Sorting PDF Bookmarks
This tutorial shows how to sort bookmarks and pages in PDF documents using the AutoBookmark™ plug-in for the Adobe® Acrobat®. The AutoBookmark plug-in provides two distinct sorting options:
These two powerful methods provide full control over bookmark and page order in PDF documents. The plug-in allows to sort bookmarks alphabetically, by date or by referencing page number. Individual bookmarks or whole bookmark levels can be sorted separately. The software also allows to sort document pages based on the bookmark order. The plug-in correctly handles page ranges (no need to bookmark every page) and quickly arranges pages into the desired order.
These operations are available in the Action Wizard (Acrobat's batch processing tool) and can be used for automating of document processing workflows.
You need a copy of the Adobe® Acrobat® along with the AutoBookmark™ plug-in installed on your computer in order to use this tutorial. You can download trial versions of both the Adobe® Acrobat® and the AutoBookmark™ plug-in.
Sorting Bookmarks
Step 1 - Open a PDF File
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application and open a PDF file with the bookmarks that need to be sorted using “File > Open…” menu.
Step 2 - Open the "Sort Bookmarks" Dialog
Select "Plug-Ins > Bookmarks > Sort > Sort Bookmarks…" to open the "Sort Bookmarks" dialog.
Step 3 - Select Sorting Method
Select a sorting method from the "Method" menu:
  • - Alphabeticall Sorting (bookmarks are re-arranged according to their titles)
  • - By Referencing Page Number (bookmarks are re-arranged according to the page numbers they are referencing)
  • - As DD/MM/YYYY Dates
  • - As MM/DD/YYYY Dates
Use "Sorting By Dates" method for sorting bookmark titles that contain dates in the following formats: DD/MM/YYYY, DD/MM/YY, MM/DD/YYYY, MM/DD/YY, DD-MM-YYYY, DD-MM-YY, MM-DD-YYYY, MM-DD-YY. All other characters/numbers in the bookmarks are only used when comparing two identical dates. Bookmarks without date in the title are treated as 0/0/0000 date and are sorted accordingly.
Step 4 - Select Bookmark Level To Sort
Bookmarks can be sorted one level at the time with or without child bookmarks. Use the "Select bookmark level to sort" menu to select a bookmark level that needs to be sorted. "Level 1" is a top level of a bookmark tree.
Step 5 - Specify Sorting Settings
Check the "Ascending" or the "Descending" boxes to select a desired bookmark order. Optionally, check the "Sort child bookmarks" option to sort all child bookmark levels as well. For example, if "Level 1" is selected and the "Sort child bookmarks" option is ON, the all bookmarks at all levels are going to be sorted. Sorting is done separately within each nesting level and does not results in moving bookmarks into a different level. If "Level 1" is selected and the "Sort child bookmarks" option is OFF, then only top level bookmarks will be sorted. All child levels will be left as-is.
Click "OK" to sort bookmarks.
Step 6 - Examine the Results
The software sorts bookmark titles in the current PDF document into a selected order. In the example below, the bookmarks have been alphabetically sorted in ascending order:
Sorting Bookmarks By Referencing Page Number
Open the "Sort Bookmarks" dialog and select “By Referencing Page Number” from the "Method" menu to sort bookmarks by a referencing page number. Click "OK" to sort bookmarks.
This method is only applicable to bookmarks that point to pages within the same document. Bookmarks that do not reference any page or do not contain any associated actions are ignored. However, these bookmarks can be moved up/down during the sorting operation. Here is the example of sorting bookmarks by a referencing page number in ascending order:
Sorting Pages
The example below illustrates how to sort (move) pages in the PDF document based on the bookmark order. Use this method to arrange pages in PDF document according to the order of the corresponding bookmarks. For example, sometimes it is necessary to compile a single PDF document from multiple files and arrange them into the certain order that is not yet known at the time documents are merged together. Simply insert pages from multiple documents into a "compiled" document while bookmarking the first page of each file. Next, arrange bookmarks into a desired order and then sort pages accordingly. All pages will be moved around and arranged into a proper order.
Step 1 - Open a PDF File
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application and open a PDF file with the bookmarks using “File > Open…” menu.
Step 2 - Open the "Sorting Pages" Dialog
Select "Plug-Ins > Bookmarks > Sort > Sort Pages…" to open the "Sorting Pages" dialog.
Step 3 - Sort Pages
Click "OK" to sort pages.
Step 4 - Examine the Results
The order of pages will be changed to conform to the order they appear in the bookmark tree. There is a more detailed tutorial available: "Arranging PDF Pages using Bookmarks".