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Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

Acrobat Wizard at Work: Harry Hemus, Dividi Projects

Imagine the scene—a hotel or conference room, lots of suited and badged business types, canapés and warm Chardonnay, all accompanied by the soft background drone of networking. It’s not that I’m anti‐social, but whilst accepting that such forums are deemed necessary, I simply cringe when I see some seasoned, professional networker heading towards me to ask…”So, Harry, what do you do?”

Now here comes my killer response: “I do interactive PDFs!”

I’ve actually started to get some enjoyment by watching this person desperately try to think of something to say. Believe me it’s hilarious.

I suppose these events occasionally attract people who know what a PDF is, so you do get the opportunity to suggest that they are more than “just a PDF.”

I often start by asking people how they communicate across their organization, assuming that I will get the usual “by email, SharePoint, Intranet,” along with the omnipresent “Word, Excel, Powerpoint” responses. I then ask another trying question, “Would you like to have all of your clever and important documents—flattery is always a good ploy—delivered in one single, navigable PDF?”

If they say NO, then you might as well shift the conversation towards the riveting and thrilling PowerPoint you may have just been subjected to, or if that’s not applicable, discussing the weather is always an option. I’ve yet to find anyone who says to me “Ooh, I do interactive PDFs as well!” What is stopping this particular fraternity from realising that ALL of the wonderful work that they create can be delivered within a PDF?

If, however, they say YES, then clearly this presents an opportunity to enquire, “Would you like to do all that as well as including audio, video, data collation, tracking and commenting reviews within the PDF”?

Let’s assume that you have achieved Nirvana—the “wow” response. Now that Acrobat X is on the scene, it has taken the user interface to a level which not only suits the enterprise user, but also suits the creative community— the cool and hip visionaries that create stunning imagery, graphics and rich media.

Realize that they have to experience for themselves real life samples and that some are sensitive individuals within the enterprise who rely heavily on the IT team for advice and guidance.

Perhaps it’s best to show actual, real, relevant and dynamic examples which contain all of this rich material. I’ve received a project which requires ALL manner of files and skills, including 50‐
80 pages of text, 20 separate fact sheets and three Flash animations.

At the first meeting to discuss the options, I suggested a dynamic PDF as the solution. I heard the sound of a haunting wind, and tumbleweed could be seen drifting across the table. The

design group preferred Flash; the head of the global brand didn’t know what a PDF was; and the technical writers wondered how the printers could make PDF interactive.

The agency charged with managing the project intervened. “I think it would be a good idea if
Harry showed us a few examples.” I showed them dynamic PDF – and was offered the job!

For too long, there has been a perceived split personality for Acrobat, where in my submission one should not exist, because it is both a proven business tool as well as vehicle for delivering creative and engaging content.

I’m sure that in such circumstances where these two areas are converged, there is a market and a suite of innovative products ripe for development and delivery to consumers and businesses alike.

Harry Hemus is an independent media production professional at Dividi Projects. When Harry is not enjoying canapés at cocktail parties, he is brainstorming his next act of wizardry with interactive PDFs for his media production clients.

Have a great wizard story on how Acrobat has inspired your work? Share it with us in the blog comments, we’d love to hear from you. Stay tuned for more upcoming Wizards in our Acrobat Wizards at Work blog series.

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9:59 AM Permalink
February 25, 2011

“Ask the Xpert” Twitterview: Adobe FormsCentral

Hope you enjoyed our first “Ask the Xpert” Twitterview with the Acrobat team’s Chris French and Dave Stromfeld. If you didn’t have a chance to join, check out the transcript from the session!
 
Our second “Ask the Xpert” Twitterview takes a look at dynamic forms, and it kicks off on Tuesday, March 1 at 10:00am PST on our Acrobat Twitter handle:  @Acrobat. Our hosts are Todd Gerber, Group Product Marketing Manager, Acrobat.com Solutions, and Rebecca Staley, Community Manager, Acrobat.com.
 
To refresh your memory, Twitterviews are interviews conducted on Twitter, where you get to interview our special guests about, in this case, forms-related questions.  We encourage everyone to ask Todd and Rebecca questions via Twitter during the Twitterview using the hashtag #Acroview, or better yet, starting today using that same hashtag #Acroview, or even right here in the comments section of this blog post!  
 
As an added incentive, all users who ask a question will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win 10 FormsCentral Plus accounts for a whole year—a great solution for you, your colleagues, club, team, etc. FormsCentral is our new forms-creation and online data-collection solution that we announced on Feb. 14, and FormsCentral Plus offers unlimited forms and up to 5,000 responses per form. The drawing is open to residents in North America only. For the complete rules see here.
 
Here’s a little more info about Todd and Rebecca:
 
Todd Gerber is Group Product Marketing Manager for Acrobat.com Solutions, managing all services for Acrobat Solutions, including FormsCentral, SendNow, CreatePDF and more. He comes to Adobe with more than 15 years expertise building corporate online programs in direct and indirect sales, lead acquisition, and optimization. Prior to Adobe Todd spent 13 years at HP, most recently as director of business engagement and development. When he’s not talking up the latest cool use cases for FormsCentral, he enjoys traveling and writing screenplays.
 
