I have a pdf file that is 115 pages long. A great deal of the contents are footnotes at the bottom of each page. I would like to print the pdf file without any of the footnotes, hoping the printed output contains far fewer pages.
Nope, not possible. Think of a PDF as a printed page in your computer. If you have a 115-page printed document that you wanted to share but without the footnotes, you'd have to cut off the bottom of the page. That's easier than doing the same with a PDF using Reader.
I was hoping that the footnotes were stored separately, and rendered in their desired place only when the document was displayed or printed. In fact, I would have preferred to be able to hide the footnotes (or in my vision: keep the footnotes hidden) when I viewed the document in Acrobat.
I do not know the full mechanics of how Word or InDesign actually work with footnotes but they are more likely to have any footnotes (or endnotes) held in some secret hideaway, only to be shown on the page in the right place. But by that time Acrobat, or the printed page, has this information securely placed on the page.