This post looks at some of the ways in which PDF files can be used with Acrobat.com. In addition to offering the ability to create five PDFs, there are a number of ways that Acrobat.com helps you work with PDF files.
1. Store and share PDFs (and other files)
The first and most obvious way that Acrobat.com helps you work with PDF files is that it provides an online location accessible from any Internet connected computer where you can upload and store your PDFs.
Once you have uploaded your PDFs to Acrobat.com, you can easily share them with others. Acrobat.com can send email notifications to your colleagues, with a link to the online PDF file.
The invitation looks like this, with a thumbnail of the document along with a link to the document itself:
You might be thinking, “but I can just email the PDF to others – why bother to upload it?” There are a lot of reasons to store rather than forward your PDFs. For one thing, email is hardly an easy way to manage files, especially when they get large. Some email systems won’t even allow sending large attachments. Furthermore, keeping your PDFs online makes them available to you from any computer you from which log in. Read on to learn more advantages to storing your PDFs on Acrobat.com.
2. Preview PDFs (and other files)
When your colleagues receive and follow the link to your online PDF, they will be taken directly to the document, displayed in a Flash-based preview form. Acrobat.com creates this preview version for all uploaded PDFs – and many other document types. The preview is fast and easy to navigate, and viewers can choose to download the PDF directly from the preview page, making the whole process simple and convenient.
3. Embed PDFs (and other files)
While it’s always been possible to view PDFs within a browser using the reader browser add-in, Acrobat.com now offers another way to deliver PDF content in a browser. With a click of the document’s “Copy Embed Code” button, you can paste a reading “widget” directly into your web page. Unlike the Reader add-in, the widget only takes up a small portion of the page, though you can expand it to take up the entire page. An example is shown below.
4. Export Buzzword documents to PDF
Of course, most documents began their life as something other than a PDF file. Adobe Buzzword now provides a great way to author a rich document – complete with graphics, tables, links and comments. And when the authoring / editing process is complete, you can simply export the document to PDF for archiving or distribution.
We often get asked about adding the ability to import PDF files into Buzzword. We certainly understand the need: we’ve probably all gotten documents in PDF format, and wanted to edit them – something needs changing or updating – only to discover that the document cannot be edited.
Unfortunately, while the PDF format is a very useful container that makes documents portable – across platforms and output devices – it is generally not the right format for storing documents that need to be edited by arbitrary applications. A PDF document is often closer to a printed version of the document than the original raw content.
The actual contents of a PDF file can vary widely from one file to the next. A PDF can contain text, images, complete files (e.g. an Excel file), fonts that may be required to render the document, and now can include interactive content, such as Flash applications.
The best suggestion we have for the moment is to use Acrobat, which has some rather sophisticated techniques for parsing through a PDF file and, if needed, exporting it to many common file formats.
5. Acrobat.com as online support for PDF commenting
Acrobat.com provides great support for collaborating on PDFs with others – and this can be started directly from Acrobat. With a PDF loaded in Acrobat, just select “Send for Shared Review” from the Comments menu. Acrobat will prompt you to log into Acrobat.com, and create a new version of the PDF, appending “_review” to the file name. It will then provide the ability to send a link to the PDF – which will be stored on Acrobat.com – to your colleagues for commenting.
The new PDF on Acrobat.com will then aggregate comments from your reviewers, all in one web-accessible location.
6. Online support for collecting PDF form data
Finally, you can use the same approach described above to collect input from PDF forms using Acrobat.com. With a form-enabled PDF loaded in Acrobat, choose “Distribute Form…” from the Acrobat Forms menu. Again, you’ll be prompted to log in to Acrobat.com, and provide email addresses for recipients who will receive an email containing a link to the PDF.
In this case, Acrobat will create a copy of the original PDF, appending “_responses” to the original title. The file will be stored on Acrobat.com, and will collect data from up to 500 respondents
Adding Value to PDFs
It’s clear that Acrobat.com is a great supporting resource for all manner of work with PDF files. If you haven’t done so already, get an account on Acrobat.com – it’s free and takes less than a minute. We think you’ll be impressed with the added value.