Acrobat: Rearrange pages

June 9, 2009

Here’s a cool Acrobat trick — you can move pages into a different order, then save the changes. Very handy if you’ve inserted extra pages into a PDF then need to put them somewhere else, or if you’ve created a newsletter or magazine and for layout reasons want to move various pages around.

Notes before you start:

  • As far as I know, you can only do this in full Acrobat, not Adobe Reader.
  • Any page numbering added by the source application (Word, InDesign etc.) on the pages you move will now be ‘out of whack’. If you don’t have numbered pages, this is not an issue.

Here’s how you reorder PDF pages in Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional (other versions should be similar).

  1. Open the PDF.
  2. Click the Pages icon on the left sidebar — it’s the one at the top.
  3. All the pages in the PDF are displayed, with a red border around the currently open page.
  4. Click on the page you want to move and drag it to where you want it to go — a pale blue line indicates where you can drop it. In the example below, I’m moving the current page 5 between pages 3 and 4.
  5. Release the mouse button when you come to the new place for the page. This drops it into that location.
  6. Save the PDF and the page is now permanently in its new location (unless you want to shift it again later, of course).

(Thanks to David H on the STC Consultants and Independent Contractors SIG discussion list for this tip!)


  1. When I try to change page order, as you so clearly illustrate, I get the Red NO sign. It will NOT let me drag and drop to change order. I have a two page Acrobat Pro 9 document and want to change page 1 to page 2. Can you help??? Thanks so much.


    p.s. Your help stuff is fab!

  2. Figured it out. I edited the forms in Adobe LiveCycle, so had to do pagination in LiveCycle.


  3. I created a PDF file by inserting several pages into a saved document. Each page has a numeric filename. Is there a way to reorder the pages by their original filenames?

  4. Hi Derek

    I think you can only rearrange the pages manually, just like you inserted them manually.


  5. Thank you! It worked great.

  6. Nice! Thank you.

  7. Thanks, I had forgotten how to do this and was getting very frustrated.

  8. Thank you! Thank you! I knew there had to be a way!

  9. Thanks a lot Really helpful

  10. Thank you so much! Even Adobe did not say where the pages icon is. That’s all I needed to find to be able to change the page order with ease. It’s too bad we have to waste so much time because people don’t create instructions correctly. You have done a great job!

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