Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding PDF bookmarks in InDesign, part of Creating Accessible PDFs with Acrobat DC.
- Bookmarks provide a convenient method for navigation in a PDF document, and enhance the experience for users who use assistive software to read the PDF file. InDesign allows you to add bookmarks that will appear in the exported PDF file. Let's take a look a how that feature works. Now, I'm gonna start here by opening up my bookmarks panel inside of InDesign. So. I'm going to go ahead and go to the Window menu, Interactive, and choose Bookmarks. And there we have our bookmarks panel. Now, before I show you how to manually add bookmarks into InDesign, I want to show you something that's kind of a hidden little gem inside of InDesign when it comes to bookmarks.
So, if I scroll down to page two, you remember that the table of contents belongs here. And I purposefully removed this table of contents to show you this feature. Now, if you come up here to the layout menu and you choose Update Table of Contents, you're going to see a couple of things happen. You click OK, you'll notice that it creates the Table of Contents in the document. But in addition, it automatically generated all of these bookmarks to navigate to all these different sections of the InDesign document.
And the way the bookmarks panel works, you can actually double-click on these to jump to that section in the file, which is kind of a convenient tool. Now, back to the Table of Contents. If you go to the Layout menu and choose Table of Contents Styles, and you click on the Accessibility TOC preset or style that we created, I'm going to click Edit. And if you recall, when we created our Table of Contents, we chose this option here, Create PDF Bookmarks. And that is really the powerful tool that allows this to occur automatically.
So again, Table of Contents and bookmarks go hand in hand if you're taking advantage of this feature. So, we're going to go ahead and click Cancel here. Cancel out of this. And I'm going to go back up to the front cover, because we might also want a way to navigate to the front cover of this document. So, what you could do is when you're on that page, in the Bookmarks panel, you can click the Create New Bookmark. And depending on where your cursor is, you want to be careful here because the bookmark actually went as a sub-item of Section 4.
Let's go in and undo that a second. I'm just going to click down here to make sure nothing is selected, click the New button, and that will add it at the same level as the other ones. So, I'm going to go ahead and type here, Employee Manual Cover, here we go. And I'm going to drag this all the way up to the top here, there we go. And now you can see that we've added an additional bookmark. You can add as many bookmarks manually as you wish. If you have a key area in your document that you want to focus on, maybe there's a table or chart that you want to be able to really focus in on, you can add as many bookmarks as you wish manually as well.
So, I'm going to go ahead and save this document. I'm going to do a Save As, and call this Bookmarks Finish, and then let's export a PDF file to take a look at how this appears. So, I'm going to call this Bookmarks. Go ahead and click Save, and Export. When our PDF file opens, I'm going to go to my navigation panes, and click on the Bookmarks pane. And here you can see all of the bookmarks represented the same way they're represented inside of InDesign.
So, if I want to go to Section 2, it's going to jump to Section 2. If I wanted to go right to the Internet Use section, I can jump to that very quickly. And we created that manual bookmark way up at the top to go back to the cover. So as you can see, adding bookmarks in InDesign is easy and powerful. Make sure you add bookmarks to your document to provide an extra level of navigation to both sighted users and users of assistive software as well.
- Understanding the experience of users with visual impairments
- How to know if a PDF is accessible
- Setting up Acrobat DC
- Tagging content, including lists and tables
- Adding metadata, bookmarks, and alt text
- Generating a PDF with Microsoft Word
- Creating accessible PDFs from PowerPoint, Excel, and InDesign
- Controlling tab and reading order
- Adding cross-references and tables of contents