How to Add a Preview Page to PDF Files Created with Adobe Presenter 7

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Adobe Presenter 7 is one of the great new applications that is included in Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. With just a few clicks in PowerPoint, you can transform drab presentations into engaging Adobe® Flash® multimedia experiences. You can easily add narration, animations, interactivity, quizzes and software simulations to your presentations and then export that to a PDF file. If you haven’t seen it in action, I’ve got a great example here.

When you export an Adobe Presenter enhanced PowerPoint file to PDF, Presenter wraps the Flash application, the SWF, inside a PDF container so that all of the individual components can travel together and be truly portable. We use the new Rich Media Annotation (RMA) to do this. Basically, we create a single PDF page and then cover the entire page with the SWF and set that SWF to play when the PDF file is opened. As a stand-alone file like the example that I link to above, the effect is pretty stunning. However, when you add that PDF file to a PDF Portfolio the thumbnail is blank. Additionally, if it is opened in an earlier version of the Adobe Reader or a non-Adobe viewer, you’ll see a blank page.


To understand why this is happening, remember that the presentation was designed to play automatically when the PDF file is opened. As a stand-alone PDF file being viewed in Reader 9 or higher, you have no idea that the SWF is playing on top of a blank PDF page; it just works. Earlier versions of Reader and non-Adobe viewers cannot play the SWF so they ignore that object in the PDF file and just display the underlying page… which is blank. Additionally, the thumbnail for a PDF file that is inside a PDF Portfolio is generated from the content on the first page…. which is blank.


To remedy this situation, you need to add something to the PDF document that will give the PDF Portfolio thumbnail generator something to work with and other viewers to display.


How to Add a Preview Page to PDF Files Created with Adobe Presenter 7:

Assume you have already saved your presentation as a PDF from Presenter.


  1. Start Acrobat (no document opened).
  2. Open Your presentation in PowerPoint
  3. Play the slide show and move to a slide that you want to be the thumbnail (the slide should take up the entire screen
  4. Hit PrtScn
  5. Go to Acrobat and select File|Create PDF|From Clipboard (This will create a one page PDF file from the image on the clipboard)
  6. Select Document|Insert Pages|From File then navigate to the PDF of your presentation and select it.
  7. In the Insert Pages dialog, select After Page 1 (This will add your presentation as page 2) – This would be a good time to save the file but it’s not required
  8. Right click on the first page and select “Document Properties” and then the “Initial View” tab
  9. In the dialog, set the “open to page” number to 2
  10. Save the file – this is the one you’ll add to the portfolio.


If that seems like too many steps, you can try the method that Lori DeFurio recommends. You may need to adjust the size of the RMA with this method but it works equally as well. Use it if you’re comfortable using the advanced editing tools in Acrobat 9.

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