Rearranging pages in a PDF

Rotate a page

You can rotate all or selected pages in a document. Rotation is based on 90° increments.

  1. Open the Rotate Pages dialog box using one of the following methods:
    • Choose Tools > Pages > Rotate.

    • From the options menu  in the Page Thumbnails panel of the navigation pane, choose Rotate Pages.

  2. For Direction, select the amount and direction of the rotations: Counterclockwise 90 Degrees, Clockwise 90 Degrees, or 180 Degrees.
  3. For Pages, specify whether all pages, a selection of pages, or a range of pages are to be rotated.
  4. From the Rotate menu, specify even pages, odd pages, or both, and select the orientation of pages to be rotated.
    To temporarily change your view of the page, choose View > Rotate View > Clockwise or Counterclockwise. The original page orientation is restored the next time you open the PDF.

Extract pages in a PDF

Extraction is the process of reusing selected pages of one PDF in a different PDF. Extracted pages contain not only the content but also all form fields, comments, and links associated with the original page content.

You can leave the extracted pages in the original document or remove them during the extraction process—comparable to the familiar processes of cutting-and-pasting or copying-and-pasting, but on the page level.

Note: Any bookmarks or article threading associated with pages are not extracted.
  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat and choose Tools > Pages > Extract.
  2. Specify the range of pages to extract.
  3. In the Extract Pages dialog box, do one or more of the following before you click OK:
    • To remove the extracted pages from the original document, select Delete Pages After Extracting.

    • To create a single-page PDF for each extracted page, select Extract Pages As Separate Files.

    • To leave the original pages in the document and create a single PDF that includes all of the extracted pages, leave both check boxes deselected.

The extracted pages are placed in a new document named Pages From [original document name]-[n].

Note: The creator of a PDF document can set the security to prevent the extraction of pages. To view the security settings for a document, choose File > Properties, and select Security.

Splitting PDFs into multiple documents

You can split one or more documents into multiple smaller documents. When splitting a document, you can specify the split by maximum number of pages, maximum file size, or by top-level bookmarks.

Split one or more PDFs, with an open document

  1. Open the PDF and choose Tools > Pages > Split Document.
  2. In the Split Document dialog box, specify the criteria for dividing the document:
    Number Of Pages
    Specify the maximum number of pages for each document in the split.

    File Size
    Specify the maximum file size for each document in the split.

    Top-level Bookmarks
    If the document includes bookmarks, creates one document for every top-level bookmark.

  3. To specify a target folder for the split files and filename preferences, click Output Options. Specify the options as needed, and then click OK.
  4. (Optional) To apply the same split to multiple documents, click Apply To Multiple. Click Add Files, and choose Add Files, Add Folders, or Add Open Files. Select the files or folder, and then click OK.

Split one or more PDFs, with no document open (Windows only)

  1. Choose Tools > Pages > Split Document.
  2. Click Add Files, and choose Add Files, Add Folders. Select the files or folder, and then click OK.
  3. Follow steps 2 and 3 in the procedure for splitting documents with a document open.

Move or copy a page

You can use page thumbnails in the Navigation pane to copy or move pages within a document, and copy pages between documents.

When you drag a page thumbnail in the Page Thumbnails panel of the Navigation pane, a bar appears near other thumbnails, indicating the position in which it will appear in the PDF. This bar appears at the bottom or top when the thumbnails are in a single column, or to the left or right if more than one column of thumbnails is displayed.

Move or copy a page within a PDF, using page thumbnails

  1. Click the Page Thumbnails button in the Navigation pane to open the Page Thumbnails panel, and select one or more page thumbnails.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To move a page, drag the page number box of the corresponding page thumbnail or the page thumbnail itself to the new location. A bar appears to show the new position of the page thumbnail. The pages are renumbered.

    • To copy a page, Ctrl-drag the page thumbnail to a second location.

