If I have a multi-page PDF file with one figure on each page, I can use the \includegraphics[page=123]{foo} command to refer to individual figures (see this question).

However, if I have lots of figures, it gets difficult to try to keep track of the page numbers. (For example, I use OmniGraffle to prepare my illustrations and export everything as one multi-page PDF file; if I re-organise the figures in OmniGraffle, I have to manually fix all page numbers in the Latex code.)

Could I somehow use PDF bookmarks instead of page numbers in \includegraphics?

  • 1
    Unfortunately all PDF anchors and other annotations in included PDFs are removed. I think we have a similar question already. Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 6:22
  • @MartinScharrer: Removing bookmarks in included PDFs is perfectly fine for me. I would just like to use the bookmarks to select which page to include. That is, to write something like \includegraphics[bookmark=bar]{foo} instead of \includegraphics[page=2]{foo}. This is certainly doable by invoking an external program from Latex, but I was wondering if there is a more direct approach. Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 7:41
  • I'm not sure if pdftex or luatex can access these bookmarks. You need this kind of lower level support, otherwise you won't have a chance on the higher level. Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 7:48
  • 2
    I can confirm that pdftex at least does not have access to the bookmarks. I don't know about luatex.
    – Lev Bishop
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 1:30

2 Answers 2


Here's a command that implements user946850's idea. You need pdftk and GNU sed:

$ pdftk input_file.pdf dump_data | sed -n '/BookmarkTitle/{y/1234567890/ABCDEFGHIJ/;H};
${g;s/BookmarkTitle: \([^\n]*\)\nBookmarkPageNumber: \([^\n]*\)/\\newcommand{fig\1}{\2}/g;
s/ //g;p}' > file_bookmarks.tex

This turns a bookmark such as "1 First figure" (being a bookmark on page 18) into a line in the output:


I prepend \fig for uniqueness, and I eliminate spaces, and convert digits into A-J because they are not easily used in TeX commands. Other special characters will be a problem too: better stick to alphabetic characters only for the bookmarks. This could be worked around using \csname if necessary.


From the LaTeX Wikibook section on including graphics, this does not seem to be possible. Have you considered a solution like the following:


This would at least spare you from editing the document in many places, it suffices to update the order of the \definepage commands. Perhaps there is a PDF tool that can output a list of bookmarks which you then could convert into a list of \definepage calls.

  • I've done almost exactly this, but in my case the graphics pages were all generated via tex (and various scripts and makefiles) so it was easy to autogenerate the list of definitions without needing to parse the bookmarks out of the pdf.
    – Lev Bishop
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 1:32
  • What you're linking to is not the "documentation of \includegraphics, I'd refer to it as the "LaTeX Wikibook section on including graphics". A documentation of a package (the package most commonly providing the command \includegraphics is graphicx) can usually be found on CTAN; however, for graphicx I don't seem to find one right away.
    – doncherry
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 16:45
  • Sure. Edited the answer. -- Have you tried texdoc graphicx?
    – krlmlr
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 13:52

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