I usually carry PDF X-Change on my usb, along with some pdf books I need in my work, or something I like reading in between.

But the thing that buggers me is the fact that you cannot save bookmarks or leave pretty much anything related to a file without screwing up the file. So what I'm interested is this - is there somewhere out there a pdf reader that /like video players/ enables you to save bookmarks, leave notes and such, but doesn't save them in the file itself, but somewhere in its own directory. So you don't mess with the original file, but still have your way to easy continuing where you left.

5 Answers 5


Just for those interested, although hardly the perfect solution, this one is somewhat better then editing every pdf file in which you wish to leave a bookmark.


It is a plugin for Adobe Reader, and it adds an option in the toolbar, which enables you to save one (!) bookmark per file, usually the one which marks the position where you left off with reading. It saves the bookmrks information outside the file in the same directory where the plugin stands.

Although I'm still looking for a better solution, this works for me for now ...


You could have a look at Mendeley. I don't think it sync's bookmarks but it does sync notes and you can access these from any computer where you have installed the Mendeley app and from the web interface. I don't think it works for everyone but it really has changed the way I manage my PDF's.


I have the same problem. I have adobe pdf reader installed and I am using it to read some pdf books and I have no way to set bookmarks as to where I last left reading it or where I could refer to later on (multiple bookmarks in same pdf). adobe is projecting acrobat reader as optimized for reading, and there is no facility to bookmark specific areas in the pdf. I came across this solution in my searching but it works only for pdfs read through browser, not pdfs read as standalone:


The ideal solution would be a program that allows bookmarking and stores such bookmarks outside of the pdf itself.

  • If I am not mistaken, for I just glanced through the link you provided, it is the same solution that I suggested in my answer below.
    – Rook
    Sep 20, 2009 at 15:05

On a Mac, I highly recommend Skim which can do notes (saved between sessions) and supports bookmarks.

I haven't used the bookmarks feature, so I can't say how good that is, but the notes are outstanding.


On a Mac, Preview keeps its own (long, unsorted) list of bookmarks. Opening such bookmark will make Preview open the PDF file and show the page you set the bookmark on.

The list is available at:


Copying this file to your other computer, and accessing the bookmarks from Preview works if you have the PDFs stored in the same paths on both computers. Not sure what happens when the path is different.

  • there was a suggested edit (rejected) - "Where is the list of bookmarks, in what file?" - if it's possible do update our answer with this detail
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Apr 28, 2011 at 2:02
  • That's awesome @Arjan. Thanks to the Anon user.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Apr 28, 2011 at 8:13

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