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How to rearrange pages in a PDF document using Acrobat 9

By Adobe – August 27, 2009

In this tutorial, learn how to rearrange pages in your PDF documents, including rotating, moving, copying, deleting, replacing and renumbering pages using Acrobat 9. To perform this functionality using Acrobat X, check out the video Manipulating Pages in Acrobat.

Most of the following actions can be done from the Pages pane.

How to rotate a page

You can rotate all or just some pages in your PDF document. Rotation is based on 90° increments.

  1. Open the Rotate Pages dialog box using one of the following methods:
    • Choose Document > Rotate Pages.
    • From the options menu on the Pages panel, choose Rotate Pages.
  2. For Direction, select the amount and direction of the rotations you want to make:
    • Counterclockwise 90 degrees
    • Clockwise 90 degrees
    • 180 degrees
  3. For Pages, specify whether you want to rotate all pages, a selection of pages, or a range of pages.
  4. From the Rotate menu, specify if you want to rotate even pages, odd pages, or both, and select the orientation of pages to be rotated.

Note: To temporarily change your view of the page, choose View > Rotate View > Clockwise or Counterclockwise. The next time you open the PDF, your original page orientation is restored.

How to move or copy a page

You can use page thumbnails to copy or move pages within a document, and copy pages between documents. When you drag a page thumbnail in a Pages panel, a bar appears near other thumbnails. This tells you the position in which the thumbnail will appear in the PDF. This bar appears at the bottom or top when the thumbnails are in a single column, or to the left or right if more than one column of thumbnails is displayed.

Note: Tagged bookmarks affect the order that reading devices follow, such as devices for the visually impaired. Tagged bookmarks do not change the sequence of pages in a PDF.

Move or copy a page within a PDF, using page thumbnails

  1. Click the Pages button to open the Pages panel, and select one or more page thumbnails.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To move a page, drag the page number box of the corresponding page thumbnail or the page thumbnail itself to the new location. A bar appears to show the new position of the page thumbnail. The pages are renumbered.
    • To copy a page, Ctrl-drag the page thumbnail to a second location.

Copy a page between two PDFs, using page thumbnails

  1. Open both PDFs, and display them side by side.
  2. Open the Pages panels for both PDFs.
  3. Drag the page thumbnail into the Pages panel of the target PDF. The page is copied into the document, and the pages are renumbered.

How to delete or replace a page

You can replace an entire PDF page with another PDF page. Only the text and images on the original page are replaced. Any interactive elements associated with the original page, such as links and bookmarks, are not affected. Likewise, bookmarks and links that may have been previously associated with the replacement page do not carry over. Comments, however, are carried over and are combined with any existing comments in the document.

After you delete or replace pages, it’s a good idea to use the Reduce File Size command to rename and save the restructured document to the smallest possible file size.

A page before and after it is replaced. The page’s bookmarks and links remain in the same locations.

Delete pages, using the Delete command

Note: You cannot undo the Delete command.

  1. Choose Document > Delete Pages.
  2. Enter the page range to be deleted, and click OK.

You cannot delete all pages; at least one page must remain in the document. If you select Use Logical Page Numbers in the Page Display panel of the Preferences dialog box, you can enter a page number in parentheses to delete the logical equivalent of the page number. For example, if the first page in the document is numbered i, you can enter (1) in the Delete Pages dialog box, and the page is deleted.

Delete pages, using page thumbnails

  1. In the Pages panel, select a page or group of pages.
  2. Choose Delete Pages from the Pages panel options menu , and click OK.

Delete material associated with a tagged bookmark

  1. In the Bookmarks panel, click the tagged bookmark for the material you want to delete. Shift-click to select multiple bookmarks.
  2. Choose Delete Page(s) from the options menu. The tagged bookmark and its associated page are deleted from the document.

Replace the contents of a page

  1. Open the PDF that contains the pages you want to replace.
  2. Choose Document > Replace Pages.
  3. Select the document containing the replacement pages, and click Select.
  4. Under Original, enter the pages to be replaced in the original document.
  5. Under Replacement, enter the first page of the replacement page range. The last page is calculated based on the number of pages to be replaced in the original document.

Replace pages using a page thumbnail

  1. Open the PDF that contains the pages you want to replace, and then open the PDF that contains the replacement pages.
  2. In the Pages panel of the PDF that contains the replacement pages, select a page or group of pages:
    Select the page number boxes of the page thumbnails that you want to use as replacement pages.
    Shift-click to select multiple page thumbnails. Ctrl-click to add to the selection. Drag a rectangle around a group of page thumbnails.
  3. Ctrl+Alt+drag the selected page thumbnails onto the Pages panel of the target document. Release the mouse button when the pointer is directly over the page number box of the first page thumbnail you want to replace so that these pages become highlighted.

The pages you selected in the first document replace the same number of pages in the second document, starting at the page number you selected to drop the new pages on.

How to renumber pages

The page numbers on the document pages don't always match the page numbers that appear below the page thumbnails and in the Page Navigation toolbar. Pages are numbered with integers, starting with page 1 for the first page of the document. Because some PDFs may contain front matter, such as a copyright page and table of contents, their body pages may not follow the numbering shown in the Page Navigation toolbar.

Printed page numbering (top) compared to logical page numbering (bottom)

You can number the pages in your document in a variety of ways. You can specify a different numbering style for groups of pages, such as 1, 2, 3, or i, ii, iii, or a, b, c. You can also customize the numbering system by adding a prefix. For example, the numbering for chapter 1 could be 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and so on, and for chapter 2, it could be 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, and so on.

Note: Using the Number Pages command affects only the page thumbnails on the Pages panel. You can physically add new page numbers to a PDF using the headers and footers feature.

  1. Click the Pages button to open the Pages panel, and choose Number Pages from the options menu.
  2. Specify a page range. (Selected refers to pages selected in the Pages panel.)
  3. Select one of the following, and then click OK:
    • Begin New Section Starts a new numbering sequence. Choose a style from the pop-up menu, and enter a starting page number for the section. Specify a prefix, if desired.
    • Extend Numbering Used In Preceding Section To Selected Pages Continues the numbering sequence from previous pages without interruption.