How to Create a PDF Portfolio

By Cooper Temple

The Portable Document Format (PDF) file format can be accessed by anyone with a PDF reading application, such as Adobe Reader, and most are available for a free download. A portfolio is a collection of documents assembled into one package. Using an electronic format, a portfolio consists of a collection of files assembled into one document. Due to the accessibility of the PDF file type, it is an obvious choice with which to create an electronic portfolio.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF writing program

Use a Free PDF Program

Step 1

Install a free PDF writing application to your computer. There are many free PDF writing programs available with varying features, so make certain the one you choose has the ability to merge documents. PDFill is used in the following steps and may be downloaded at www.pdfill.com.

Step 2

Open the PDFill PDF Editor program. Click once on the "File" menu and select "Open new PDF Project." From the "Open" dialogue window, select the folder in which one of the PDF documents that you want to include in your portfolio is saved using the "Look in" menu. Highlight the file and click once on the "Open" button.

Step 3

Click once on the "Tools" menu and select the "PDF Tools" option. This will launch a separate window with several options that will allow you to manipulate PDF documents. Click once on the "Merge PDF Files" button. This will launch a separate "Merge PDF Files" window. Click once on the "Add a PDF File" button. This will launch a separate "Add PDF Files" window.

Step 4

Select a folder in which one of the other PDF files that you want to include in your portfolio is saved using the "Look in" menu. Highlight the PDF file name and click once on the "Open" button. The file will appear in the "Merge PDF Files" window. Repeat this step for each document that you want to add to the portfolio. You may move the location of the individual files by highlighting them and using the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons. Files may be removed, prior to creating the portfolio, by highlighting the file name and clicking once on the "Remove" button. Click once on the "Save As" button after you have finished adding the PDF files and putting them in the appropriate order for the PDF portfolio.

Step 5

Use the "Save in" feature to select a folder in which to save the PDF portfolio using the "Save in" menu. Type a name for the portfolio in the "File name" field and click once on the "Save" button to complete assembly of the PDF portfolio.

Use a Commercial PDF Program

Step 1

Install and open a commercial PDF writing application to your computer. There is an abundance of commercial PDF writing applications available, each with a variety of features. Make certain the one you choose has the ability to merge documents. Adobe Acrobat Pro is used in the following steps, and it has a feature to combine and merge individual files. Before you purchase Acrobat Pro, which starts at nearly $450, try the free trial at www.adobe.com.

Step 2

Click once on the "File" menu and select "Combine Files." From the "Combine Files" dialogue window, click once on the "Add Files" button. This action will launch the "Add Files" window. Select the folder in which one of the PDF documents that you want to include in your portfolio is saved using the "Look in" menu. Highlight the file and click once on the "Add Files" button.

Step 3

Repeat step 2 for each PDF file that you want to include in your portfolio. The files will be listed on the "Combine Files" window. You may move the location of the individual files by highlighting them and using the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons. Files may be removed, prior to creating the portfolio, by highlighting the file name and clicking once on the "Remove" button. Click once on the "Next" button after you have finished adding the PDF files and putting them in the appropriate order for the PDF portfolio.

Step 4

Select either the "Single PDF" option or the "PDF Package" option. The "Single PDF" option will create a PDF document with a continuous stream of pages assembled from the individual files you added. The PDF Package" option will create a PDF document wherein one individual file will be viewable at a time, and the other files you selected will be viewable by clicking on a separate icon to the left of the document. Click once on the "Create" button.

Step 5

Click once on the "Save" button after the system finishes assembling the portfolio. Select a folder in which to save the PDF portfolio using the "Save in" menu. Type a name for the portfolio in the "File name" field and click once on the "Save" button.