Why don't bookmarks display in Adobe Reader 8?

This post is more than 2 years old.

So - I think I may be a bit slow. For some reason I find the newest Adobe Reader really hard to use. I just spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out why on my Mac I could see bookmarks for a PDF but not on a PC. I kept clicking the Bookmarks icon but nothing happened.

Turns out I was in "Reading Mode". I'm not quite sure what that means (aren't we always reading?), but turning off reading mode made the bookmarks show up again. (Which was critical - this was a 1600 page document.)

Anyway - just blogging this so I don't forget. In general the new reader looks sexy enough - but I'm finding myself being tripped up by some of the UI. A few days ago I turned off the headers and had a heck of a time getting them back.

While I'm complaining - I do like two things which I think are new. In the preferences you can set the Hand tool to select text. It always bugged me that the default cursor action was to move pages. I tend to use the scroll bar and want the cursor just for selecting.

Another thing that really bugged me was links. It would drive me crazy trying to select a link since the PDF would try to launch the URL. I'd end up having to select a bit more text and trim it after I paste. Another option in the preferences is "Create links from URLs". I've switched mine off.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by doug posted on 2/19/2007 at 9:36 PM

Just in case this may be of help to anyone.
I had an issue with the Reader 8 and the new DRM where all of my digital editions no longer opened to the page which I left off.
As it turned out my pref had changed in Edit-Preferences-Startup (Reopen Documents to Last Viewed Page)

Comment 2 by David Crowther posted on 2/19/2007 at 9:54 PM

Foxit Reader 2.0 is a far better product - and it's free.

First thing you will notice is the speed... can't recommend it enough.

Comment 3 by DK posted on 2/19/2007 at 10:23 PM

so far I'm underwhelmed by AR8. Overall it feels like a lot of usability was cast by the wayside or just hidden where I can't find it easily. You touched on a few of the things so far.

I've used Foxit as well and highly recommend it as a nice alternative :)

Comment 4 by Steve Walker posted on 2/20/2007 at 3:42 AM

You should try DigitalEditions (http://labs.adobe.com/techn....

Comment 5 by Peter Tilbrook posted on 2/20/2007 at 5:01 AM

I know of the 1,600 page document you speak of.

Comment 6 by Gary Funk posted on 2/20/2007 at 8:20 AM

Oh yeah, that 1600 page document. Mine is 1610 pages. And I'm still reading it.

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/20/2007 at 8:25 AM

Ok guys, don't get me in trouble. ;)

Comment 8 by Lola LB posted on 2/20/2007 at 4:40 PM

What IS this 1600 page document?

Comment 9 by Rachel Maxim posted on 2/20/2007 at 7:30 PM

Maybe the WACK for CF 8? :) Oooohhhhh....

Comment 10 by Gary Funk posted on 2/20/2007 at 7:53 PM

It's the Complete Works of Marcel Marceau, or How to Mime on Radio.

Comment 11 by ciaran posted on 8/16/2007 at 2:13 AM

I don't even have a bookmarks option in AR8!! Right click on Panels and I don't SEE bookmarks! What the hell.

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 8/16/2007 at 2:15 AM

The document has to support it. If the document doesn't have bookmarks, you won't see them. (AFAIK)

Comment 13 by flamingsuns posted on 2/25/2008 at 4:20 PM

I tried this on two PDF documents, which I think both have bookmarks because the bookmarks show in the Navagation Panel when the documents were opened with Adobe Reader 7.0. But when using Adobe Reader 8.0, the bookmarks in only one of the documents show. So it seems there are two kinds of bookmarks, while 8.0 supports only one kind of them... Do you know why?

Comment 14 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/25/2008 at 5:12 PM

Sorry, I don't.

Comment 15 by Deepak posted on 6/16/2009 at 1:17 PM

You just saved me hours of wasted time trying to figure out why the heck my bookmarks are not showing up. Thank you so very much.