Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Creating a PDF Portfolio

Benefits of Creating a PDF Portfolio

In education, the term “portfolio” describes a collection of materials: papers, photos, videos, brochures. Together, these materials can be used to reflect on progress and achievement, and be shared for professional development and even career advancement. Adobe Acrobat Pro version 9 has a new tool that acts as an “electronic wrapper” for these materials – allowing you to package a variety of files in a unique design to reflect their contents. This Flash-based application allows you to EASILY navigate and interact with content of a variety of types. All of this can be shared with anyone using the free Adobe Reader 9, on any platform.

Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking about the possibilities for E-Portfolios:

New faculty/staff member welcome portfolios Club activity portfolios Reflective professional portfolios
Committee meeting portfolios Instructional portfolios CV and Resume portfolios
Professional development portfolios Lesson plan portfolios Student growth portfolios
Student eLearning portfolios Best practices archive portfolios Presentation portfolios
Student end-of–term archival portfolios Evaluative portfolios for staff Assessment portfolios

To learn more about ePortfolios in Education - click to expand.

Before Beginning - click to expand.
  1. Consider the audience for your portfolio: peers, mentors, prospective employeers?
  2. What is the main message that you would like to get across?
  3. Gather the files that you might like to include in your portfolio. These can be all filetypes, including .pdf
  4. View examples of Acrobat Portfolios at the Acrobat Users Forum to get ideas about content layout and design.

Steps in Creating a Portfolio in Adobe Acrobat - click to expand.
  1. Click File - Create a PDF Portfolio or Combine - Assemble a PDF Portfolio.
  2. Drag and drop the files that you would like to include onto the dashboard, as below, or click Modify - Add Files.
  3. Choose the layout that you would like to use. Please note that Acrobat 9.1 has more options than version 9. If you would like to create your own layout, you can find instructions on this external site.
  4. Add a Welcome and Header if you would like.
  5. A Header can give your Portfolio a uniform look.

  6. Choose a Color Scheme, or create your own.
  7. Organize your files using the Specify File Details option.
  8. Although you can change the names of your files, please be sure to leave the file extension in order for it to open properly.

Publishing your Acrobat Portfolio - click to expand.
You can share your Portfolio in a number of ways.
  • Email is the easiest way. Be sure to inform the recipient that they will need Acrobat Reader 9.1 or newer to view your Portfolio as it is designed. If they have an older version, they will see a packaged .pdf list of files.
  • is a web service set up by Adobe which allows you to upload the Portfolio to Adobe's servers and share with a url that is provided.
  • Personal web spaces at WPI allow you to share files via the address. To learn more, visit the CCC's site on Creating Your HomePage at WPI.

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Last modified: Jul 23, 2009, 12:48 EDT
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