Today, we’re going to tackle one of the most frequent questions I receive here on my blog and on my YouTube channel: How to open links in separate tabs rather than separate windows in Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader. In addition, we’ll look at how to turn tabs into separate windows.
First, let’s cover two important points:
- The steps shown here only affect links to other PDFs. A link to another file type, such as a URL or a .doc file, will still open in that file’s native application (e.g., a web browser or Microsoft Word).
- The primary setting controlling how links open in Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader is stored in the software, not in the PDF. So, while you can indicate how you want a link to open when you create it in Acrobat, that choice may be overridden by the setting in your reader’s device.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Adobe Acrobat DC. These steps also apply to Adobe Acrobat 2020, Adobe Acrobat 2017, and Acrobat Reader DC.
How to Open Links in Separate Tabs in Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader
You can perform these steps with or without opening a PDF.
- Select the Edit tab. (Mac users should select Acrobat/Acrobat Reader, instead.)
- Select the Preferences option from the drop-down menu.
- Select the General category in the Preferences dialog box.
- Select the Open documents as new tabs in the same window option.
- Select the OK button to close the Preferences dialog box. (You may need to use the scroll bar on the right side of the dialog box to access the OK button.)
- Save your current PDF (if necessary), and then close and reopen Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
PDF links should now open in separate tabs rather than separate windows on your device.
How to Turn Tabs into Separate Windows in Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader
You can turn any tab in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader into a separate window without changing your settings.
- Select, hold, and drag the tab away from the toolbar. The tab will become a semitransparent thumbnail.
- Release the tab, which is now a thumbnail. Your PDF should open in a separate window over the original window.