PDF Portfolios and Backward Compatibility – Part 2

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This entry builds on concepts introduced in Part 1. Read it here:
PDF Portfolios and Backward Compatibility – Part 1


Many document authors who created PDF Packages in Acrobat 8 used the cover sheet to help users navigate the files in the package. Unfortunately, they ran into difficulties creating as dynamic an interface as they’d like given the limitations of the link actions in Acrobat 8. Based on their feedback, we added the PDF Portfolio feature to Acrobat 9 which lets developers leverage the power of Flash to create highly branded, highly interactive experiences for their document’s audience.

That said, many authors need their PDF content to be compatible with multiple versions of Acrobat. As mentioned in the previous article, the cover sheet can be replaced to create a more custom experience for users with earlier versions of Acrobat and Reader but that cover sheet can also serve as a navigational aide just like in Acrobat 8, it’s just that the authoring process in Acrobat 9 is a little different.

In Acrobat 8, you had full editing capabilities on the cover sheet. You could add buttons, links, bookmarks and other multimedia. In Acrobat 9 you only get the link tool and even that is only accessible through the menu, you won’t find it on the toolbar or the context menu.

To create an interactive cover sheet in Acrobat 9, follow the steps in the previous article to replace the default cover sheet then.

Add links to the PDF Portfolio cover sheet in Acrobat 9.

  1. Select View|Portfolio|Cover Sheet to show the cover sheet
  2. Select Tools|Advanced Editing|Link Tool to add links to the page
  3. Marquee over the area you want to be a link.
    In the image below, I used PhotoShop CS3 to open the three PDFs, saved them as images (rasterizing the vector art and type) and added them to my PDF by editing the cover sheet in Adobe Illustrator CS3 then added links on top of those image areas to simulate the actions in a PDF Portfolio Layout.
  4. When adding links to other documents in the same PDF Portfolio, choose “Go to a page view” as the link action then use the detail view of the portfolio to go to the file you want.
  5. After setting the link, you’ll probably need to display the cover sheet again (Step 1)

  This example file will display like the image below in Acrobat and Reader 8…

… and in Acrobat and Reader 9, you’ll see the normal PDF Portfolio view.