Adobe Reader. Or, as it used to be called, Acrobat Reader. It is, as the name suggests, a program for allowing you to read things. PDF files, of course. And since e-readers such as the Kindle arrived, we've all started to read more and more books and manuals online, or on screen, rather than on paper. It's quicker, cheaper, and kinder to treedom.
But something struck me recently, which made me realise why I wasn't happy with reading books and manuals with Adobe Reader. When you put down a book, you mark your page in some way. So when you pick up the book again, you can carry on where you left off. There's no need to scroll through all the pages in search of the last one you read. We used to call it a bookmark, but in our Web-based world that's something different now.
And yet, in the case of Adobe Reader, a product which is clearly designed to allow us to read things, this facility simply isn't there. When you open a PDF file, you're back at the beginning. So as a way of allowing you to read a document or manual on your PC over the course of a few days or weeks, a couple of chapters at a time, the whole process becomes frustrating.
So here's my Hot Find for today. And it's neither a program nor a web site. It's a setting buried deep in Adobe Reader. Because, believe it or not, you can tell it to open PDFs at the page where you last finished reading. Only Adobe, for some stupid reason, have hidden it in the accessibility section. Do they really think that non-disabled people don't need to be able to pick up reading where they left off?
Anyway, assuming you're using the latest Adobe Reader X under Windows, here's what to do. From the Edit menu, choose Accessibility and then Setup Assistant. Choose to configure the options yourself, and then scroll through all 5 pages of them. On the very last page you'll see a checkbox that says "reopen documents to the last viewed page". Select it and you're done.
Finally, technology allows me to do what paper books have always done. And it's totally changed the way I use PDF files.
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