How to add bookmarks to PDF files.

A woman sitting at a desk adds bookmarks to her PDF files on her laptop.

Long documents aren’t easy to navigate. Learn how to add bookmarks to a PDF so that you can jump to sections with just a click of the mouse.

Need to add bookmarks to PDF files but not sure where to start? A bookmark in a PDF is like a link to a specific document section. With bookmarks, you can easily navigate through pages by simply clicking the bookmark links on the side of the page instead of scrolling.

What are the benefits of adding bookmarks to PDF files?

There are many reasons why you may want to add bookmarks to a PDF. Adding bookmarks to a PDF helps viewers move to other locations within the PDF, search through pages, and take a quick peek at the PDF content in a similar manner to that of a table of contents.

Bookmarks make viewing certain pages a breeze by simply clicking a heading from the list and then arriving at the page of choice.

What are sub-bookmarks in a PDF?

Sub-bookmarks are sections nested under the umbrella of an already-created bookmark. Say you have a section titled “Shapes.” Some sub-bookmarks for that section may be titled “Squares,” “Triangles,” and “Circles.” Sub-bookmarks create a hierarchy in the content.

Step by step: how to create bookmarks in PDF files.

There are a couple of different options for adding bookmarks to a PDF. You can create a PDF bookmark either with or without a selection. Let’s take a look at how to add bookmarks to a PDF.

Create a PDF bookmark with a selection.

You can easily create a bookmark by selecting the area of the PDF page you want to bookmark.

Here’s how to add a bookmark to a PDF with a selection using Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Launch Acrobat.
  2. Click the Bookmarks button to open the Bookmarks panel.
  3. Open the page where you want the bookmark to link to, and adjust the view settings.
  4. Use the Select tool to designate the area of the page you want to bookmark:
    • To bookmark a single image, click the image or drag a rectangle around the image.
    • To bookmark a portion of an image, drag a rectangle around the section.
    • To bookmark the text, drag over the text to select it. The selected text becomes the label of the new bookmark. You can edit the label.
  5. Select the bookmark under which you want to place the new bookmark. If you don’t select a bookmark, the new bookmark is automatically added at the end of the list.
  6. Choose Tools > Edit PDF > More > Add Bookmark.
  7. In the Bookmarks panel, type or edit the name of the new bookmark.

Adding a bookmark with a selection is a breeze; however, you can add a bookmark to a PDF without one.

Create a PDF bookmark without a selection.

Although adding bookmarks to a PDF is simple with Adobe Acrobat, you can create a bookmark without a selection as well.

Here’s how to add a bookmark to a PDF without a selection:

  1. Open your PDF to the page you wish to bookmark in Acrobat.
  2. Click View > Tools > Content Editing.
  3. In the Tools Pane, click Add Bookmark, or click the Options menu in the Bookmarks Navigation Panel. Choose New Bookmark.
  4. Type the bookmark’s name in the box labeled “Untitled.”
  5. Press Enter to save.

You now know how to add bookmarks to a PDF and flip through to important content easily.

Add a bookmark to PDF files using the bookmarks panel.

The easiest way to add a bookmark to a PDF is to use the Bookmarks panel in a PDF editor like Acrobat. To find the bookmark panel, follow these steps:

  • Click the Bookmarks button.
  • Scroll to the page you want to bookmark and use the Select tool to choose the area where you want it placed.
  • The bookmark will be added to the list.

Once you create the bookmark, you can click and drag it in the panel to rearrange the order or nest bookmarks under others to create an outline of your document. Don’t forget to rename your bookmark so that you can track your various tabs.

Add comments with an online PDF editor.

If you don’t want to download a PDF editor, you can add a comment as a kind of bookmark instead. Comments may not work quite as well as an official bookmark, but they are definitely searchable in PDF documents.

Instead of clicking a bookmark, open the comments tab at the top of the page and scroll through until you see the comment you want. Click the comment and go directly to that part of the page.

Here’s how to add comments online using a web-based PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat online services:

  1. Visit the PDF editor website.
  2. Upload the document you want to edit with comments.
  3. Use the toolbar to add comments and sticky notes.
  4. Download the file.

Once downloaded, you’ll be able to scan through comments to navigate larger documents easily.

How to add sub-bookmarks to PDF files.

You may want to add sub-bookmarks to your PDF to create an easily viewable hierarchy of content.

Here’s how to create sub-bookmarks in a PDF using Acrobat:

  1. Highlight the bookmark you want to move.
  2. Click and drag the bookmark’s icon until the arrow indicator is under your desired bookmark heading.

These sub-bookmarks create an organized hierarchy of your content so that you can get where you need to go easily.

More resources to work with your PDFs.

Now that you’ve learned how to add bookmarks to PDF files, here are additional resources to bookmark:

Discover what more you can do with Acrobat online services to make managing and navigating PDFs a breeze.