Quick Tip: Adobe Acrobat Initial View

With just a few clicks, you can control how your PDFs will look when they’re opened by clients, colleagues, or the court.  Do you want the detailed bookmarks you’ve added to be shown immediately? Do you want the document to be zoomed in so the text is legible or zoomed out so the recipient can see the entire page at a glance? Do you want to hide the menus or toolbars entirely?

The key to these settings is the Initial View menu, which is accessed as follows:

Adobe Acrobat Initial View menu. Click for full size.
  1. Open the PDF you’d like to adjust in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Under the File menu, select Properties.
  3. Click on the Initial View tab.

The most useful adjustment in most cases is to display bookmarks, providing your recipient with an easy and obvious way to navigate the PDF.  To do that, simply click on Navigation tab and select Bookmarks Panel and Page.

Once you’ve completed your changes, click OK and save the PDF.  Close the file and reopen it to test the Initial view.

One cautionary note: recipients using something other than Adobe Acrobat to view the PDF may not see the initial view you’ve set.

About Joshua Poje

Joshua Poje (@poje) is the Director of the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center, where he provides technology and practice management guidance to attorneys throughout the country. He is the editor of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report and a frequent speaker and writer on legal technology topics. Follow him on: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

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