Tips & Tricks

Using Full Screen Mode in Acrobat

November 21, 2002


If you weren't already aware, Acrobat provide a featre that allows you to view PDFs in 'Full Screen mode.' Going into Full Screen hides some of the general clutter of Acrobat such as toolbars, the titlebar and the menubar. It is particularly useful if you would like to read a document online, if you are using Acrobat to do a presentation, or if you are considering publishing a visually rich document, you want to contain its navigation on the document pages rather than through the use of bookmarks and the Navigation toolbar. So how does Full Screen work, how do you turn it on or off? It's as simple as using the following two keystrokes:

  • Open Full Screen - Ctrl + L (Win), Mac + L (Mac)
  • Close Full Screen - Esc

Full Screen mode in action. The clutter is removed,
with only a few toolbars and bookmarks accessible.

Typically Full Screen mode opens with nothing displaying but the document, but it's easy to add access to some commonly used features of Acrobat, such as:

  • Show/Hide Bookmarks - F5
  • Show/Hide Thumbnails - F4
  • Show/Hide Toolbar - F8
  • Show/Hide Menubar - F9


The Full Screen preferences are primarily designed for use when Acrobat is being used to do a presentation and they are set and applied to all PDFs when opened in Full Screen. Head to Edit > Preferences > Full Screen to modify them.

Open Options

Acrobat Open Options give you the ability to make your PDFs open in Full Screen mode -- which means when you open them, or others open them, you can make it open in Full Screen mode and hide different parts of Acrobat. This means you can choose to hide or display such features as the toolbars and menus. Head to File > Document Properties > Open Options.

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