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Chapter 4. Viewing PDF Documents > Opening PDF Documents

Opening PDF Documents

PDF files are created for many different purposes. Specialized purposes include documents created for engineers, attorneys, technical document writers, prepress and printing workers, and many other business professionals. Setting the zoom level and selecting page layout views, such as fitting a page in the window or viewing pages in a continuous layout, are tasks you'll frequently use when viewing PDF files on a CD-ROM, on Web sites, or as documents emailed to you from other users.

Adobe Reader provides you with many tools and menu commands that will help guide you through document viewing and navigation.

What's the best method for opening files?

The method you use to open files is a matter of personal choice. In addition to using tools and menu commands, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Command+O to open files. If you prefer using the Open tool, use it. If you like drag and drop, use that. My personal choice is to use keyboard shortcuts, but all the methods produce the same action.

Using the Open Tools

To start viewing a file in Adobe Reader, click the Open tool on the File toolbar to open a file (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1. Click the Open tool to display the Open dialog.

The Open dialog is the same familiar dialog used in most programs. You can navigate your hard drive or network server to locate folders, open folders, and subsequently select a file to open. Either choose a PDF document and click the Open button in the Open dialog or double-click a filename. The selected file opens in the Document pane.

From the File menu you can also use the Open command to open a file. Select File > Open and the same Open dialog appears on top of the Reader window.

Opening Multiple Files

You can open several files at one time using either the Open tool or the Open menu command. When the Open dialog appears, click a filename, then press the Shift key and click another filename. You can open all files between the first and last selected documents in Reader by clicking the Open button. If you want to open noncontiguous files, press the Ctrl/Command key and click individual files in the Open dialog box. Click Open, and all the selected files open in the Document pane.

Opening Files via Drag and Drop

You can also open documents by dragging one or more PDF files onto the Reader application window, the application icon, an alias of the application icon, or the program icon positioned in the Status Bar (Windows) or Dock (Macintosh). Double-clicking a PDF document also opens it in the Document pane. If Reader is not currently open, all these actions will launch the Reader program and then open the file in the Document pane.

To open either a single file or multiple files using drag and drop methods:

Minimize the Adobe Reader window by clicking the Minimize tool in the top-right corner (Windows) of the Reader window. On the Macintosh, open a PDF file first, then resize the window by dragging the lower-right corner in toward the Document pane.

Open a folder containing one or more PDF documents. Select one or more files in the folder.

Drag the files to the Document pane as shown in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2. Drag files from a folder to the Reader window.

How can I easily access PDF files I use often?

In Windows, you can add a folder of documents to the system Status Bar. When a folder is added to the Status Bar, it acts as a shortcut to the folder location. When you click the folder in the Status Bar, the folder opens on your desktop. Double-click a PDF file, and the action launches Reader (if it's not already open) and opens the selected file in the Document pane.

On the Macintosh, you can add folders containing documents to the Dock. If you press the Ctrl key and click a folder in the Dock, the folder contents appear in a pop-up menu as shown in Figure 4.3. Move the cursor up the menu and select the PDF document you want to open. If Reader isn't open, the action launches Reader and opens the file in the Document pane. Note that the folder is docked just to the left of the Trash icon.

Figure 4.3. Press Ctrl and click on a folder added to the Dock, and the folder contents are listed in a pop-up menu.

Viewing Recent Files

As files are opened, Adobe Reader keeps track of the most recently viewed files in the File menu. In Windows, the list appears at the bottom of the File menu; on the Macintosh it's found in a submenu called Open Recent File. By default, the number of files appearing in a recently viewed list is five. You can change that number through a preferences setting. Open the Preferences dialog (Ctrl/Command+K). Click Startup in the left pane and type a value in the text box adjacent to Maximum documents in most-recently used list. Reader accepts values from 1 to 10 in the text box. Click OK after editing the value, and the list displays the number of recently viewed files you set in the Startup preferences.

To open a recently viewed file, click File and select a filename at the bottom of the menu (Windows shown in Figure 4.4) or select Open Recent File (Macintosh shown in Figure 4.5). When you select the filename, the file opens in the Document pane.

Figure 4.4. Click File and select a file to open from the list at the bottom of the menu.

Figure 4.5. On the Macintosh, click File > Open Recent File and select a file from the submenu.

Opening to Last Views

At times you may want to read a document, quit Reader, and later come back to the file where you left off. Reader offers you a preferences option to open files on the last page viewed in your last Adobe Reader session.

To reopen all documents to the last viewed page:

Press Ctrl/Command+K to open the Preferences dialog.

Click Startup in the left pane.

Open the pull-down menu for Reopen Documents to Last Viewed Page by clicking on the down arrow.

Select All Files from the menu commands shown in Figure 4.6.

Figure 4.6. Select All Files from the Reopen Documents to Last Viewed Page pull-down menu.

Click OK in the Preferences dialog. All files viewed in Reader will open on the last view used before closing the file.

This feature is particularly helpful when you're reading downloaded Digital Editions (eBooks). When you start reading a book and eventually quit Reader, you can later pick up where you left off without having to navigate the document, just as if you'd left a bookmark in a physical book.

You have three options when reopening PDF files. Select All Files to reopen all files you view in Adobe Reader to the last viewed page. This option is helpful if you tend to review long documents and you want to be able to review a given document over the course of several Adobe Reader sessions. Each time you open a document, it opens on the last viewed page. Choose the option Marked Files and Digital Editions Only when you want to open only Digital Editions. Marked files are Digital Editions you subscribe to and can choose to mark as accepted or refused. Choose Digital Editions Only to apply this setting to eBooks and Digital Editions only, excluding the marked files.

Why are the Last View options and changing views important?

When you select All Files from the Reopen Documents to Last Viewed Page menu in the Startup preferences, the views you see when opening a file again include more than just the last viewed page. If, for example, your last view was a certain layer view other than the initial one, the document opens with that last layer view. (For information on layer visibility, see “Viewing Layers” later in this chapter.) Likewise, when you open a document that you last viewed in Full Screen mode, the file opens again in the same mode.

If you want to return to the initial view set at the time the PDF was created, you need to change the Reopen Documents to Last Viewed Page Preferences menu option or return to the saved initial view before closing the document. Learning how to change views in the following sections related to layer views and Full Screen mode is important when you want to return to initial views.

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