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Archive for November, 2009

November 24, 2009

Changes in Acrobat.Com help you work better together

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

This weekend we unveiled some very exciting changes to our Acrobat.Com services which will enable you to more easily store and share files online, to create and collaborate around documents, tables and presentations, and to meet live over the web. The biggest change you’ll see is in the new file organizer. where now all your Acrobat.Com content is centralized. But there are lots of additional fantastic improvements made to Buzzword, Tables, Presentations, ConnectNow, and more.


The Acrobat.Com Team has shared the details about these changes. And there has already been a lot of good press written about the new offering. However I wanted to specifically highlight how Acrobat users can take advantage of Acrobat.Com.

Right from within Acrobat or Reader, there’s a “Collaborate” button which allows you to work with Acrobat.Com. You can share the PDF file you have open on Acrobat.Com. You can start authoring a Buzzword document. You can even share your screen with others via an Adobe ConnectNow web conference. All of these services are free – you only need to sign up for a free Adobe ID. (If you have Acrobat, you can also enable real-time chat and page synchronization within a PDF file via Send and Collaborate Live.)


However, as an Acrobat user, that’s just the start of how Acrobat.Com can help you be more productive. Acrobat.Com can also act as a central location for your shared Acrobat workflows, like gathering comments on a PDF file or gathering responses to a PDF form. Here’s how it works. In Acrobat, when you’re ready to share your file for commenting or your form for responses, you choose “Send for Shared Review” or “Distribute Form”.


At this point, you can choose Acrobat.Com as your sharing method and specify with whom you would like to share your file or form.


Your file will be uploaded to Acrobat.Com. Your participants will get an email with a link, and they’ll be able to make comments or complete and return the form using only the free Adobe Reader. Their comments or form responses will be stored on Acrobat.Com. And as the initiator of the workflow, you’ll be able to go to a single file to see all of the comments or all of the form responses.

Using Acrobat.Com for reviewing files and completing forms is a huge boost in productivity. For reviews, because the comments are all stored centrally on Acrobat.Com, you and all your reviewers can always see everyone’s comments right on the document itself. No more trying to decipher comments made in e-mail threads or receiving multiple contradictory comments about the same section. For forms, because the responses are all stored centrally and managed electronically, Acrobat can then download all those responses to a single spreadsheet-like document on your computer. You don’t need to clutter your in-box with form responses, nor do you ever need to manually gather form responses by retyping data or cutting and pasting data.

There is a lot more information about both of these workflows. To get you started, some more information about Shared Reviews is here and here, and some more information about Forms is here. If you have any feedback or comments about any of the ways that Acrobat and Acrobat.Com work better together, please let us know!

Dave Stromfeld, Acrobat Product Manager

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1:03 AM Permalink
November 4, 2009

Control how PDFs look when you open them

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

Over the months, we’ve seen a few questions come in via Twitter and the blogs asking us essentially the same question: “How do I control how my PDFs look when I open them in Reader or Acrobat?”

It’s a simple question that has a slightly complex answer. There are actually two settings that can control how a PDF looks when it is opened. One setting can be set by the PDF author. The other setting can be set by the PDF consumer.

Let’s start with the consumer…

Reader (and Acrobat) has a “Select and Zoom” toolbar which controls the magnification of the PDF you’re viewing.


There are a few tools shown by default. But if you want to display additional Select and Zoom tools, you can right-click on the toolbar and see additional tools.


Similarly, Reader (and Acrobat) as a “Page Display” toolbar which controls how many pages you see on your screen at once and how those pages behave when you scroll. And again, you can right-click on the toolbar to see additional tools.


ADDITIONAL POWER USER FEATURE: If you want to see all of the tools you can display on your Reader (or Acrobat) toolbars, choose “More Tools…” at the bottom of the right-click menu. This will reveal all of the tools which can appear on your toolbars. You can select the ones you use most frequently so they will always be visible. Choose “Reset Toolbar” to return the toolbars to the default state.

However, it can get annoying resetting the magnification and page display settings each time you open a PDF file. For that reason, under Preferences (Edit > Preferences > Page Display), we give you the ability to control the default magnification and page display settings for every PDF file you open.


If you prefer that every PDF opens at a zoom level of “100%” or “Fit Width”, set it here. Then, every PDF file you open will open at this zoom level. Even if you open that PDF file in the browser!

More information about Page Display Preferences can be found in the Acrobat Help File here.

However, that takes us to the author…

There are cases where the author of the PDF file feels that his file is best consumed with a certain page layout or magnification. For example, if the file is a 75 inch by 100 inch map of the United States, he may want to make sure that you don’t open it at “100%” (which would likely only show a portion of the map). Instead he’ll want you to open it at “Fit Page” so that you’ll be able to see the entire map by default. An Acrobat user can specify the magnification and page layout for his PDF file by going to Document Properties (File > Properties > Initial View) and setting these properties.


When he saves the file, the file will inherit these properties. Then, when the PDF is opened by someone else, the file will open with the author’s properties. In other words, the author’s properties will override the consumer’s preferences for that particular file.

