A PDF record with the above characteristics can be assembled via the following steps (without an Acrobat subscription):
- Draft your document in MS Word. Add hyperlinks to certain words (i.e. cases – for external citation) by selecting the desired text, and hitting (“Ctrl” and “K”), and then inserting the link as appropriate. I recommend against using page numbering at this stage.
- When finished, save the document as a pdf file. Note that if you print as a pdf file, your hyperlinks will be lost. I save this in an ‘Assembly’ type folder, which contains the various parts that will be combined into the completed document.
- For Tabs, I created a standard set (initially in MS Word, saving each as a separate pdf document) including “Index.pdf” and “1-15.pdf” which I use to internally divide my document. I copy these into my Assembly folder.
- I also have a standard “Exhibit Stamp” page, which essentially says “These are Exhibits 1-27 of the Affidavit of Mr. X”, which I customize and insert before the exhibits. I do not individualize, as this paper adds literally nothing.
- Likewise, I save all Exhibits in pdf format, with file numbers corresponding to the Exhibit number in the document. I likewise move these into my Assembly folder.
- If I need to mark up Exhibits (i.e. add text such as ‘Schedule A’ or highlight portions of a case), I will upload the document to a free pdf editor site such as PDF24 Tools, make any changes as needed, then save same into my Assembly folder.
- I will then assemble my document, by using the ‘merge function’ from PDF24 Tools or a similar site, and put the documents in order, i.e. the pages at the start of the document (i.e. motion record), followed by the index, notice of motion, affidavit, draft Order, backsheet etc. Once I have my document organized, I will use the ‘merge function’ and have a simple (i.e. no bookmarks, page numbers or intra document hyperlinks) pdf document.
- I will then use an online tool such as PDF24 Tools to add page numbers, which I typically insert into the top right hand corner. I start page numbering from the first page, so that the page in any printed copy matches the pdf page number. It’s confusing when there is a disparity.
- I then use the free Foxit Reader to add Bookmarks (near top left hand corner, along left margin), which involves going to each page I want to Bookmark, selecting the Bookmark tab, and then giving a title to the Bookmark. If I also need to hyperlink within the document, I will make a quick listing of items and page numbers, in the following format:
Exhibit Page 1 3 2 15 3 27
- If I need to add hyperlinks within the document, I will use another free online service such as https://www.sejda.com/ to hyperlink. I’ll start at the Index, hyperlink to the various items, and then repeat the process on any Affidavits.
Depending upon the size of the resulting file (which typically depends to large extent upon whether any attachments are color pictures), I will then transfer the documents to the parties and the courts using a free transfer service such as wetransfer.com. Alternately, I may try to “compress” the file to make it a more manageable size, using https://www.ilovepdf.com/ or a similar free site.