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Archive for September, 2010

September 29, 2010

Laying Our Cards Out On The Tables

We’re sure you’ve used Tables in Acrobat.com in the past to keep track of various projects, and so we can assume you’ve noticed the little glasses icon in the upper menu bar and know exactly what it’s there for. Wait, what’s that? You don’t know?

Check out the recent blog post from Rebecca Staley, Acrobat.com Community Manager, who has prepared a handy overview of viewing mechanisms in Tables. In the post, she highlights how you can manipulate the views of your data in Tables to increase your efficiency, use only relevant information, and save you from long hours of scrolling through rows and rows of information. Welcome to your new favorite features in Tables: Private Views and Filters!

Follow Acrobat.com on Twitter.

Rebecca Staley, Acrobat.com Community Manager

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11:25 AM Permalink
September 27, 2010

Share Your Acrobat Story

We’ve posted a number of tips and tricks and tutorials about important capabilities in Acrobat, but that’s only half the story. Throughout the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to hear about the great ways our customers (and even our colleagues) are using Acrobat for everything from reviewing advertising projects to preparing taxes.

Fittingly, The Acrobat User Community features a series of interviews with our Acrobat expert team called “Why I Love Acrobat.” Customers from law enforcement to advertising share how Acrobat has changed their professional and personal lives. Check out the first eight interviews here.

How about you? We’re looking forward to hearing how Acrobat has helped you better navigate through work and life. It’s easy to submit your story: You can write it (700 words or less) or tell us in a video (no more than 256MB). Just use the submission form on Acrobat Users.com. Be sure to check out the user feedback area, then tell us why YOU love Acrobat!

Lori DeFurio, Group Product Marketing Manager, Acrobat Solutions

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10:00 AM Permalink
September 22, 2010

New MAX Session Added on Sandboxing & Adobe Reader Security

For anyone interested in Adobe Reader security, this is the newly added MAX session,”Sandboxing Adobe Reader Protected Mode” is for you.

Join Suchit Mishra, Acrobat lead security researcher, and Steve Gottwals, Acrobat group product manager, as they help separate fact from fiction in the buzz around Adobe Reader security. We’ll outline the motivation behind Protected Mode and give a demonstration of Adobe Reader running in the sandbox. We’ll discuss how Reader Protected Mode works and how it can protect end users from Internet attacks via malicious PDF files.

To learn more or register for this limited seat MAX session, check out the details here.

Joel Geraci, Acrobat Technical Evangelist

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1:59 PM Permalink
September 20, 2010

Acrobat in a “Flash”!

Earlier posts here have covered cool capabilities in Acrobat 9 such as PDF Portfolios and redaction, so I’d like to spend some time talking about one of the other great features introduced in Acrobat 9—native support for Flash, our multimedia platform used to build animation, video and interactivity with the Web. We’re also gearing up for a great preconference lab at Adobe MAX on Sunday, Oct. 24, which will take a look at using Flash to create PDF Portfolio layouts, so this is a great opportunity to fill you in on the basics!

So what’s Flash in Acrobat all about? Instead of calling out to an external player in your browser or desktop, you can add Flash content (.swf files) in a PDF, play it via the built-in Flash Player for Acrobat and share it with anyone who has Adobe Reader 9. Also, it doesn’t matter what video format you’re working with; Acrobat 9 Pro Extended can convert a variety of video formats to Flash Video so there’s no need for a separate player.

A number of savvy Acrobat users have taken these capabilities a step further and created mini-applications or “Flash Widgets”, to deliver content such as interactive maps and games that play within a PDF document; I think of them as portable applications. Lori DeFurio offers up a great overview of Flash Widgets inside PDF documents on Adobe TV.

Recently, I wrote about a YouTube widget I created for Acrobat that allows you to stream video from YouTube directly into PDFs. Be sure to check out this article for directions on how to download the YouTube widget and how to add YouTube videos to a PDF.

