Adobe Acrobat Keyboard Shortcuts & Helpful Tips for Print

Yes, there are keyboard shortcuts within Adobe Acrobat, it’s just that they’re not on by default. The common ones, cut, copy, paste, are available, but the ones that let you quickly perform tasks within contextual menus, need to be activated.

To activate the keyboard shortcuts, go to the menu bar under Adobe Acrobat and select Preferences > General. Click the General link under Categories and check the box by Use Single-Key Accelerators to Access Tools and click OK. Now you are ready to harness the power of key commands in Acrobat.

Common Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
New   Cmd + N
Open   Cmd + O
Close   Cmd + W
Save   Cmd + S
Save As   Cmd + Shift + S  
Export   Cmd + E
Import   Cmd + Shift + I
Zoom In Ctrl + + Ctrl + +
Pan Spacebar Spacebar
Zoom Out Cmd + -
100% Cmd + 1
200% Cmd + 2
Pan Spacebar
Undo Cmd + U
Redo Cmd + Shift + Z
Cut Cmd + X
Copy Cmd + C
Paste Cmd + V
Paste Appearance Cmd + Alt + V
Select All Cmd + A
Duplicate Cmd + D
Group Cmd + G
Ungroup Cmd + Shift + G
Lock Cmd + L
Hide Cmd + ;
Bold Text Cmd + B
Italic Text Cmd + I
Open Path/Pen Panel P
Add Path Cmd + Alt + B
Subtract Path Cmd + Alt + S
Intersect Path Cmd + Alt + I
Exclude Overlap Path Cmd + Alt + X
Convert to Path Cmd + 8
Bring to Front Cmd + Shift + ]
Bring Forward Cmd + ]
Send to Back Cmd + Shift + [
Send Backward Cmd + ]
Horizontal Pan Shift + Scrollwheel
Vertical Pan Scrollwheel

Click here for an Adobe Acrobat DC Keyboard Shortcut PDF visual guide.

Acrobat Tips
Create text that can be copied from a scan or screenshot
If you scan in a page of text, as long as you have a good quality scan, Acrobat will be able to convert the scan into copyable text. Open the scan in Acrobat and choose Tools > Edit PDF. Acrobat will perform an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scan and convert any text into copy that you can copy and paste into InDesign, Illustrator or Word.

Be sure to run spell check and read through the text when you do this. OCR is pretty good, but it can misinterpret some copy, especially when you have a poor scan to start with.

Reduce the file size of your PDF
If you have a PDF that you need to email and it is too large to send, you can reduce the file size of the PDF. Choose Tools > Optimize PDF > Reduce File Size. This should reduce your PDF to a more emailable size. If not, go back to Optimize PDF and choose Advance Optimization. Here you have more control of what gets reduced and can change the dpi settings of the images.

Only reduce a copy of your PDF file. Never reduce an original print ready PDF file.

Protect your PDF with a password
With all of the editing abilities of Acrobat, almost any PDF can be modified. Luckily, Adobe built into Acrobat a few security features that allow you to control what someone with access to your PDF can do to it. To add security to your PDF, choose Edit > Protection > Manage Security Policies. From here you can limit access to the PDF by certificate or password. Choosing password, you will be prompted to enter a password to open the file, or you can choose to only limite printing and editing of the PDF with a password. Once you choose what limitations you want to set for the end user and enter a password, click ok.

To turn off password protection, open the password protected file and choose File > Properties > Security tab. Click the dropdown menu by Security Method and select No Security. Save the file.

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