How to Add Buttons to Your PDF Files in Adobe Acrobat CS6 - dummies

How to Add Buttons to Your PDF Files in Adobe Acrobat CS6

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Along with links and bookmarks in Adobe Acrobat CS6, buttons provide another way to make your files more useful when they’re viewed online. You can create interactive buttons entirely within Acrobat — designing their appearance and adding text to them. Or you can import buttons created in other Adobe Creative Suite applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and add actions to them within Acrobat.


You can add buttons directly within Acrobat by using the Button tool.

To add a button to your PDF document, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Tools→Content→Add or Edit Interactive Object→Button.

    The cursor changes to a cross hair, which you can then use to draw the location of the button on your PDF document.

  2. Click and drag to specify the location where you want the button to appear in the document.

  3. Type in an appropriate name for your button in the Field Name dialog box that appears.

  4. Click the All Properties button to see the Button Properties dialog box.

  5. In the General tab, you can enter a name for the button in the Name text box and provide a tooltip in the ToolTip text box. You can also specify whether the button is visible only onscreen or when printing under the Common Properties section.

    A tooltip is the text that appears whenever the mouse cursor is positioned over the button.

  6. In the Appearance tab, establish how your button will look by setting the following options:

    • Border Color/Fill Color: Click the square to the right of the appropriate attribute in the Borders and Colors section of the Appearance tab and then choose a color from the Color Picker.

    • Line Thickness and Style: These options don’t appear unless you change the border color from None (red diagonal line) to another selection.

    • Font Size/Font: Change the size and font of the button text by making a selection from the Font Size and the Font drop-down lists.

    • Text Color: Change the color of the text by clicking the color square and choosing a color from the Color Picker.

  7. In the Options tab, make these selections:

    • Layout: Use the Layout drop-down list to specify whether you want to use a label (text that you enter in Acrobat that appears on the face of the button) or whether you want an icon (an imported button graphic that you may have designed in Photoshop or Illustrator).

    • Behavior: Select Push from the Behavior drop-down list to create different appearances for a button so that it changes based upon whether the mouse cursor is positioned over the button. The button appearance can also change when clicked.

    • State: To specify the different appearances, click the State on the left side of the Options tab and then choose the Label or Icon status for each state.

    • Label: If you choose to use a label, enter the text for it in the Label text field.

    • Icon: If you choose to use an icon, specify the location of the graphic file by clicking the Choose Icon button.

  8. In the Actions tab, select an action from the Select Action drop-down list and then click the Add button.

    Actions are applied to buttons similar to the way in which they’re applied to links and bookmarks:

    • To specify when the action occurs, click the Select Trigger drop-down list and choose whether the mouse clicking, being released, or being moved over an area causes the action to occur.

    • To choose actions that are a part of the menu commands, such as printing a document, closing a file, or navigating to the next or preceding page, click the Select Action drop-down list and then specify the command to be accessed.

  9. After you make all your changes in the Button Properties dialog box, click Close.