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Put it in a PDF Portfolio in Acrobat X

Learn the differences between an Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio and a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat X Pro or Suite.

By Donna Baker – November 10, 2010


In this tutorial, learn the differences between an Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio and a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat X Pro or Acrobat X Suite. Improvements in the product make the appearance, customization and content more sophisticated than what you’ve experienced in Acrobat 9.

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Put it in a PDF Portfolio in Acrobat X

Donna Baker – November 10, 2010

What's the biggest difference between an Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio and one created in Acrobat X?

In a word, sophistication.

Improvements in the product make the appearance, customization, and content more sophisticated than what you've experienced in Acrobat 9.

The concept of building a PDF Portfolio is the same in Acrobat X as in Acrobat 9.

You still assemble files and folders, add an interactive interface and customize the display.

Of course, since you're creating a PDF Portfolio in the new Acrobat X interface, the process is different.

I'll show you how to construct an Acrobat X PDF Portfolio, and show you some of the differences from the Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio.

You'll also see how Acrobat X deals with a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat 9 Pro, and vice versa.

To get started, click Create PDF Portfolio on the Welcome window.

You can pick the command from the File menu, or the Create task button.

The Create PDF Portfolio dialog box opens, and lets you pick a layout, as well as add files directly.

In Acrobat 9, the interface was called the Navigator; in Acrobat X, it's been renamed the layout.Click through the preconfigured layout choices on the dialog box.

You'll see a thumbnail and description for each option.

You can also choose a custom layout, and add files.

All choices you make on the dialog box can be changed once you're in the PDF Portfolio.

Click Finish to close the dialog box and open the PDF Portfolio in the program window.Unlike Acrobat 9, where the PDF Portfolio features opened in a separate program interface, Acrobat X uses the same window for the PDF Portfolio.

You'll see the toolbars disappear from the top of the window, and the right panel labels change to Layout, Details, and Share.

The Layout panel displays by default.Some of the layouts in Acrobat X are similar to those in Acrobat 9 Pro.

For example, you'll find a grid layout, and the Acrobat 9 Revolve layout is similar to the Acrobat X Linear layout.

As in Acrobat 9 Pro, you can click the different bars in the panel to open groups of commands.

Choose options from the Add Content commands to import files or folders, add a blank folder, or add web content, which is new in Acrobat X.

To add web content to your PDF Portfolio, follow these steps:1.

On the Layout panel, choose Add Content > Add Web Content to open the dialog box.2.

Type a name for the file, used to display on the card.3.

Type or copy/paste the URL for the page you want to insert.4.

Click OK.

The dialog box closes, and Acrobat X downloads and adds the page to the PDF Portfolio.

Once you've got the content added, it's time to configure the appearance.

First, let's look at what Acrobat 9 offered for visual customizations.Here you see the PDF Portfolio interface in Acrobat 9 Pro on Mac.

You can pick a layout, customize the color, and add a header.

Now let's check out the Acrobat X customization options.

Acrobat X offers many more ways to customize the appearance of your PDF Portfolio than Acrobat 9.

Here are some of the highlights:Choose one of the five default Portfolio Layouts, or import a custom layout.

The layouts include a display method and navigation options.Click the Visual Themes bar to open the list, and pick one of five default skins, or themes, used for the various elements of the layout.

You can also create and import a custom theme.

Click the Color Palettes bar to open the set of preconfigured palettes.

You can pick one of the options, or select one and click Create from Existing to open a color picker.

Choose the element you want to change and pick the new color.

To delete a custom palette, mouse over the palette to reveal the X and click it.There are many ways to configure the PDF Portfolio's background.

Click Background to open the settings.

Pick a color, and specify a solid or gradient, as well as the intensity of the gradient.

Each visual theme includes a background image, which you can remove, or replace with your own image.

Further customize the image by choosing scale, position, opacity, and blur settings.Click within the header area to activate the Header Properties section of the Layout panel.

Here you can pick a preconfigured template including text and/or an image, or click the appropriate buttons to add and configure text or an image manually.

You can also specify the color fill for the header.

Unlike the header options in Acrobat 9, you can't use active content like an e-mail or web address in the header.Regardless of the layout you select, you can choose the font applied to the PDF Portfolio in the Portfolio Properties section of the Layout panel.

