Arranging PDF Pages Using Bookmarks
This tutorial shows how to arrange pages in PDF documents via bookmarks using the AutoBookmark™ plug-in for the Adobe® Acrobat®. The AutoBookmark plug-in provides two distinct sorting options:
  • Sorting bookmarks
  • Sorting pages based on the bookmark order
These two methods provide full control over bookmark and page order in PDF documents.
Sorting Bookmarks
The bookmarks can be sorted by:
  • Alphabetically
  • By Date (assumming that bookmark titles contain dates)
  • By Referencing Page Number
Each bookmark level can be sorted separately.
Sorting Pages
The pages in PDF document can be sorted based on the current bookmark order. Use bookmarks to establish a logical order of the pages in the document, then sort pages into the same order. For example, bookmark a first page of each "chapter" in the book and then sort pages to arrange chapters into the defined order. If a different order is desired, move bookmarks accordingly and then again sort pages. This method provides a powerful way for quickly moving page around without tedious work or keeping track of page numbers. All what is necessary is just a set of bookmarks. The sorting operation correctly handles page ranges, so there is no need to bookmark every page.
This method is useful when a PDF document contains multiple logical sub-documents that need to be put into a specific order. The following diagram shows page sorting by using 3 bookmarks. The bookmarks point to the first page of each sub-document (pages 1,  4 and 7). Each range of pages (sub-document) is shown in a different color before and after the sorting:
sorting pages using bookmarks
Input Document Description
The input PDF document used in this tutorial contains multiple reports of the variable page length. The first page of each report is bookmarked.
input document description diagram
Bookmarking Approach
We are going to sort bookmarks alphabetically in ascending order. Next, the document pages will be sorted based on the bookmark order. At the end we are going to insert auto-incrementing numbers in front of each bookmark title.
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 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.
Step 1 - Open A PDF Document
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application and open a PDF document that need to be processed using "File > Open…" menu.
open a pdf document
Step 2 - Open The "Sort Bookmarks" Dialog
Select "Plug-Ins > Bookmarks > Sort > Sort Bookmarks..." to open the "Sort Bookmarks" dialog.
open Sort Bookmark dialog
Step 3 - Specify Bookmark Sorting Settings
Select the "Alphabetical Sorting" method. Check the "Ascending" option. Click "OK" to sort bookmarks.
specify alphabetical sorting
The bookmarks have been alphabetically sorted.
bookmark sorting results
Step 4 - Open the "Sorting Pages" Dialog
Next, we are going to sort pages based on the current order of the bookmarks. Select "Plug-Ins > Bookmarks > Sort > Sort Pages..." to open the "Sorting Pages" dialog.
open Sorting Page dialog
Step 5 - Sort Pages
Click "OK" to sort pages.
sorting pages
The order of the pages has been changed to conform to the order of the bookmarks as shown on the following diagram:
page sorting results
Step 6 - Open the "Add Prefix/Suffix" Dialog
Select "Plug-Ins > Bookmarks > Modify Bookmarks > Add Prefix/Suffix To Bookmarks..." to open the "Add Prefix/Suffix" dialog.
open Add Prefix and Suffix dialog
Step 7 - Specify Prefix/Suffix Settings
We are going to add auto-incrementing numbers before each bookmark title. Type  {number}. into "Insert before each title box. Click "OK".
specify prefix
Step 8 - Examine The Results
At the end of the procedure we have alphabetically sorted bookmark titles (by doctor's name) in ascending order, arranged document pages based on the bookmark order and inserted an auto-incrementing number at the begining of each bookmark title.
examine the fimal results
Alternatively, you can automatically add/remove leading numbers using a different operation.
You can find a list of other step-by-step bookmarking tutorials here: