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Tip of the Week: Use Bookmarks to Navigate Inside InDesign Documents


This InDesign tip on using bookmarks to navigate in InDesign documents was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on April 6, 2017.

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When you’re working with very long documents, it can be a pain just to find the content you need to work on—especially if you’re not sure of the page number, and there are no section starts or other distinguishing marks in the Layers panel page thumbnails to help you.

InDesign long document pages panel

One thing that might help in this situation is bookmarks (Window > Interactive > Bookmarks). Usually, you’d use bookmarks to add navigation elements to an exported PDF, but they work just as well right inside InDesign. So the next time you’re on a page that you think you might have trouble finding your way back to, place a bookmark there and give it a descriptive name.

InDesign named bookmarks

To jump immediately to that page, double-click its bookmark in the panel.

You can also hover your cursor over the bookmark to see the page number.

bookmarks panel page number

The bookmarks don’t have to be in the same order as the pages they represent. Drag them to rearrange them in order of priority, or group certain reminders, and so on.

Just be sure to NOT include the bookmarks in any exports.

exclude bookmarks from PDF export

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
  • Janet Kullman says:

    Do you mean not to include the bookmarks for a PDF intended for print. You would include them for an interactive PDF…correct? thought the was another the purpose of creating Bookmarks in Indesign.

    • Mike Rankin says:

      Hi Janet- I meant not to include the ones you create just for the purpose of navigating in the InDesign document. You may also use bookmarks that you want in the PDF to navigate in IDesign, and in that case, yes, you would include them in the export.

  • Lindsey Martin says:

    This is how editorial notes should work, that is, there should be a scrollable list of notes so one can click on a note to jump to the passage where work is needed. Editorial notes are another of ID’s features introduced and never completed.

  • Emilia says:

    Is there any way to edit bookmark destinations after they’ve been set?

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