Copy a page between two PDFs, using page thumbnails

  1. Open both PDFs, and display them side by side.
  2. Open the Page Thumbnails panels for both PDFs.
  3. Drag the page thumbnail into the Page Thumbnails panel of the target PDF. The page is copied into the document, and the pages are renumbered.

Delete or replace a page

You can replace an entire PDF page with another PDF page. Only the text and images on the original page are replaced. Any interactive elements associated with the original page, such as links and bookmarks, are not affected. Likewise, bookmarks and links that may have been previously associated with the replacement page do not carry over. Comments, however, are carried over and are combined with any existing comments in the document.

After you delete or replace pages, it’s a good idea to use the Reduce File Size command to rename and save the restructured document to the smallest possible file size.

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A page before and after it is replaced. The page’s bookmarks and links remain in the same locations.

Delete pages, using the Delete command

Note: You cannot undo the Delete command.
  1. Choose Tools > Pages > Delete.
  2. Enter the page range to be deleted, and click OK.

    You cannot delete all pages; at least one page must remain in the document.

    If you select Use Logical Page Numbers in the Page Display panel of the Preferences dialog box, you can enter a page number in parentheses to delete the logical equivalent of the page number. For example, if the first page in the document is numbered i, you can enter (1) in the Delete Pages dialog box, and the page is deleted.

Delete pages, using page thumbnails

  1. In the Page Thumbnails panel, select a page or group of pages.
  2. Choose Delete Pages from the Page Thumbnails panel options menu , and click OK.

Replace the contents of a page

  1. Open the PDF that contains the pages you want to replace.
  2. Choose Tools > Pages > Replace.
  3. Select the document containing the replacement pages, and click Select.
  4. Under Original, enter the pages to be replaced in the original document.
  5. Under Replacement, enter the first page of the replacement page range. The last page is calculated based on the number of pages to be replaced in the original document.

Replace pages using a page thumbnail

  1. Open the PDF that contains the pages you want to replace, and then open the PDF that contains the replacement pages.
  2. In the Pages panel of the PDF that contains the replacement pages, select a page or group of pages:
    • Select the page number boxes of the page thumbnails that you want to use as replacement pages.

    • Shift-click to select multiple page thumbnails. Ctrl-click to add to the selection.

    • Drag a rectangle around a group of page thumbnails.

  3. Ctrl+Alt+drag the selected page thumbnails onto the Pages panel of the target document. Release the mouse button when the pointer is directly over the page number box of the first page thumbnail you want to replace so that these pages become highlighted.

    The pages you selected in the first document replace the same number of pages in the second document, starting at the page number you selected to drop the new pages on.

Renumber pages

The page numbers on the document pages do not always match the page numbers that appear below the page thumbnails and in the Page Navigation toolbar. Pages are numbered with integers, starting with page 1 for the first page of the document. Because some PDFs may contain front matter, such as a copyright page and table of contents, their body pages may not follow the numbering shown in the Page Navigation toolbar.

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Printed page numbering (top) compared to logical page numbering (bottom)

You can number the pages in your document in a variety of ways. You can specify a different numbering style for groups of pages, such as 1, 2, 3, or i, ii, iii, or a, b, c. You can also customize the numbering system by adding a prefix. For example, the numbering for chapter 1 could be 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and so on, and for chapter 2, it could be 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, and so on.

Using the Number Pages command affects only the page thumbnails on the Pages panel. You can physically add new page numbers to a PDF using the headers and footers feature.
  1. Click the Page Thumbnails button to open the Page Thumbnails panel, and choose Number Pages from the options menu.
  2. Specify a page range. (Selected refers to pages selected in the Page Thumbnails panel.)
  3. Select one of the following, and then click OK:
    Begin New Section
    Starts a new numbering sequence. Choose a style from the pop-up menu, and enter a starting page number for the section. Specify a prefix, if desired.

    Extend Numbering Used In Preceding Section To Selected Pages
    Continues the numbering sequence from previous pages without interruption.