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The hyperref package automatically creates a list of PDF bookmarks, and it configures the PDF to have the initial view display the bookmarks panel, at least in Foxit Reader and Acrobat. To see the relevant setting in Acrobat, see File > Properties > Initial View > Navigation Tab > Bookmarks Panel and Page.

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How can I (temporarily) turn off the intial Bookmarks Panel display upon compilation?
I want it to be the Page Only setting.

Note: I know I can change the setting using Acrobat (Professional) once the PDF is created, but I want to control the setting upon compilation. The underlying driver for me is that when I view my PDF (after making changes in LaTeX, and compiling it), the bookmark panel makes the actual page shrink, making it too small to be readable.

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This doesn't happen for me when I compile a document using hyperref without any options and viewing it in Adobe Reader 9.4.6 on Ubuntu; it always shows the page view on opening. Could you post a short example .tex source that yields the described behaviour for you? –  Jake Apr 5 '12 at 8:24

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The hyperref option to set is pdfpagemode:

\hypersetup{pdfpagemode=UseNone}

However this is not guaranteed to work with all PDF viewers; it should with Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

The key pdfpagemode can receive other values; from the hyperref documentation:

Determines how the file is opening in Acrobat; the possibilities are UseNone, UseThumbs (show thumbnails), UseOutlines (show bookmarks), FullScreen, UseOC (PDF 1.5), and UseAttachments (PDF 1.6). If no mode is explicitly chosen, but the bookmarks option is set, UseOutlines is used.

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FYIO: apparently, Foxit Reader 5.1 seems to remember per document whether or not to show the bookmarks panel (based on whether you opened or closed the panel last time), irrespective of the hyperref setting. –  Rabarberski Apr 5 '12 at 8:51

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