This page contains links to PDF Portfolio Layouts, Themes and Tools that I’ve created. Everything here is free so please browse and enjoy.
Note: Check out this post before going further; not everything below has been updated yet.
PDF Potfolio Layouts
All of my PDF Portfolio Layouts have a set of common features that either extend or replace functionality found in the default Acrobat layouts. Please see the Common Features section for documentation and Installation Instructions.
Layout with background images come in two varieties, the full layout and a lighter version. The full version contains fully licensed background images that I’ve selected to compliment the theme. Because of limitations in the PDF Portfolio architecture, these images travel with the portfolio whether you use them or not and they do add a considerable amount of weight to the file size; the Portfolio Framework itself is 1.1 MB. For this reason, I’ve also create a version of each of these layouts without these backgrounds. Download the “lite” version if you plan on adding your own backgrounds.
The CoolList Layout is the first of my second generation layouts. It provides both a file preview and vertical list of files in the current folder. It was inspired by the media browser interface in one of my favorite devices. It makes very clean, professional looking Portfolios that are easy to navigate. Folders appear with a small arrow to the right, when clicked, you go into the folder. CoolList also has a lot more configurable properties that allow you to control the file preview rotation, colors, and a bunch of controls over card placement, size, and metadata inclusion. Look for the “Custom Components” panel on the left while in edit mode.
CoolList does not have any embedded background files so it doesn’t need to have a “Lite” version.
The Scrapbook Layout builds on the default Acrobat Freeform Layout. The Scrapbook Layout was designed primarily for photographers and hobbyists to share their images; the themes associated with it are not going to look very good with typical PDF documents. The “Instant Film” theme is reminiscent of old Polaroids. This theme works best if you have square images; if you don’t, use the Scrapbook Corners theme.
The Scrapbook Corners Theme adds a thin white border and photo corners to your images making them look like they’re scattered on a page of handmade paper in a scrapbook.
The UpSlide Layout is a variation on the default Acrobat “Click-Through” layout except that the files move vertically. I’ve also modified the header and added a footer area. The header and footer are left aligned and allow you to add an image or text above and below the navigation buttons and summary field. The header, footer and navigation button areas are 500 pixels wide and are pinned to the left edge of the Portfolio window. The header and footer are 200 and 300 pixels high, respectively. The navigation button area height will vary based on your screen size.
The UpSlide Layout has the same three themes as the Scrapbook Layout and adds the “Glass” theme which is the default. Glass is a very minimal theme and is inspired by a certain device that I keep next to me on the couch while I’m watching TV… love that IMDB app.
The Grid with File Preview Layout is reminiscent of the Acrobat 9 layout of the same name. It’s extremely basic. There’s a list of files and folders on the left and a preview of the file on the right. There is no Welcome Screen for this particular layout because it would be limited to the area on the left. There also aren’t any themes… I did mention it was very basic… right?
The TreeView Layout is also similar to an Acrobat 9 layout. It’s also extremely basic. There’s a list of files and folders organized into a tree structure on the left and a file preview on the right. THe splitter bar between the two areas is adjustable and you can use the properties panel to define what metadata is presented on the “card” as well as control the font size in the tree.
Tree with Preview 1.0.0:
If you’re looking for a really simple way to navigate a lot of files in a PDF Portfolio and don’t need all the bells and whistles of the default layouts, check out “Tree with Preview”. I’ve removed everything except the most basic file navigation features making the preview window as large as possible and highly responsive.
Because only PDF files can be displayed in the Preview window, you probably don’t want to use this one for source files. I also set this one up so that folders can’t be selected. If you click on a folder the first child file of the folder will be displayed. If, like the sample file, the first item in the Portfolio is a folder, the first child PDF file will be shown.
You can use the Custom Components panel to set the size of the text in the list and the Color Pallet panel to control the text color. In this layout, the “Text” color is the color of all the items in the list. The “Accent” color is used for the selected item.
The Welcome Screen gives you a way to introduce the content of your PDF Portfolio to your audience. This was one of the more popular features of Portfolios in Acrobat 9 that didn’t make it into the default layouts of Acrobat X. Luckily, the Welcome Screen did make it into the Acrobat X Portfolio SDK and I’ve made use of it in my custom layouts.
The Welcome Screen dims the underlying Portfolio and provides a canvas that you can add images, text and SWF files to if you want a little animation. After dismissing the Welcome Screen, you can get it back by moving your mouse towards the top of the window.
To edit the Welcome Screen, begin editing the Portfolio with the Welcome Screen visible or make it visible while in Edit mode. Click anywhere on the Welcome Screen canvas. A “Welcome Properties” box will appear on the right. From here you can add elements to the canvas and change the colors and gradients associated with the Welcome Screen.
