Setting the Initial View Property for your PDFs using PDFmark/Distiller

This is an old post that I’ve been asked to republish from 2009.

While doing some research in the forums, I came across a great post in the Acrobat U2U forum from Simon in the Adobe Technical Support group. It detailed how to set the Initial View of your PDF during (not after) the creation process—beware that this particular process will not work for PDFs created with PDFMaker 9 and Office 2007. Below is the detail of the post.

Typically you need to set the Initial View property (how the PDF opens) after a PDF file has been created or through a Batch Sequence. For example, you can set a PDF to open with the Bookmark Navigation panel open by using the File > Properties > Initial View tab and selecting “Bookmarks Panel and Page” from the pulldown. However, individually setting this property for hundreds of PDFs can be very time consuming. You can, of course, create a Batch Sequence, but this involves yet one more step while preparing your PDFs.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply set the view properties during the PDF creation process and not need to create a Batch Sequence? Well, it is possible using PDFmark. PDFmarks are extensions to PostScript (such as annotations, bookmarks, articles, and forms) that are not expressible using the standard PostScript operators.

To set the Initial View property for a PDF, you’ll need to add some PDFmark operators to a PostScript file that ships with Acrobat. There are two files, the and, that are designed to serve as templates to allow you to append data to a PDF file. We will be using the file to add PDFmark operators to the PDF. First, we will edit the file and then include it in the PDF creation process. We start by doing the following:

1. Browse to C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Distiller\Data
2. Ensure that you have both read and write access to this folder and its content.
3. Open the file in Notepad or another text editor.
4. Find the line that says: % Insert your custom PostScript here
5. Below that line paste the following:

[ /PageMode /UseOutlines
/Page 1 /View [/Fit ]
/DOCVIEW pdfmark

These lines of code open your PDF document with the bookmarks panel open. If you just want the document on its own try “UseNone” instead of “UseOutlines”. Here are some additional values:

/Page 1 opens the PDF on page 1
View [/Fit ] opens the PDF Fit to page

For other PDFmark values check the PDFMark reference.

6. Save the epilogue (if you get an access error, ensure that you have read/write access to this file).

Next, you’ll need to create a custom joboptions file in Distiller that uses the updated file. The default settings will not use the and files.

1. Launch Distiller (Advanced > Print Production > Acrobat Distiller) and select any joboption you want to change.
2. In Distiller, go to Settings > Edit Adobe PDF setting…
3. Select Advanced from the left panel and check “Use and”.
4. Save the edited job option.

Finally, you need to make sure that your newly edited joboption file is used during the PDF creation process.

If you manually distill PostScript files do the following:

1. Select the edited joboption file in Distiller’s dialog box.

If you print directly to the Adobe PDF printer do the following:

1. Go to the Windows Start > Printers and Faxes and right-click the Adobe PDF printer and select “Printing Preferences”.
2. Change the Default Settings dropdown to the newly edited joboption file.

If you create PDFs using PDFMaker do the following (note this will not work for the PDFMaker 9 and Word 2007 combination and for PDFMaker 8 and Word 2007 ensure that the “Quick and simple option” is unchecked in the PDFMaker preferences):
1. Click on the Acrobat menu in Word (or the Office program you are using) and select “Create Adobe PDF preferences”.
2. Change the conversion settings to the newly edited joboption file.

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