PDF documents have hyperlinks to the contents on the same document (analogous to "#section" hrefs for an HTML document). Where's the back button to go back to the page I was on (where I clicked the hyperlink).

Let's say I'm on the index of a PDF tutorial, page 4, and I click on Chapter 2's hyperlink in the index that takes me to page 38. Now, if I want to go back to page 4 again, which button or shortcut should I use?


I have always had luck using the combination Alt and the left arrow, much the same as in IE, Firefox, or any other browser. I found this out on accident when I was in a PDF document in a browser and found it worked in the standalone program as well.

On the Mac, the equivalent in Adobe Reader is command-left arrow. In Preview (the default PDF reader on Macs), the equivalent is command-[ (open square bracket).

  • Doesn't work for evince :(
    – levesque
    Jul 15 '10 at 20:22
  • 2
    Works for FoxIt Reader 6.1 Nov 20 '13 at 8:03
  • 2
    not work on Acrobat reader in Chrome browser.
    – Chan Kim
    Oct 22 '15 at 8:27
  • nice, works fine in win pdf Mar 26 '16 at 13:36
  • Okular has this as well. Default shortcut is alt+shift+left, but you can change it to alt+left
    – jat255
    Jun 25 '16 at 14:59

"Back" and "Forward" buttons can also be added to the toolbar in Adobe Reader. If you right-click on the tool bar, under "more tools," "page navigation toolbar," they are referred to as "previous view" and "next view."

Or alternatively: Click on the VIEW drop down menu , then Click PAGE NAVIGATION then click PREVIOUS VIEW. A backward arrow will then appear in the toolbar at the top. Repeat for NEXT VIEW to add a forward arrow.

  • 4
    These aren't really "back" and "forward" buttons as you would expect from a browser. If you hit pagedown 100 times, the "back" button will take you back through each one of those 100 locations.
    – Neil
    Jul 2 '11 at 16:47

For Foxit users,

As stated in the other answers you can use [alt + left arrow] as a shortcut.

If you want see this on the menu

  • Open Foxit
  • Go View tab
  • You can see on top left corner of the windows, previous view-next view
  • Perfect saved me! It works on the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader Version .
    Jan 17 '18 at 15:15

In Evince you can use the Back Button functionality to achieve what you desire.

The Back Button is not visible by default, but you can make it visible by the following steps.

  • Right-Click on ToolBar
  • Selct Toolbar, from the Context Menu.
  • In the Window that appears, Drag and Drop the Back Buttton to your Toolbar.

The Back functionality is not similar to what you get in a browser. When you press Back, it gives a list of all the links you had visited in that Document and you can select from the list.


Its already mentioned in adobe acrobat go to view->page navigation->previous view (hot keys alt+left arrow) go to view->page navigation->next view (hot keys alt+fwd arrow)


Move back to previously opened topic

Windows: Alt+Left Arrow

Mac : Command+Left Arrow

Move forward to next topic

Windows: Alt+Right Arrow

Mac : Command+Right Arrow

These are all the Keyboard shortcuts that Adobe Acrobat supports.


Another option is to set the links to a new window, then you just have to close the file to display the previous.

To do this:

  1. Open the link Properties sheet.
  2. Click the Actions tab.
  3. Click the Edit button.
  4. Change the Target Document, Open In property to New Window.
  5. Click OK twice.

For okular, the shortcut is Alt+ Shift+Left.
This can be configured as per user liking through

Settings >> Configure Shortcuts


For Foxit reader:

  • Mac: Option+Left
  • Windows: Alt+Left

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