For the first time, Adobe Acrobat has a preconference lab at MAX and it’s going to be a great one. Why? Because now Acrobat is even more fully embracing the Flash Platform, Flash Designers and Flash Builder Developers. The preconference lab takes place Sunday, October 24th 2010 – look for the preconference session below then keep reading for a description of what we’ll cover.
Using Flash Builder 4 to Create Custom PDF Portfolio Layouts
Leverage your ActionScript or Flash design skills to build custom PDF Portfolio layouts. This hands-on lab will introduce you to a new set of tools for developing PDF Portfolio layouts in Flash Builder 4. The PDF Portfolio Layout SDK and Flash Builder plug-in support the process of creating, debugging, and packaging these layouts. Clients will be amazed by the rich user experience you can create for assembling content and communications as part of your brand or design services.
Hopefully you already know what a PDF Portfolio is but if not, you can watch this video on Adobe TV to get a good overview of this cool new capability in Acrobat 9.
Acrobat 9 comes with a default set of PDF Portfolio Layouts. These are great for bundling up a set of files and sending them around as a single PDF file. There are some basic features that allow you to customize headers and a welcome screen as well as the ability to apply different color palettes. But, with Acrobat 9.1, we introduced a rich ActionScript API that can be used to create interactive, highly branded custom PDF Portfolio layouts or “Navigators”, as they are referred to in the API.
That was phase one.
At MAX 2010, well be introducing a beta version of a new set of tools that plug into Flash Builder 4 to support the process of creating, debugging, and packaging PDF Portfolio Layouts that have even more capabilities than previously available. Users will be able to experience your new enhanced PDF Portfolio Layouts in a future release of Adobe Reader 9 that will be available when these tools are released.
The New Project Wizard:
The New Project Wizard is an extension that automates the process of creating a basic navigator project.
After running the wizard, you’ll have a basic navigator with all the code and resources you need to compile, package and deploy for use in Acrobat, it’s basically identical to one of the Layouts that we ship with Acrobat, so you know it’s been tested and is ready to go.
The Debug Launcher:
The Debug Launcher is a Flash Builder launch configuration type that has been customized to support the running and debugging of navigator projects in a Previewer application.
The Previewer Application:
The Previewer Application is a simulation of the Acrobat and Reader PDF Portfolio runtime. It allows you to test your Layout in various flavors of Acrobat and in Reader with a virtual PDF that has different permission bits. It even lets you test your custom properties, metadata and localization strings, all without loading your Layout into Acrobat itself.
The Export Wizard:
The Export Wizard packages all of the needed navigator resources into a single .nav file.
Pushing the Envelope:
Finally, all of the custom components that we use in the Layouts that ship with Acrobat are available for you to either use as-is or extend. This opens up opportunities to customize a PDF Portfolio Layout if you are a Flash Builder expert or just getting started. The image below is a customized PDF Portfolio Layout running in the Preview Application.
What’s in it for Flash Designers?
Because these tools are built on Flash Builder 4 and use the new skinning model, Flash Professional Designers can use their existing skills to create “Visual Themes” or skins for all of the skinnable components in the Acrobat Portfolio SDK. If you know how to skin a video player, you can skin these components – it’s that easy.
Please join us and learn about these great new tools. See the Preconference page at the MAX web site.
Joel Geraci, Acrobat Technical Evangelist