Tips & Tricks

Replacing Pages in Acrobat

March 25, 2004

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Say you edit a page in a source program, whether it’s changing text, adjusting margins or some other non-Acrobat work. After you convert it to PDF, you want to put it back into the Acrobat document. Should you insert it or replace it? What’s the difference? It depends on what else is on the page.

For example, you may have a page with a large number of comments or links on it. If you merely inserted an edited version of the page and deleted the one you want to remove, you’d lose all your comments and links. When you use the Replace command, Acrobat replaces the underlying page and the overlying content, including comments and links, isn’t affected.

In our sample document, let’s modify the layout of the final section on page 1.

The third section of this page needs a different layout but we don’t want to disturb the linked text.

  1. Make your changes in the source program and convert the page to a new PDF.
  2. Open the document in which you want to replace the page.
  3. In the Pages pane, choose Options > Replace Pages.
  4. In the resulting browser dialog, locate the new PDF file and click Select. The dialog closes, and the Replace Pages dialog opens.

Choose a document that will replace the content in your open document.

  1. Specify the page numbers in both the Original and Replacement sections of the dialog. Click OK.

Specify the page numbers in both documents.

  1. Click OK in the confirmation dialog. The dialog closes and Acrobat replaces the original page with the new one.

Confirm the page replacement.

You can see that the content in the lower section of the page is changed and that the link is still visible around the "Figure 2. Marble baking area surface" text.

The replaced content doesn’t affect objects such as links.

Am I Replacing or Inserting?

Sometimes you have a choice of whether to replace or insert pages; other times, you should most like just replace. Whichever your choice, you can easily access the command in the Options menu of the Pages pane.

Choose to either insert or replace when:

  • You are in the early stages of a document and haven’t added backgrounds, headers and footers, or interactive elements such as links
  • Your document is simple, containing no overlying elements
  • You want to rebuild the whole document, and the existing links, bookmarks, or actions will be replaced

Replace a page when:

  • Your document has a lot of overlying structures such as links, bookmarks, or hyperlinks that you want to preserve
  • You want to make changes to a page that are more than the Acrobat editing tools can handle. Revise the original, make a PDF, and replace the corrected page(s)

This tip is excerpted with permission from "Adobe Acrobat 6 Tips and Tricks: The 100 Best" by Donna Baker, published by Peachpit Press/Adobe Press, Copyright 2004 Peachpit Press.

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