Tips & Tricks

Two really useful shortcuts in Acrobat

February 08, 2011


Spending the time to learn shortcuts will help you get the most out of any software, and that's especially true of Acrobat. Here's a quick tip that makes use of two important shortcuts.

Let's say you have to review one big PDF with a lot of pages. Maybe it's is one long document, or maybe it's a PDF that needs to be broken up into a bunch of smaller documents. But let's assume it's the kind of document where you really just need to quickly blast through it quickly, scanning it like Evelyn Woods. The first thing you want to do when you review a document is get rid of the distractions. You can make it so Acrobat takes up your full screen, but then the toolbars and menus would still be distracting.

No, what you want is to make your computer screen show only the document itself.

You could go to the VIEW menu and then select FULL SCREEN MODE, but this is a post about using shortcuts. What is the shortcut for 'FULL SCREEN MODE'? (Go navigate to VIEW > FULL SCREEN MODE and you can see for yourself). The shortcut is some key and the letter L. Which key? Depends on if you're using a Mac or a PC. On a Mac the key combo is COMMAND + L; on a PC it's CONTROL + L. Why the letter L? Who knows, but let's say it stands for 'large'. That will help you remember.

So when you blank out the distractions and you start hitting the down arrow key to go page by page, what do you do when you come upon a page you want to mark? You use the bookmark shortcut. What is the bookmark shortcut? It's the same key we used before (depending on if you have a Mac or a PC) and the letter B. That's pretty easy, right? B is for 'bookmark.'

And the cool thing is you can apply the bookmarks while you're in full screen mode. If you didn't know the shortcut you'd have to leave full screen mode just to create a bookmark, which would make it impossible to effectively use the full screen mode. Now you know the secret to quickly reviewing a document. Pop into full screen mode with Command + L (or Control + L if you have a PC), and then use the same key with 'B' to create bookmarks. Once you've bookmarked the entire file you can go back and quickly rename the bookmarks or add additional commentary.

Incidentally, the View Full Screen command also works in Adobe Reader too. Unfortunately you can't create bookmarks in Adobe Reader, though.

This piece originally appeared on, and has been reproduced with permission.

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