the Add Image command in the Content Editing panel to add an image to your PDF but there is no way to selectively show/hide the image.



7, 2015-01-27 27, 2015

(Acrobat XI)
I’d like to insert an image in a way like stick note !
Just click on/off to show the appropriate image in the same page.

Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-01-12 12, 2015

Hi Joy,

You’ll need to use Acrobat XI and not just the free Reader XI to manipulate pages and run OCR.



11, 2015-01-06 06, 2015

Hallo Donna,

I am using Acrobat XI to work on a document.  However, I find that I am not able to manipulate pages since my version 11 does not have the tool-bar commands or options menu that will allow me to delete, insert or shift pages, as illustrated from step 2 onwards in the video above.  Please advice.  In addition, where can I find the OCR tool in my version.

Thank you.

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-05-06 06, 2014

Hi fiaz,

Can you please post your question here with more detail about what version of Acrobat your using and exactly what type of file you’re exporting to?



1, 2014-05-05 05, 2014

can you explain me i make on pdf file to dxf then why is not coming same dimension before

david byun

8, 2013-12-03 03, 2013

Inserting page in IX goes to wrong page.  Very annoying.
on top of that bookmark view goes to page thumbnail view.  Very very annoying.  Is there a fix for this?

donna baker

6, 2013-11-29 29, 2013

Hi Seppo -

By default, Acrobat uses a standard page size. You can change the settings in numerous places to modify the .joboptions file to use your A4 sized pages by default. Open the PDFMaker in Autocad and change the settings there.


Seppo Alanen

8, 2013-11-23 23, 2013

I like convert .dxf to .pdf. (Acrobat XI pro, English)
It works fine but document sheets lost their ratio.
We are using A4 paper size ratio in other world, but Acrobat IX Pro’s result is Letter where is different ratio than A-series (sqrt(2)=1.414).
Every printers -even PDF- have A4 paper size but Acrobat do not like understand it.
Please, add simple default selection for result “template ratio” for “AutoCad” DXF conversion with or without AutoCad.
I’m replacing paper binders by PDF-files. Workers have computers where can be many “paper binders” as PDF-files.

Br. Seppo

donna baker

7, 2013-09-08 08, 2013

Hi Frank -

Yes, you should be able to do that. Use the Edit Text & Graphics tool in Acrobat XI, select text, then move your mouse over the bottom right corner point. When you see the circular rotation arrow, click and drag to reorient the content.


Frank Kennedy

8, 2013-09-04 04, 2013

I am trying to create a PDF “Type-In” form but the original form is skewed in relation to the fields. Is there a way to reorient the original blank form. It has grid lines That do not coincide with the typed in data.

donna baker

6, 2013-07-30 30, 2013

Hi Meg -

Your pages may be out of order depending on how you have them nested with the bookmarks. Go through the document, and make sure the bookmark points to the correct page, such as the first page of each document. You could either delete all the existing bookmarks and start over, or go through them one at a time. If you need to change something, select the bookmark in the Bookmarks panel, then adjust the page to where you want it, then right click the bookmark and click Set Destination.

Unfortunately, there is no way to lock down pages. However, if you have the pages of the document following the first page, and only one bookmark for that file pointing to the start of the document, then the rest of the pages MUST be in correct order.

It’ll take some experimenting and attention to detail, but it should work out.



5, 2013-07-29 29, 2013

Hi Donna,

Thank you so much for the response. I am using Acrobat Pro 9.4.1 and I have been doing exactly what you said, but the pages are not in the same order as the bookmarks when I am done… I also would really like some way to “link” documents so they stay in order and intact, like Photoshop linking so when you drag a layer, they all stay together.  Also, “locking” sections of the document so other pages can not be inserted.  Do any of these things exist?  Thank you again for knowing so much!

donna baker

3, 2013-07-25 25, 2013

Hi Meg -

No, it doesn’t work that way from the page thumbnails panel. If you have a bookmark for each document, you can do it in the Bookmarks panel. Collapse the bookmarks so you see just the main bookmark for each file, then drag it up or down to reposition it. All the pages in that particular parent bookmark move along together.



5, 2013-07-24 24, 2013

Hi,  I have a binder of several reports that are multiple pages each.  I want to arrange these by dragging them to their final position, but I just want to grab the first page and have the rest of that report fall into place.  Can this be done?

donna baker

6, 2013-07-15 15, 2013

Hi Smitha -

I’m sorry but there’s no easy way to do this. The Split command in Acrobat splits pages in different ways, but doesn’t split the content on a page. In Acrobat XI, you could make a copy of page 1, the use the Edit Images & Text tool to remove half of the content from each page, and then position the remaining text at vertical center. However, you’d be doing that manually for each document.