How have you been using Flash in Acrobat? We’d love to hear about your projects and success stories! Again, for you Flash enthusiasts, developers and newbies alike, we hope to see you at the Acrobat/Flash Builder 4 preconference lab at MAX. More info here!

Joel Geraci, Acrobat Technical Evangelist

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10:14 AM Permalink
September 15, 2010

Redaction Gone Wrong!

Redaction. The very word makes knowledge workers shudder, especially if they were at the wrong end of redaction done incorrectly (meaning, they thought they had purged information from a digital document, but they in fact had only covered it). Some high profile examples of redaction gone wrong – documents filed during the federal trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, HSBC Bank exposing sensitive bankruptcy data, the TSA leaking data about security screening at airports – all drive the point home.

This excellent article on redaction in The Legal Intelligencer walks through the importance of getting redaction right. Author Kim Walker says it best:

Back in the day, redacting was a breeze. You had a black magic marker, you drew over what you didn’t want your adversary to see and the worst that could happen was you dropped a black magic marker on your tan pants and ruined them. A small price to pay. And unless your adversary hired Superman, they couldn’t see through the black magic marker…

Kim writes for a legal audience but redaction is powerful tool used in the government  and healthcare industries as well. And while digital redaction saves time and gets the job done, there are a lot of common errors that are very easy to make when redacting information from a document.

Let’s review a few:

Common Redaction Errors
in Adobe Acrobat
Common Redaction Errors
in Microsoft Word
Covering Up Information Forgetting to Apply Redactions Covering up Information in Word and Printing to PDF Changing Text to White or Background Colors
In Acrobat, drawing a black box over the text or images you want redacted and thinking this will do the trick. Nope. Those black boxes can be removed by anyone with a simple cut and paste. In Acrobat, properly marking text to be redacted using the redaction tool but not applying it. Skipping the ‘apply’ step means you did not redact anything. In Word, highlighting the text and choosing black as the highlight color. It appears as a black box over the text and the text appears to be redacted. But if you were to highlight that area again and change the highlight color to no color the text appears again. In Word, selecting the text and changing the font color to white. It appears as if the words have disappeared and you can’t see them on the page. But if you were to select the text and choose any color the text would be visible.

Now that we see how not to redact, here are some best practices and tips for correctly redacting information:

Adobe Acrobat (version 8 and 9):

1. Choose View>Toolbars> Redaction

2. Select the Mark for Redaction tool

3. Mark items you want to remove using one of the following methods:

  • Double-click to select a word or image;
  • CTRL as you drag to select a line, a block of text, an object, or an area

4. Click Apply Redactions in the Redaction toolbar

5. Click OK to remove the items. Very important: The items are not permanently removed from the document until you save it!

6. Save the document with a different name, i.e., REDACTED_MEMO.PDF

Acrobat also provides an Examine Document feature that finds hidden information such as metadata, hidden text or comments, and can also flag items that the user covered up using one of the ineffective methods talked about earlier, mistakenly believing the info has been redacted. The Examine Document function can detect and fix these issues.

For more comprehensive how-to’s, step by step videos and other information on redaction best practices, check out my Semi-definitive Guide to Redaction in Acrobat.

… or for regularly updated resources for Acrobat in the legal community, check out: http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/

… or Twitter: @acrolaw

Cheers,

Rick Borstein, Business Development Manager, Acrobat

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10:00 AM Permalink
September 13, 2010

Beware Phishy Emails

It has come to Adobe’s attention that email messages purporting to offer a download of a new version of Adobe Reader have been sent by entities claiming to be Adobe. Many of these emails are signed as “Adobe Acrobat Reader Support” (or similar), and in some instances require recipients to register and/or provide personal information. Please be aware that these emails have not been sent by Adobe or on Adobe’s behalf.

The Adobe Reader is free software available for download directly from the Adobe Reader download page on the Adobe Web site at http://get.adobe.com/reader/; it is not available in any other manner via download, including via email. Customers receiving one of these emails should delete the email immediately without clicking on any of the links.

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10:15 AM Permalink

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