Trying to access inaccessible menu item in Acrobat Pro DC

Acrobat Pro DC (Mac) has a menu suite that is impossible to access through the normal menus (at least not those that KBM can reproduce under "Select/Show Menu Item"):

My first thought was to try to produce a macro by assigning a mouse position to click (what I want to click on is "Page Labels" to assign new page numbers—a frequent task for me). But I have struck out here, and wonder if there's a better strategy. I imagine this is a problem in lots of other programs. Thanks in advance.

PS: Something tells me I placed this query in the wrong thread. sorry for that. not sure how to move it.

I did find something close here (Peter;s reply) [enter link description here] ("Select or Show a Menu Item" in top bar menu app?). Not working yet though.

I changed it to “General”.


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I can think of several possibilities, and I’m sure other people will have ideas as well.

Probably the one that takes the least amount of “special” knowledge is the actions for clicking on found images. “Click at Found Image”.

Another option is to delve into the UI structure, using UI Browser. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re technically minded, it usually ends up being the most reliable method, assuming you can figure everything out.

If you have questions, please post them.

I’m pretty sure all of those menu items have built-in shortcuts. See:
Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Acrobat DC

No built-in commands for these items unfortunately. That’s why I am trying KBM here.

I'm close but not there: I can "Try" to bring up the image I pasted above; that works. Getting the Page Labels to be clickable is not working. I created a second Click at Found Image and copied just the Page Label item; but it doesn't respond to "Try"; and the whole macro errors out when I try it too (fails even to bring up the menu list pasted in above)

Clearer explanation:

I can get to this easily:

the next step is to click on the icon-image of the pull-down menu:

and then bring up the menu as pasted in my original post:

That's not happening with this set of commands (which still doesn't include click on Page Labels yet—one thing at a time):

Rather than trying with Keyboard Maestro, it may work to add a keyboard shortcut through System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Once there, select App Shortcuts on the left, then on the right click the + button. Select Acrobat DC, then enter the exact menu name (for the ellipsis, type Option + Semicolon), then enter a keyboard shortcut.

Thanks. Just tried. You won’t believe this, but system shortcuts doesn’t recognize Acrobat DC: it does not appear as an option, and when I try to choose it myself it tells me this is not permitted(!)

a quick google scan turns up a confirmation here

Strange. I tried to find an image in the non-pro version of Acrobat, and it wouldn’t work either.

No clue.

Oh, and my system froze once while SnagIt was trying to do a screen capture. I don’t like Acrobat much. :wink:

2016-08-05 16:50 CT

If I understand your workflow correctly, this menu is displayed by a right-click on a page thumbnail, correct? If so the below macro should work, with some adjustment.

###MACRO: Select (Click) Item in Right-Click Context Menu [Example]
~~~ VER: 1.1 2016-08-05 ~~~

Select (Click) Item in Right-Click Context Menu [Example].kmmacros (6.0 KB)

####Ver 1.1 Makes These Changes

  • Just start with the PDF of interest in FrontMost Window
  • Doesn't matter if the Page Thumbnail panel is open or not
    • You may need to adjust the "Move Mouse" to fit your needs
    • As configured, it moves the mouse down 200 and to the right 100 pixels, to get into the Page Thumbnail panel area

I built it for Adobe Acrobat XI, with this context menu:

I'm using "Number Pages…" for this example.
It required 8 presses.
Adjust the "Repeat" Action in the macro to fit your needs.

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Ingenious! Yes, that works. For the record, here is how to do it all with one simple keystroke from any given page of an Acrobat PDF document even when the page thumbnails are not showing:

Incidentally, this toggles the thumbnails to display or not to display (though I have a different macro for doing that, and use another for showing the bookmarks only).

Thanks for taking the time to test this out! (I too had realized that a pause is essential—between displaying the thumbnails and pulling up the (hidden) menu).

See my updated macro above that properly handles the Page Thumbnail panel being open.

@jipnet, @JMichaelTX - This is great detective work! Good job!

I admit I’m not completely versed in what you’re doing (and frankly, I don’t want to be :slight_smile:), but if there’s some way to package this up with some instructions, one or both of you might want to post something in the Macros category. I’m sure there will be others who will want to use it, once they see that this type of automation is possible for Acrobat.

Also, I’m would think that some of this type of automation would work with the non-pro version. So you might want to indicate that also.

Again, good job. It’s like watching a good mystery movie on TV.

Happy to do so but am not sure how to post that. I agree, spread the wealth. Digital communism…

Mine is a bit buggy: I get error messages (about Macro cancellation) sometimes, not all the times, but even when I do it works. JM’s may be more secure.

Did you arrive at 200/100 by trial and error or did you use “Get” to arrive at that? (I don’t get “Get” yet.)

Note that in my version you don’t have to specify a pixel location: once the menu displays, it’s 8 down arrows [your idea] + return and it’s done.

I used the Mac screenshot tool ⌘⇧4 to select a region.
Drag it from the top, left corner of the window into the Page Thumbnail area, and read the location shown on the screen. Press ESC to cancel the screenshot.

Enter that location (which is relative) in the KM Mouse Move Action.

You’re just lucky that your mouse happens to be in the right area. :smile:

If the mouse it NOT in the Thumbnail area, then the context menu won’t be proper.

That’s why I thought you two might want to work together.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with an incomplete solution. The more you can document what might go wrong, the better.

However, let me say this from my experience: If you try to do too much, you may never end up posting your results because it’s just too much of a PITA. In my opinion, I’d rather have a half-working solution that tells me “caveat emptor”, than none at all.

@JMichaelTX knows all about this - more than I do, so I’ll let him and you take it from here.

It may even be that this topic is enough as is, with perhaps a change to the topic title. Again, @JMichaelTX is actually the expert on how and where to post things on this forum.

I’ll be glad to post my example macro in the “macro” category. It’s already setup as an “example”.

@jipnet, if you are using my macro, or some form of it, please let me know how it goes. I’ll wait to hear from you before I post it so I know it has had some real-world testing/use. Please check the “Solved” checkbox on my post if it solved your problem/request, so other’s will know it worked for you.


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OK< I will keep trying it out. I just set up your macro, and it is working with no errors; and you are right, I was testing it from the same place before, which was misleading. Will let you know how it goes.

Incidentally, my Page Thumbnail area is 211 down, not 200, but 200 seems to do the trick; 100 is well within the range, though technically my entry point is more like 67. So I guess apps tend to have soft tolerances for these things. It will be interesting to test this on an iMac (using an Air at the moment) to see if the dimensions matter. Can’t do that for another 3 weeks yet, when I will get back to my office location again.

I’m pretty sure you have it right. I never would have thought of the if/then command; I’m new to this kind of level of detail using KBM (and am not sure I want to get much deeper—trying to save time, not create more distractions, fun as they are!). Thanks again.