Rebecca Staley joined the Acrobat.com team last year as the Acrobat.com Community Manager. Since coming to Adobe, she’s been working with all of Acrobat.com‘s attendant services, including SendNow, CreatePDF, and now FormsCentral; she spends her time writing blog posts and having conversations in the Adobe forums about all of these services. When she’s not tweeting the latest Acrobat.com news, she’s covered with ink at the letterpress studio or gallivanting around the Northern California wilderness.
 

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Don’t forget to follow our Twitter handle, @Acrobat, for the latest Acrobat news and updates, and ask those questions using #Acroview or in the comments section here!  We hope to see you (virtually) on Tuesday, March 1!
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10:03 AM Permalink
February 23, 2011

Happy 5th Anniversary, AUC!

We can’t believe that it’s been five years since we introduced the Acrobat User Community, and it’s amazing how much the Community has grown since then. The sheer number of topics and posts in our Forums page, the variety of projects we’ve featured in our Gallery, the growth of resources available in our Learning Center and the emergence of User Groups around the world make this a happy 5th birthday indeed!

Since the AUC’s inception in 2006, the Community has been supported by a group of outstanding Acrobat experts always willing to share their expertise with Acrobat users around the world. We want to thank them especially for making the AUC such a vibrant, engaging place to be.

And here’s more icing to the cake – the AUC has kicked off a week-long contest to celebrate the big “5” with you. If you tweet a tip linked to any forms-related content on AcrobatUsers.com via Twitter, using the hashtag #formstips in your tweet, you can win one of several six-month subscriptions to Adobe SendNow Plus or Adobe FormsCentral. The AUC will randomly select one winner from each day’s tweets. More details and sample tweet tips here.

If you’re on the outside looking in, we’d love for you to join the AUC. You can be one of the almost 1,000 people joining the Community every month who enjoy special benefits like discounts, access to eSeminars and of course expert answers to your Acrobat-related questions. Whether you’re a seasoned AUC veteran or new to the Community, we hope you’ll be a part of the next five years and beyond!

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10:00 AM Permalink
February 21, 2011

Customer Spotlight: IATA taps Acrobat to drastically streamline and manage critical airline info

Buried in files? We recently learned about how global flight organization International Air Transport Association (IATA) uses advanced PDF Portfolio capabilities in Acrobat  to distribute critical airline information – more than 4,000 pages of tariff and cargo details, including more than 3.3 million rates and 1,000 pages of rules, regulations, and airport data for over 200 countries.

By using Acrobat and creating PDF Portfolios, the organization has eliminated the costs and hassles of manual document delivery and can now provide frequent electronic updates to its members worldwide.  This helps ensure airline professionals always have access to the most up-to-date information anywhere, any time.  Also, IATA has dramatically streamlined printing, managing, and distributing materials.  

With easy access to essential airline information across devices, demand for the dynamic digital documents has really taken off. Read more here.

Ali Hanyaloglu, Product Evangelist, Acrobat Solutions

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10:00 AM Permalink
February 18, 2011

Save the Date: Tech Talk on Deploying Acrobat X

There’s a lot for IT Managers to love about Acrobat X deployment tools. With support for SCCM/SCUP, this version of Acrobat and Adobe Reader are much easier to deploy and maintain than previous versions. There is even deployment support via Apple Remote Desktop.

Don’t miss hearing more about deploying Acrobat X with Joel Geraci, Acrobat Technical Evangelist in his Tech Talk session with Chris French, Senior Product Manager for Acrobat Solutions, Tuesday, February 22, 10 a.m. PST. Sign up here.

Joel Geraci has been an Acrobat Technical Evangelist at Adobe Systems for over 13 years and has 25 years experience in desktop design and publishing. He is the author of two Acrobat blogs: The PDF Developer Junkie and IT Matters.

Chris French is a Senior Product Manager who’s worked on Acrobat and Reader versions 9 and X since joining Adobe in 2007.  For Acrobat X, he managed the redesign of the new user interface, production and of the new Acrobat X Suite, and IT deployment improvements. 

For additional upcoming Acrobat eSeminars and session recordings, visit Acrobat Users.com.

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10:00 AM Permalink
February 17, 2011

Product Management Insights with Varun Parmar: FormsCentral

Take a look under the hood with Varun Parmar, Principal Product Manager, Acrobat Solutions, as he shares insights and a demo of Adobe FormsCentral, a new cloud-based form creation and distribution service. Hear about the research that went into FormsCentral behind the scenes, target business use cases and a closer look at the collaboration platform the service was built on. Learn more about some of the professional and powerful features of FormsCentral that make it easy to create, collect and analyze data in a few minutes.

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10:00 AM Permalink

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