4, 2013-06-27 27, 2013

A folder contains 100 pdf (pdf/A) files.Each PDF files contains average 4 or 5 pages. I needs to split the content of first page of each pdf document in to 2 pages . Also the contents of 2 pages( Page 1 and page 2) are to be set to the middle half of the 2 pages inorder to take print out of the 2 pages in stamp paper. I have adobe acrobat 9 pro extended and the trial version of adobe 11 also. I prefer batch processing method.Pls provide the steps for doing the same

donna baker

4, 2013-06-04 04, 2013

Hi Antoine -

Yes, you can do that, but you have to rearrange the pages in Acrobat first, so it may not save you time in the long run. Move the pages in your source document so they are in sequence and select the thumbnails. Then use the Insert pages command. You’ll see your document pages already listed. Choose and select the page range you want to insert and Acrobat will make the change. Then you’ll have to restore your original page sequence manually.



8, 2013-06-03 03, 2013


i need to replace 2 or more pages in the same time with other pages,
Exp: I have a file A with 20 pages i need to replace page 2 - 5 - 9 & 15 with a page 1 from File B, can anyone help me with it?
when i try to do this i can just replace one page (just the page with red) from selected pages… 

Lori Kassuba

2, 2013-05-09 09, 2013

Hi Steef,

Unfortunately support for MDI (Multiple Document Interface) was dropped in Acrobat 9. Here is an explanation:


Steef Teunissen

8, 2013-05-07 07, 2013

In Acrobat 8.1.2 we had an option to show multiple documents within one pane. Is there an option to do the same within acrobat 11?

donna baker

10, 2013-04-11 11, 2013

Hi Sharon -

Yes, you can certainly extract pages as new documents. Open the Page Thumbnails panel at the left. Click the Options button to open the dropdown menu, and choose Extract. Follow the prompts to select the page or page range and how to manage it.


Sharon Altman

10, 2013-04-09 09, 2013

In Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, how do you, or can you, extract or delete a page of a document as a separate new file like in Adobe 9?

donna baker

1, 2013-04-03 03, 2013

Hi Joanne -

No, there isn’t an automatic way to collate like you’re describing. I wouldn’t combine the two files first, though. Instead, I’d do it visually. Open both documents, and open the Page Thumbnails panel on both. Suppose I want to add pages from doc B to doc A. Click the page 1 thumbnail in B, and drag it across the screen to the Page Thumbnails panel in A. You’ll see a blue line indicating where the page will sit when you release the mouse - make sure it follows page 1 in A. Then repeat ad nauseum until the two documents are combined and collated.


Jo Anne Noble

7, 2013-03-27 27, 2013

Hello Donna -

I have to take two multi-page (20-50 pages) PDFs and combine them in Pro, then arrange the two PDF pages where they alternate. Page 1 of document A, then page 1 of document B, etc. This requires a lot of work clicking and dragging in the Page Thumbnails view. Is there any quick method to arrange these large documents in the needed sequence? Thanks.


7, 2013-03-05 05, 2013

Is there a way to take a page from a multi page document and insert only that page into another document?

Hi Martha -

Yes, there are a few ways you can do this. Open your document containing the page you want to reuse, then extract that page and save it as a separate file. In the document where you want to add it, use the Insert from File command under the Pages tools, locate and select your document.

You could also use the Combine Documents command from the File menu, select both documents, and specify just the page you want from your source file.

You can also open your source file, select and copy the page to the clipboard, then click More Insert Options from the Insert Pages section of the Pages tools and choose Insert from Clipboard.


donna baker

6, 2013-01-28 28, 2013

Hi Rory -

In no versions of Acrobat would you ever have a Page Thumbnails panel showing just the initial page of a set of pages. The point of that panel is to show a thumbnail for each page in the document. A PDF Package is quite a different structure, and doesn’t exist in Acrobat XI. There isn’t an option to group pages into folders, which is similar to what you’re describing in an ordinary PDF file, but can be done using a PDF Portfolio.


FYI: The

donna baker

6, 2013-01-28 28, 2013

Hi Deborah -

Changing the order of pages is a simple matter of clicking the page thumbnails, and then dragging it/them to the location where you want them to be located. You’ll see a vertical blue bar indicating the location where the files are located when you release the mouse.


Rory Monk

8, 2013-01-25 25, 2013

Did anyone read what I wrote????????
Totally worthless!!!!!!!!!

Hi Rory,

I forwarded your inquiry to Donna Baker last week and she should be getting back to you soon.


Rory Monk

10, 2013-01-23 23, 2013

How do I combine files and have each file be a thumbnail that contains the pages from the original file instead of each file’s pages being combined into single thumbnails?  For example I combine three files that have 5 pages each.  WHen I combine the files I get all fifteen pages showing as individual thumbnails.  In my older version I was able to create pdf packages where each file retained it’s individual pages under a single thumbnail.

Deborah A Hahn

3, 2013-01-12 12, 2013

If this tutorial is updated, I would like it to include how to change the order of pages.

Michelle Martin

12, 2012-12-13 13, 2012

This seems so intuitive.  I’m hoping it still seems intuitive when I actually try it!

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.