Creating a Thumbnail Gallery

I really like the the whole idea of Thumbnails (Pages), they provide an excellent way to navigate your documents and also move, insert and delete pages.

Recently I had the need to provide Thumbnails of a PDF for revision purposes, basically we needed to have a single PDF which contained all of the Thumbnails on one page.

At first I looked at commercial options, but suddenly realised another free option – Create PDF From Clipboard, available right from within Acrobat.

This new addition to Acrobat 6 creates a PDF from the contents of the clipboard. So all I had to do was get a screen capture of the Pages Panel and then make use of this feature.

Firstly I UnDocked the Pages Panel (drag the little Panel Tab into the main area of the PDF document, this will unhinged the Panel from the Dock.

Next I simply set the size of the Thumbnails (Options>Reduce Thumbnails or Enlarge Thumbnails). By resizing the Pages Panel to show the desired amount of Rows/Columns we can customize how many Thumbnails will be shown at once (or rather per page)

The final step is to capture only the Pages Panel, for this we can use ALT+PrintScreen which on Windows only captures the current Dialog box, which in our case is the Pages Panel. Or if you already own screen capturing software take a screen grab of the Pages Panel (making sure the screen grab is actually on the system clipboard and not the software’s own clipboard).

Once we have this image on the clipboard, we can simply choose ‘File>Create PDF>From Clipboard Image’.

Acrobat will then create a PDF version of the Clipboard contents. All that’s left to do is Crop the Page to remove the Pages Panel Borders and Save it away.

One thing to keep in mind is that Thumbnails are a low resolution representation of each page in the PDF, so if you are looking for a High Quality/High Resolution version you’ll need to look for commercial/third party software.

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About the Author: Dave Wraight

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