ADDITIONAL POWER USER FEATURE: Did you notice all the other Initial View properties you can set as the document author? You can control which Navigation Tabs are open by default. (For example, maybe your PDF as bookmarks and you want the Bookmark Tab to be open so your document consumer can see these bookmarks easily.) You can have the PDF open to a certain page. And a lot more!

More information about Initial View properties can be found in the Acrobat Help File here.

There you have it. A complex answer to a simple question. But now you’re better armed (as an Acrobat or Reader user) to control exactly how your PDFs look when you open them.

Let us know what you think. There’s already a discussion on this topic on the Acrobat User Community Forum here. And let us know if there are additional questions which we can help answer for you.


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7:01 AM Permalink

Acrobat OCR: Make your scanned documents searchable

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

Though OCR was added in Acrobat a while back, we still see a lot of users who are pleasantly surprised when they get to know that Acrobat could also do OCR. This topic also gets a fair amount of coverage on Twitter and Blogworld. So we thought it might be a good idea to provide a quick overview of OCR in Acrobat 9. Read on, if you are interested in knowing more on how to make a document searchable using Acrobat 9.

Users could make a document searchable using Acrobat in 2 different ways. Subsequent sections provide more details on each of these ways.

  1. During Scan process
  2. On an already scanned PDF/Image

OCR during Scan process itself

If you have a paper document, that you need to scan and also make searchable, you can use Acrobat to do both in a single step. Go to Taskbar Create >> PDF from Scanner and choose any of the 3 document presets (Black & White Document, Grayscale Document, Color Document). These 3 Presets have OCR option enabled by default so you can get a fully searchable scanned PDF in a single click.


To verify if the OCR option is enabled in the chosen preset, you can click on “Configure Presets” menu option (shown in the screenshot above Create >> PDF from Scanner >> Configure Presets). Choose the appropriate preset in Preset textbox, and verify if Make Searchable (Run OCR) checkbox is on. If it is not checked, check it, save the preset and then press Ok to close the Configure Presets dialog.


Click on Options (next to OCR checkbox) to view and change the OCR settings. Change the Primary OCR Language, if required and then choose the PDF Output Style from the following style options.


  • Searchable Image / Searchable Image (Exact): Use this option if you want to keep the scanned image, but still want the text to be searchable. In this case, Acrobat adds a hidden text layer on top of the image. This text is searchable using Acrobat or other desktop search engines.
  • ClearScan: This is a new option added in Acrobat 9. Use this option, if you want to keep the look of the document same but still want to convert the scanned image to text so as to reduce the file size. Rick Borstein has more details on Clearscan in his blog posting here.

Once the preset is saved after making changes to OCR option, place the paper in the scanner’s feeder, click on same preset from Create Taskbar (Create >> PDF from Scanner >>…), and you will get a scanned PDF which is fully searchable.

To verify if the OCR is successfully completed, and document is indeed searchable, you can try selecting text using the select tool in Acrobat. If text is selected, then OCR has completed successfully. You can also copy this text and paste it in other applications like Word, Notepad etc.


Tip for improving OCR accuracy during Scanning process

You can improve OCR accuracy while scanning by modifying the compression options under Optimization frame either in Configure Presets dialog or in Custom Scan dialog.


On clicking Options, you will get Optimization Options dialog. Change to Custom Settings, and under compression frame, choose Lossless compression for Color/GrayScale and CCITT Group 4 for Monochrome images. This will ensure that OCR gets to work on highest quality image thereby improving the OCR accuracy. This is especially useful in low resolution scans (<=150DPI).


If you do not want to use presets for scanning, and instead want to use your own scanning settings, you can also use Custom Scan option (Create >> PDF from Scanner >> Custom Scan), which will prompt you to provide all scan related settings and then proceed for scanning. Also note that this is the only option available for Scanning if you are using Acrobat Pro on a Mac (Create >> PDF from Scanner).

Check the OCR option here if you want your scanned PDF to be searchable.


OCR on already scanned PDFs/Images

If you already have a scanned PDF that you received from someone, and you want to make it searchable, you can do so by going to Document >> OCR Text Recognition >> Recognize Text using OCR.


Choose the pages that you want to OCR, click on edit to choose Primary OCR Language, and PDF Output Style, and then click OK and OK again to initiate the OCR process for currently open Scanned PDF.


Another Tip for Improving OCR accuracy if you have a scanned image in TIFF format

If you have a scanned image in an image format like TIFF, you can make this image searchable in Acrobat by first converting it into PDF and then running OCR. Before you convert this image into PDF, you should change the compression options that are used in converting this image to PDF. To do that, go to Edit > Preferences > Convert to PDF, select the image format (e.g. TIFF), click on Edit settings and then change the image compression options here.



  • For Monochrome, change the compression to either JBIG2 (Lossless) or CCITT G4
  • For Grayscale/Color, change to ZIP which is a lossless compression format.

After changing the compression settings for the image format, you can convert the image to PDF, either by dragging this image and dropping onto Acrobat or using Create PDF from File and then run OCR from Document menu as explained above.

This is a broad overview of how you can make your scanned documents searchable using Acrobat. Let us know if you have any questions.

Aman Deep Nagpal, Acrobat Product Manager

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4:43 AM Permalink

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