Section Three: Enhancing On-Screen Viewing

This page provides step-by-step instructions on setting your preferences to enhance on-screen viewing and using other Adobe® Reader® accessibility tools to read Portable Document Format (PDF) documents.

Additional preference settings to enhance on-screen viewing

There are other settings in Adobe Reader 6.0 that can be modified to enhance the display of a PDF document. These include settings in the Forms, Full Screen, and Startup categories in the Preferences dialog box.

Forms category

When the Forms category is selected in the Preferences dialog box, the background and hover colors of form fields can be changed. The hover color appears when the mouse is positioned or “hovering” over a form field. Changing the color of form fields helps identify them more easily in PDF documents when fields are filled out online.

The following chart shows the keyboard shortcuts for modifying the colors of form fields.
Windows Mac OS

To change the background and hover colors of form fields, press Alt + H.

To change the background and hover colors of form fields, Tab to this option.

Press Alt + B for Background to move to the background color palette and press Enter to view the color choices. Use either the mouse or the arrow keys to move through the colors.

Press the Tab key to move to the background color palette and press Enter to view the color choices. Use either the mouse or the arrow keys to move through the colors.

Auto-Complete doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut. Selecting this option enables the computer to remember numerical information. If Auto-Complete is turned on, a sequence of numbers is being typed, Adobe Reader will automatically make suggestions of previously used numbers to choose from.

Auto-Complete doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut. Selecting this option enables the computer to remember numerical information. If Auto-Complete is turned on, a sequence of numbers is being typed, Adobe Reader 6.0 will automatically make suggestions of previously used numbers to choose from.

Tab to this option, then choose either Basic or Advanced, then use Alt + N to choose “Remember numerical data.”

Tab to this option, then choose either Basic or Advanced, then use Alt + N to choose “Remember numerical data.”

Full Screen category

A full-screen view of a PDF document will hide the toolbars and status bar so that only the document is visible. This doesn’t enlarge the document, but isolates it on the screen so it has the main focus. Note that the following settings only affect Adobe Reader 6.0 while in Full Screen mode.

To change the options for full-screen view on a Windows system:

  1. Press Alt + A to automatically advance the page X seconds. This is not a default setting.
  2. Loop after last page by pressing Alt + L. This is not a default setting. Pressing Page Down on the last page of a document will loop back to the first page of the document.
  3. By default, the Escape key exits Full Screen mode. Use Alt + E to turn off this option.
  4. By default, the left mouse button can be used to move forward one page and the right mouse button to move backward one page. Use Alt + F to turn off this option.
  5. Ignore All Transitions is not turned on, but you can turn it on by pressing Alt + I. The default transition is to Replace a Page. To change this option, press Alt + D. (Transitions are similar to those in slide presentations in which slides dissolve, have a horizontal blind effect, a box in effect, or reveal part of the information on a page.) Transitions are only visible in full-screen view of a document.
  6. By default, the mouse cursor is hidden after delay. Press Alt + C to change this option.
  7. By default, the background of a full-screen view is black. Access the color palette to change this option by pressing Alt + B.

To change the options for full-screen view on Mac OS:

Press the Tab key to move to the option, then select it by pressing the spacebar.

The background color in a full-screen view of a PDF document is not the background of the document, it is the background of the screen surrounding the document page.

Note that the colors chosen in the Accessibility category for viewing PDF documents are retained in a full-screen view.

The Full Screen category in the Preferences dialog box

The Full Screen category in the Preferences dialog box

Internet category

If it is preferable not to open PDF documents in a browser window, this default option can be turned off. This means that when a PDF document is opened on a Web site, the document will be displayed in a separate Adobe Reader window rather than being displayed in the Web browser.

Choosing not to display the PDF document in the browser can improve the behavior of the PDF file with assistive technology, such as screen readers. Try changing this preference setting if the assistive technology appears to have difficulty reading PDF documents in the Web browser.

To change how a PDF document is displayed on a Windows system:

In the Internet category of the Preferences dialog box, press Alt + D to turn off Display PDF in Browser.

To change how a PDF document is displayed on Mac OS:

In the Internet category of the Preferences dialog box, press the Tab key to move to the option, then select it by pressing the spacebar.

Startup category

Choose whether to view the Adobe Reader 6.0 splash screen as the application starts up. By default, this option is turned on.

To turn off the splash screen on startup on a Windows system:

Press Alt + S in the Internet category of the Preferences dialog box.

To turn off the splash screen on startup on Mac OS:

Press the Tab key to move to the option, then select it by pressing the spacebar.

