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Using Acrobat’s Single-Key Accelerator To Make Your PDFs Work for You

by Samantha Cruff |

PDFs are a great way to share information.

Sometimes you want to make one small tweak before you send it to someone else though.

Redact a name? Highlight information? Fill in a form?

All of these are possible directly in Acrobat.

Turning on Single-Key Shortcuts

To get the most benefit from Acrobat shortcuts, you have to turn them on.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Hit Alt + E, or click on the Edit menu.
  • Hit “N” to open the Preference dialog.
  • Click on General near the top left corner.
  • Click the first box, “Use Single-Key Accelerators to Access Tools option.”
  • Click OK or hit enter.

Using Single-Key Shortcuts

I should note here that making edits to a PDF should be kept to a minimum, probably best for fixing a typo or other correction.

If you have major edits to make to a document, you will save yourself major headaches by editing the original and resaving the PDF.

  • T: Edit document text tool (Note: for a scanned, document, Adobe will perform ‘text recognition to allow the document to be editable.)
  • U: Current highlighting tool
  • D : Current drawing markup tool
  • S: Sticky note tool
  • L: Link tool
  • C: Crop tool
  • X: Text box tool
  • J: Add attachment (PDFs with attachments should be viewed with caution. Only open them if you are expecting the document.)

More Useful Editing Shortcuts

Not all keyboard shortcuts for editing are found as single key.

  • Shift + Y: Redaction
  • Ctrl + R: Show rulers
  • Ctrl + U: Show grid
  • Shift + U: Cycle through highlighter, underline, or cross out options
  • Shift + D: Cycle through drawing markup tools such as cloud, arrow, line, rectangle, oval, polygon, and pencil eraser
  • Ctrl + Shift + D: Delete pages
  • Ctrl + Shift + I: Insert pages from file
  • Ctrl + Shift + T: Insert blank pages

Form Creation Shortcuts

Have you received a form to complete that doesn’t include fields you can type in?

There are actually quick, easy shortcuts that allows you to do this and so much more.

  • A: Enter/Exit forms editing
  • F: Text field tool
  • P: Toggles between previewing and editing your form
  • G: Toggles guides on and off
  • L: Aligns fields left
  • R: Aligns fields right
  • T: Aligns fields top
  • B: Aligns fields bottom
  • H: Aligns fields horizontally
  • V: Aligns fields vertically
  • Shift + H: Centers fields horizontally
  • Shift + V: Centers fields vertically
  • Shift +N: Shows tab order
  • Shift +L: Highlights fields

Page Viewing Shortcuts

Often you either need to zoom in to read a PDF or zoom out to fit the entire page in screen so you can see the whole document.

Here are some shortcuts for page viewing and navigation:

  • Home: First page
  • End: Last page
  • Right arrow: Next page
  • Left arrow: Previous page
  • Ctrl + “=”: Zoom in
  • Ctrl + “-“: Zoom out
  • Ctrl + 1: Actual size
  • Ctrl + 0: Fit page
  • Ctrl + L: Full screen

Here is a handy shortcut guide for Acrobat to help you improve your productivity.

About the Author

Samantha Cruff

Samantha Cruff is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at Lawyers Mutual. Contact Samantha for information regarding our available risk management publications at 800.662.8843 or samantha@lawyersmutualnc.com.

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