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Adobe Acrobat 9: PDF Portfolio Exchange

by David R. Mankin

When Adobe released Acrobat 9, I couldn’t stop toying with the amazing PDF Portfolio feature. In the initial release (Acrobat 9.0), there was a small set of pre-designed layout choices from which to choose. It was easy to customize the layout colors, so you could at least make your Portfolio look different than the out-of-the-box variety. If you kept current with Acrobat upgrades, you discovered one day that Adobe had slipped in several more layouts for you to use. (hint… stay current with upgrades.)

A new feature has been added to Adobe’s called PDF Portfolio Exchange. This new addition offers the opportunity to upload, download and share both PDF Portfolio templates and layouts.  A template is a PDF Portfolio, predesigned, but not populated with your content. You simply download one, open it in Acrobat 9, and fill it with your files.  A Portfolio Layout is a .nav file, and needs to be saved in a specific location in order to use in Acrobat. Directions are included on the site.  The service is brand new and only gently populated with shared layouts and templates. Visit the service at Browse through and download any files that look interesting. If you have an existing PDF Portfolio that you think others might like the opportunity to use as a template for their work, consider submitting it for sharing with other Acrobat users.

If this is your first visit to, you may want to consider this valuable service as a resource for all things Acrobat.  You don’t have to be a member to look at any content on the site.  There are videos, tutorials, forums, and of course PDF Portfolio Templates.  If you like what you see, you should consider becoming a member.  Registration is free, and it allows you to attend regular eSeminars and ask questions in the forums.

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3 thoughts on “Adobe Acrobat 9: PDF Portfolio Exchange

  1. I’ve been thrilled with the Acrobat 9.0 Pro feature PDF Portfolio as well. I have had many good responses to the portfolio when I have sent it to art consultants and gallery owners in the first month of sharing it.

    The only frustration I have had so far is that I can’t seem to specific the first page to be viewed when the PDF Portfolio is initially opened (using the Revolving format), after the Welcome Page is closed.

    I have over 128 files in my portfolio and I have numbered the files in the Description field starting with 001 and have the initial sort set as Description, but it insists on starting with the third page. It is very strange as the page it is starting with isn’t the first page alphabetically if sorted by file name. I seem to be destined to having the Cover page and Intro page not seen in the revolving format style.

  2. A pervasive topic for Acrobat 9! The solution is to create your OWN custom category, and then use it as your sort criteria…

    In List view you can display certain criteria, such as file name and size, to sort or to simply view file information. To manage your display criteria, click on the Specify File Details tab located at the bottom of the Edit PDF Portfolio panel (this will switch you to List view). Check the boxes of the criteria you’d like to display. To create your own custom criteria, type in a new column name (here “Document/Image”) in the white text field located at the top of the Specify File Details panel, select the type of criteria from the drop-down menu (Text, Number, or Date), and then click the Plus (+) button.

    Use the Initial Sort drop-down menu at the bottom of the Specify File Details panel to sort your portfolio files by any of the display criteria you activated in the previous step. You can also sort by ascending or descending values. If you’d like to create a custom sort, you could assign sequential alpha or numeric values to the various files and folders in the Description column. Just double-click in the Description column next to one of the files to type in a value. Once you’ve entered all your values, simply sort by Description.

    Here’s the really good news regarding this issue. Acrobat X (10) is about to hit the streets, and you will be able to simply drag & drop your icons to rearrange view order in a PDF portfolio. Stay tuned – we’ll have training in place as soon as we possibly can on this new & exciting release!