Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Sometimes when you are putting together a PDF, you want to combine pages from two or more PDFs into one. I showed in a different video how you can use the Insert command to do that, but sometimes if you want to insert just certain pages or just contiguous pages from one PDF into another one, the Insert command really doesn't work very well for you. Or maybe instead of inserting pages you just want to quickly rearrange pages or duplicate pages. In all of those cases inserting, moving, copying, rearranging, your best friend is going to be the Pages panel.
So let me show you some interesting ways that you can use the Pages panel to make your work a lot easier. I have open here a four page presentation that I've exported from PowerPoint. Say for example, I want, do you see how that chart is page 3 and some bullet points are page 2? If I want the chart to be the second page, I can just select it in the Page Thumbnails panel and drag it up. That's the fastest way to rearrange pages. I wish most programs let you do this. It's one of my favorite things to do.
Like if I wanted to say, these two pages, I am going to Shift+Click both of them. I want them to be right up front. I can drag either one of them up here and now they become pages 2 and 3 and the chart is page 4. You can select any individual page, right-click and you will have a lot of the commands that we've talked about before such as extracting a page or deleting a page. You can also replace a page. So if you have a different PDF that has an updated version of this page, you can use the Replace Pages command. We will look at that in a second.
There is a secret tip hiding here in the Page Thumbnails panel, in that if you can duplicate pages really easily. If for some reason you want to, say, duplicate the cover so that it is the last slide in this presentation, you can select it and then start dragging and as you drag, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard that would be on a PC, but the Option key on the Mac. If you notice how we get a little icon. It's really hard to see, but there is a Plus symbol next to that cursor. So I bring it all the way down until I see the blue insertion bar at the end, and then I release the mouse button before I release the Ctrl key, and it duplicates the cover.
So that's how you would duplicate a page. You can't right-click and choose Copy or Duplicate. That command doesn't exist here. But as long as you know that secret trick of either Ctrl+Dragging or Option+Dragging on a Mac, you can duplicate pages in the Page Thumbnails panel as well. Now say that we wanted to include some of these pages in another PDF. I have that PDF open, our friend the handbook. There is a Pages panel for this one. How do I get pages from one PDF to the other? You can use the Insert command, which I talked about in a different video.
You go to the tools penal, choose Pages > Insert from File, but this will only let you insert a complete PDF. If you just want a few pages from one PDF into the next one, the easiest way is to drag and drop in between the Page Thumbnails panels. So your first order of business is opening up both PDFs. The second order of business is arranging the windows so that you can see both documents side by side. You can do that easily in Acrobat by going to the Window menu and go down to the Tile command.
Let's say that we want to tile these horizontally. So what happens is that Acrobat automatically looks at all the open documents in Acrobat and then resizes the window so that they are tiled next to each other. Actually, I think I'd rather have them tiled vertically. There! That's a little easier. So let's say that we wanted to add a chart from here to our handbook. The easiest way would just be to select the chart in the Page Thumbnail panel here and drag and drop it into the handbook. Let's put it right after the cover.
Say that we wanted to bring this little bullet point and the ending slide over to this, and that's a discontiguous number of pages, something that cannot be done with the Insert from File command, but you can do it by dragging and dropping. So in the source document, the presentation one, I'm going to select that bullet point slide and then hold down the Ctrl key to select the other slide. Then I will drag and drop them right over here, let's say after page 3. And that adds two the pages right in a row. Very useful.
Let me show you another way that you can use the Page Thumbnails panel. I am going to close these, I don't need to save changes. Let's maximize this and open up another PDF that I have here called Explore California. We will resize it so we can what's happening here. It is a series of two page spreads from a very image heavy catalog that was created in Adobe InDesign. And you can see those two page spreads as well in the Page Thumbnails panel.
Now there is a spread here called Taste of California, and let's say that we've already created this as a PDF and then the designer realizes they need to make some changes. So we don't know that. We're just merrily going about on our own way and we already started to add some interactivity to this PDF. I am going to open up the tools panel and show you that if I go to Content and click Select Object, you will see that I've added some links. I talked about this in the Links video. But taste of California is linked to this box's link.
I have a URL that's linked, and imagine that you have done this to numerous pages, that you've added stuff here, and then the designer says I need to give you a new PDF, because we need to update some text. Does that mean you need to redo all of this work? No, you don't. You can use your friend the Replace Pages command. So here in InDesign, we will go to the Taste of California page and let's just change this to Taste of Illinois, make the change really obvious. What you do in InDesign is you can even export the whole thing to PDF if you want to, but you don't need to.
You can just export the changed pages. So this is page 6 and 7. I'm going to go to File > PDF Presets > High Quality Print, and we'll do, I actually just name them pg6-7 when I am exporting them just for replacing. And I want to make sure that I use the same settings as I used before. In this case, it was Spreads, and I only want to do pages 6-7, and I will go ahead and view the PDF after exporting. There it is; page 6 and 7 in this PDF.
I am going to close this up and what we want to do in Acrobat in the main document is we want to replace this page with page 6 and 7 from that PDF that we have just created. So I am going to right-click here, choose Replace Pages. It says where is the file with the new pages. I will say it's this guy right here. Select. When you choose Replace Pages, you don't have to worry that the PDF that is coming in to replace the old pages is the same number of pages or is the same length of the document.
It can be any length at all, because you are given a choice of which pages do you want to pull from the incoming document. So down here is where you would set that up. Now because our incoming document is only one page long - remember that I had exported it as a Spread, so page 6 and 7 counts as one page - then we don't need to make that choice. Then it says in the Original which pages do you want to replace? We want to replace this one, page 4, Taste of California, with page 1. Say OK. Are you sure? Yes.
So there is the replaced content and notice that it did not replace our links. Our links are still there. So because the links and form fields and other kinds of interactivity that exists in a PDF exists sort of like on a layer above the content. So the best way to update an existing PDF when somebody has made changes in the original document, the fastest way is simply to replace the changed pages. So when you are trying to combine or manipulate the pages in a PDF, don't forget that your friend is the Page Thumbnails panel, where it allows you to duplicate, rearrange, drag and drop, and replace pages.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 74105 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 129523 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 63832 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 49610 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.