Note: You must save the PDF Portfolio while the Welcome Screen is visible to save any changes to the Welcome Screen.
I’ve added a custom folder icon and hooked the color to a Portfolio property. With this custom folder, you can colorize it to match your branding or the rest of the Portfolio. Simply pick a color from the “Folder Color” panel on the right while in Edit mode, the gradients will be calculated automatically. The default is a nice, classic, manila.
Deep Folder Navigation
Deep folder navigation means folder contents display in the same layout as the root rather than the grid view as they do in the Adobe defaults; the behavior is similar to the behavior of Acrobat 9. A folder path bar will appear near the top of the Portfolio or just under the header if there is one. You can then navigate the folder hierarchy.
The easiest way to install new Portfolio Layout is via the “Create PDF Portfolio” dialog. Select File -> Create -> PDF Portfolio… then click Import Custom Layout.
Navigate to the custom layout on your computer and open it. Layout files have a .nav extension. The layout appears in the Portfolio Layouts list where you can select it.
Other Portfolio Layouts
Here are some links to other PDF Portfolio Layouts that I’ve created.
Practical:PDF Portfolio Utilities
Copy PDF Document Properties to Portfolio Fields:
This utility will examine all of the PDF files in the Portfolio and copy it’s Document Properties to a Portfolio metadata field, creating new fields as necessary.
Generate Portfolio Metadata Report:
Selecting “Generate Portfolio Metadata Report” will create a new PDF file that lists the item metadata in an eMail Archive or PDF Portfolio. You can customize the page size, font size, and column widths of the report. It will even create a tab delimited ASCII file and attach it to the report so you can bring the data into Excel or your spreadsheet of choice.
Open a Portfolio and hide/show the metadata fields that you want to appear in the report by putting the Portfolio into “Files” mode unless you are working with an eMail archive Portfolio in which case you’re basically already there.
Right-click on any of the metadata column headings then select “View”. Check or uncheck any of the fields shown. Checked fields will appear in the report.
From the Acrobat menu, Select View -> Portfolio -> Cover Sheet. The script needs to run against the Portfolio, instead of any of the individual files within it. This is the simplest way to make the Portfolio the active document. You’ll know you’re in the right mode when you see the Portfolio Cover Sheet.
To run the report, select Edit -> Practical:PDF Portfolio Utilities -> Generate Portfolio Metadata Report. You should see a small dialog box pop up.
The page size is measured in points (72/inch) and is set to 11 x 8.5, landscape, but you can modify it and the font size via the options in the dialog box.
Initially, the column widths are evenly divided (roughly) across the page but you can, for example, provide a larger percentage for the “Subject” field vs. the “Size” field. The dialog will check your math but won’t fix it for you. The OK button will be disabled until you’ve provided a set of percentages that equals exactly 100.
Click OK to run the report.
You should end up with a document that is one or more pages full of the Portfolio metadata. In addition, a tab delimited file has been generated and added to the report. This is the raw data which you should be able to open in Excel.
Show Total Number of PDF Pages:
Does what is says. A dialog box will open that tells you the total number of pages in the total number of PDF files in the Portfolio. It can’t count pages in source files.
Set Initial View to Details:
This will set the Portfolio to open in “Files” mode rather than display the Portfolio layout. It will also set the Layout view to use the Click-Through Layout so don’t use it if you want the full Portfolio experience.
Installation:Begin by downloading a .zip file of the utilities and decompress it onto your desktop. You should see a file named “PracticalPDF_PortfolioUtilities_v2.1.js”. Keep this file handy. After installation, you should see a new menu under “Edit” called “Practical:PDF Portfolio Utilities”
- Enter “%appdata%” in the file Explorer window path bar and press enter. Depending on the version of Windows you are using, you’ll end up in a different folder but in all cases you should see an “Adobe” folder in the location that just opened.
- Open the “Adobe” folder. You should see an “Acrobat” folder within the “Adobe” folder.
- Open the “Acrobat” folder.
- You should see a “9.0” folder within the “Acrobat” folder.
- Open the “9.0” folder.
- Restart Acrobat if it’s running.
Acrobat X and XI
- If not already present, create a new folder called “Privileged” within the “Acrobat” folder.
- Open the “Privileged” folder.
- If not already present and depending on your version, create a folder named either “10.0” or “11.0”. In the remaining instructions, I’ll refer to this as the “version number folder”
- Open the version number folder.
- Restart Acrobat if it’s running.
- Find your version of the directory below.
- Restart Acrobat if it’s running.