Document place marker in the Startup category

A place marker can be set in a PDF document. If a place marker is set for a document, when the document is next opened, it will be positioned to the marker location. This preference is controlled by the Reopen Document to Last Viewed Page option, and by default it is set only for eBooks.

To turn on place markers in PDF documents on a Windows system:

Press Alt + V in the Startup category of the Preferences dialog box and choose one of the following:

  • eBooks only
  • Marked files and eBooks only
  • All Files

To turn on place markers in PDF documents on Mac OS:

Press the Tab key to move to the option, then select it by pressing the spacebar.

If place marker is turned on in a PDF document, the following message appears when the PDF document is closed. Choose Yes To All, Yes, or No when asked whether to reopen to this page the next time this document is opened.

The place marker message box

The place marker message box

Using other Adobe Reader accessibility tools with on-screen enhancements to read PDF documents

Now that we’ve modified some of the settings, let’s look at how to use them. We’ll also look at other tools that can be used while reading PDF documents.

Automatic scroll

This tool scrolls through a PDF document at a speed comfortable for the reader. For people using screen magnification, this tool doesn’t have the flexibility of the scrolling or panning available in screen magnification software.

This tool is particularly useful with reflowed documents because it scrolls vertically, not horizontally. Without the reflow feature activated, it may be difficult to use this automatic scroll feature on multi-column documents.

The following chart shows the keyboard shortcuts for using automatic scroll.
Windows Mac OS

  • Choose View > Automatically Scroll.
  • Press Shift + Ctrl + H.

Pressing Shift + Ctrl + H again will stop the scrolling.

  • Choose View > Automatically Scroll.
  • Press Shift + Command + H.

Pressing Shift + Command + H again will stop the scrolling.

Reflow

This tool transforms tagged PDF documents into a single column that fits within the width of the window.

The following chart shows the keyboard shortcuts to reflow a document.
Windows Mac OS

Choose Alt + V for View, then R for Reflow, or Ctrl + 4.

Once in reflow mode, Ctrl + plus sign (+) increases magnification and Ctrl + minus sign (-) decreases magnification.

Choose Alt + V for View, then R for Reflow, or Command + 4.

Once in reflow mode, Command + plus sign (+) increases magnification and Command + minus sign (-) decreases magnification.

Full screen and other document views

If the default settings for Full Screen aren’t comfortable for reading, see the previous “Additional preference settings to enhance on-screen viewing”.

The following table shows the full-screen keyboard shortcuts.
Windows Mac OS

Ctrl + L activates Full Screen.

Command + L activates Full Screen.

Escape key exits Full Screen.

Escape key exits Full Screen.

Ctrl + 0 shows Fit Page (or full-screen view).

Command + 0 shows Fit Page (or full-screen view).

Ctrl + 1 shows Actual Size. This keyboard command be used while in full-screen mode.

Command + 1 shows Actual Size. This keyboard command can be used while in full-screen mode.

Ctrl + 2 shows Fit Width.

Command + 2 shows Fit Width.

Ctrl + 3 shows Fit Visible. This keyboard command be used while in full-screen mode.

Command + 3 shows Fit Visible. This keyboard command can be used while in full-screen mode.

While in full-screen view, readers can press Ctrl + 4 reflow a document.

While in full-screen view, readers can press Command + 4 to reflow a document.

There are also icons on the toolbar for Fit Page, Fit Width, and Actual Size.

A full-screen view of a PDF document with high contrast settings

A full-screen view of a PDF document with high contrast settings

Zoom

Use the Zoom tool in a document to increase or decrease the magnification of the entire page.

A strategy for those using the mouse is to choose the Zoom tool from the toolbar, draw a rectangle around part of a page and it will automatically magnify that section. This method can also be used to decrease the magnification by choosing the Zoom Out tool. By choosing Dynamic Zoom, the scroll wheel of a mouse can be used to adjust a zoom view. Return to the original view by choosing 100% in the zoom list box on the toolbar.

The Zoom section of the toolbar

The Zoom section of the toolbar

The following table shows the keyboard shortcuts to increase and decrease magnification, or to choose a document view.
Windows Mac OS

Choose Alt + V, then Z. Use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to select from the list.

Choose View > Zoom. Use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to select from the list.

To use the Zoom tool from the keyboard:

  • Zoom in with Ctrl + plus sign (+).
  • Zoom out with Ctrl + minus sign (-).
  • Zoom in temporarily with Ctrl + spacebar, then Click.

To use the Zoom tool from the keyboard:

  • Zoom in with Command + plus sign (+).
  • Zoom out with Command + minus sign (-).
  • Zoom in temporarily with Command + spacebar, then Click.

The Zoom To dialog box

The Zoom To dialog box