Unlike the limited number of fonts allowed in the Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolio, you can use any font you like, and even embed the fonts.Click Details to display the panel and the files' information.

If you like to have control over what information a user sees when they scan your PDF Portfolio, you'll like the improvements in Acrobat X.

You can modify what information is offered in the Details panel, or make some changes directly on the files' cards.Here you can select the columns of information you want to display, as well as customize the content for the files' cards.

Click and drag columns to reorder them, or select a column in the Columns to Display list and click the up or down arrows.

Specify the order your files are presented by picking a column from the Initial Sort dropdown list; the Name field is used as the default.

As in Acrobat 9, you can add custom columns, configured as text, numbers, or dates.

One new feature allows you to add tags to your documents, useful for increasing the precision of searches.You can reorder the files visually, too, by dragging the cards in the Layout view.Each document in the PDF Portfolio shows on its own card.

You'll see the name of the file at the top, and a thumbnail of the first page.

Rather than having to guess at a file's contents from looking at the thumbnail, or viewing the File information as in Acrobat 9, you can flip the cards in Acrobat X layouts.

Click the I button to flip the card over.

Here you'll find information about the file.

Fields you can modify display an active text field.

Any changes made to the information in the layout are automatically included in the files' details as well.As you're working on a PDF Portfolio, be sure to preview your work from time to time.

You can preview the Layout and Details views, as well as individual files.

Click Preview to change the display.

The panels disappear, replaced by the PDF Portfolio, showing either the Layout or Details view according to which panel was active when you clicked the Preview button.The amount of information shown on the PDF Portfolio varies according to the chosen layout.In a multi-page file, mousing over the card shows up and down arrows to navigate through the thumbnail views.

Click the arrow next to the I icon to extract the file from the PDF Portfolio.

Click the I icon to flip the card.

You'll see the information associated with the file, as defined on the Details panel.

Some fields, including the Size, Created and Modified dates are shown by default, and can't be changed.Click Files on the program toolbar to show the table modified in the Details view.

Only those columns selected in the Details view show on the screen.Remember how you had to click the Preview button on the PDF Portfolio toolbar in Acrobat 9 to view the files' pages?

And if the file wasn't a PDF document, such as this Microsoft Word document, you'd see an icon and the file's name?

In Acrobat X, previewing is simpler and more visual.

In this example, also using a Microsoft Word document, the preview shows the actual file content of the first page.

You can use the buttons on the popup toolbar below the page to move through the document.

You can also extract the file, or view the information about the file from this view.

Use the arrows to move through your PDF Portfolio's documents; click X to close the preview and return to the layout.Acrobat 9 and Acrobat X PDF Portfolios are different, right down to their Flex core.

Acrobat 9 uses Flex 3, while Acrobat X uses Flex 4.

As a result, you can't simply move PDF Portfolios back and forth between versions.

Fortunately, the content isn't lost, and the two versions do play well together.

Let's check out some examples:Here's a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat X.

It uses a background image, translucent visual theme, custom header, and a wave layout.When the file is opened in Acrobat 9, you see it's considerably different.

The color used for the header becomes a solid background, and the navigation is flattened to a simple grid layout.

There's also a message explaining that you need to upgrade your Acrobat program.

Now let's go the other way.

This example shows a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat 9.

You can see both the layout, as well as the Welcome page.

When the PDF Portfolio opens in Acrobat X, it looks and works in the same way, including displaying the Welcome page.

However, as soon as you try to edit the file, you'll see the dialog box.

Before you can make any changes, you have to convert it to a format usable by Acrobat X.

Products covered:

Acrobat X

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Combine Files

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1 comment

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Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-06-24 24, 2015

Hi Chris,

If you want this to occur during PDF creation, you might try using PDFMark in Word. I don’t have any suggestions for FileMaker except to do it after the fact. Here is the PDFMark reference guide:



9, 2015-06-12 12, 2015

Hi,I thought the Portfolio might have been the answer I was looking for but I did not find it in your tutorial.

What I am trying to do is program Acrobat 10 to insert page numbers and dates automatically everytime I print a multi-page document from FileMaker, or from Word.

Is that possible? I can insert the header into documents that have already been printed after the fact but I want it to do it when first I hit the PDF print button.

Thank you,


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