How to Create PDF Portfolios
By definition, a portfolio file contains one or more individual files that are bundled into a container. The files that are in a portfolio can contain Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, QuickTime movies, JPEG images, Flash animations, and PDF documents. Each file keeps its own identity.
The benefits of portfolios are that they allow you to bundle together related documents for emailing, posting, or any other type of distribution. A portfolio may contain all files associated with an invoice.

If you open a PDF portfolio in Acrobat, you see its files displayed. If you double-click on a file name, it displays that file within the portfolio.

Let's show you how it works by creating a PDF portfolio. 

Creating a PDF Portfolio

To create a portfolio, go to File>Create PDF Portfolio or File>Combine>Assemble PDF Portfolio.

When you do this, a blank Edit PDF Portfolio window appears:

Next, you can either drag files from the Finder or Windows Explorer into the content area of the portfolio. The content area is the big grey space.

To open Windows Explorer on your computer (not in Adobe Acrobat), go to Start>Accessories>Windows Explorer.

Find the files that you want to add, then drag and drop them into the content area.

You can also do this: click the Add Files button at the bottom left hand corner: .

Find the location on your computer of the files you want to add:

Now, click on a file name. Hold the Ctrl key down to add more than one file.

Each file that you add to the portfolio is represented by an icon, as shown below:

You can add a description to each file's thumbnail by clicking on the blank grey area beneath the file name, as shown below.

The Portfolio Toolbar

The Portfolio Toolbar is located above the content area. It's pictured below:

From left to right, the buttons are: 
  •         Home. This takes you to the initial view of your portfolio.  
  •         List View displays the files as a vertical, scrolling list.  
  •         Preview Document allows you to preview the contents of one of the portfolio's files.  
  •         Show Welcome Page takes you back to the portfolio's cover page.  
  •         Save allows you to save the portfolio to your computer.  
  •         Print will print the file that's selected in the portfolio. This only works with PDF files, however.  
  •         Share gives you a dropdown menu. You can then email the portfolio or share it on  
  •         Modify also gives you a dropdown menu. You can use modify to change the contents. It also allows you to enter and exit Edit mode.

    Customize Your Portfolio

    To customize your portfolio, you'll use the Edit PDF Portfolio pane.

    Look at the right hand side of the portfolio window. This is the Edit PDF Portfolio pane, as shown below. If you don't see it, go to Modify (on the toolbar), then Edit PDF Portfolio.

    As you can see above, the Edit PDF Portfolio pane contains horizontal strips. Each horizontal strip is related to a task that will allow you to customize your portfolio.

    These strips are:  

  •         Choose a Layout  
  •         Add Welcome & Header  
  •         Select a Color Scheme  
  •         Specify File Details  
  •         Publish  

    Selecting a Layout

    The layout you choose for your portfolio will determine how the files will be shown to the user.

    You can choose Basic Grid, which is shown by default. You can also choose On an Image, Revolve, and Sliding Row. A description for each layout is located below the name of the layout.

    Select the layout you want to use by clicking on it.

    Let's choose On an Image for this example.

    In the content area, we now see this message:

    Click on Pick an Image.

    Find the image you want to use, then click Open.

    Now, we can drag and drop our files onto the image.

    If we want, before we place the files on the image, we can use the slider below the image to increase the size of the image.

    Add Welcome and Header

    A welcome page is what a user sees when they first open a portfolio. You can use the welcome page to give an introduction to the portfolio, describe its content and purpose, or display your company logo or other graphic.

    To add a welcome page, click the Add Welcome & Header strip in the Edit PDF Portfolio pane.

    Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Adobe Acrobat course?

    Choose the type of welcome page you want to use. We're going to select Text Only. 

    In the content area, you'll see the box where you will add the text.

    You can use the toolbar at the bottom to change the font type, size, etc. You can also align the text.

    Click "Add Text" in the content area and start typing.

    To exit the welcome page, click the Home button.

    A header is text and/or graphics that appear at the top of every page in your portfolio. To add a header, click Header in the Add Welcome & Header strip.

    Choose the type of header you want to add.

    We're going to choose Simple Text.

    Click "Add a Title" to type in the header. You can use the text toolbar to format your header.

    Choose a Color Scheme

    By default, the color scheme used in a portfolio makes the content area grey. Active file thumbnails are in brown.

    If you want to change the color scheme, click the Select a Color Scheme strip.

    To change the color scheme, just click on one of the colored boxes. We're going to click on the orange box.

    Specify File Details

    If someone clicks the List View button on the Portfolio toolbar, they'll see a list of the portfolio's contents. You can set file information to determine what information they see in that list.

    Let's show you what we mean.

    Click the Specify Details strip in the Edit PDF Portfolio pane.

    This is what you'll see:

    On the left, you'll see information about your files. On the right, in the Edit PDF Portfolio pane, you'll see the names of the different columns and checkboxes by those names. You can check or uncheck these boxes to determine what information users see. For example, if you don't want a user to see the modified date, you can uncheck the box.

    Publishing Your Portfolio

    When you publish your portfolio, you can save it to disk, email it, or publish it to To publish your portfolio, click the Publish strip in the Edit PDF Portfolio pane.

    Choose which method you want to use to publish it. Let's choose to save our portfolio and click Save.

    The Save As Dialogue box opens when you click Save:

    Enter a name for the file in the File Name field, then click Save.

    Navigating the Portfolio

    To navigate the portfolio, you can double click on any file in the portfolio. Let's click on Yosemite Valley.

    This is the last file in our portfolio. We can click the Back arrow to go back a file. If there was another file, we could also click the Forward arrow. The arrows are above the displayed file and on the left:

    We can also change the magnification of the file:

    Or rotate the image 90 degrees counter clockwise or clockwise:

    We can also open the file:

    To return to the list of files in the portfolio, click Home.

    Password Protecting Your Portfolio

    You can password protect your portfolio so that only people with the password can access and view it. To add password protection to your portfolio, go to Modify on the Portfolio toolbar, then click Secure Portfolio.

    The Document Properties dialogue box will open, as shown below.

    Next, in the Security Method dropdown menu, select Password Security.

    Choose what versions of Acrobat you want this security feature to be compatible with.

    Then select what documents and data you want to encrypt. The best choice is to encrypt all documents for total security.

    Now, decide if you want to require a password to open the document. If you do, check the Require a password to open the document, then enter the password in the Document Open Password field.

    Next, decide if you want to restrict editing and printing of the document. Put a check in that box if you do, then enter a password that someone must have to change permissions.

    We've entered our passwords below:

    Keep in mind that the passwords for opening the file and changing permissions cannot be the same.

    Click OK when you're finished.

    Acrobat will require that you confirm your passwords. First for the Document Open Password:

    Type in the password, then click OK.

    Then, for the Confirm Permissions Password.

    Click OK.

    You'll be taken back to the Document Properties window.

    Click OK.

    Searching a Portfolio

    If your portfolio becomes large in size, you may need an easy way to search for PDF files you need . For this reason, Acrobat has a search feature with the portfolios.

    The search feature is located to the right of the Portfolio toolbar. It looks like this:

    If you click the downward arrow to the right of the search field, you can choose to search the entire portfolio, for whole words only, or if you want the search to be case sensitive.

    Let's do a search for our file that contains the United States Constitution by typing Constitution in the search box.

    As you can see, Acrobat pulls all PDF files with the word "constitution" in them. It found one file with 32 instances of the word "constitution" in it.

    When we click on const.pdf in the search results, Acrobat does two things for us. First, it shows us all instances in the document:

    Then, it selects (or highlights) the file in our content area so we can easily locate it: