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Archive for August, 2011

August 17, 2011

Adobe SendNow Tweetaway

Have you been using Adobe SendNow for sending your biggest files?  Our updated cloud file transfer service was created to help you avoid the hassle of FTP servers, bounced emails, or any of the other obstacles that come with transferring large amounts of data.  And now, you have an opportunity to win a year-long subscription to Adobe SendNow just by hopping on your Twitter account and helping us spread the word!

Beginning today (Wednesday, August 17th ) and running until August 24th, please join our Adobe SendNow Tweetaway! We’ll be publishing tweets accompanied by the #TrySendNow hashtag.  Just follow us and ReTweet any of them to become eligible for our random drawing.  A year’s worth of hassle free, zero cost file transfers can be yours just for the price of a ReTweet!  Stay tuned to our Twitter account, keep an eye out for the #TrySendNow hashtag, and thanks!

The contest opens at 10 a.m., Wednesday, August 17, 2011, and closes 2 p.m., Wednesday August 24, 2011. The prize drawing for SendNow (no product prize exchanges available) will occur on or before 5 p.m., August 24th, 2011 with the winner announcement occurring that day well. The drawings are open to residents in North America only.

 

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August 15, 2011

FormsCentral Customer Spotlight: Education Administration

Christopher Atwood, Director of Academic Technology at Pomfret School, recently talked to us about how the school uses Adobe FormsCentral as a rich, collaborative, and environmentally responsible course registration and assessment tool. Pomfret administrators looked at how they could automate many document processes that traditionally relied on paper. With a history of success using Adobe software in classrooms, school administrators turned to Adobe to help automate several routing processes. Atwood says, “With Adobe FormsCentral we’ve expanded our relationship with Adobe and now have exactly the right solution to tackle a variety of administrative challenges.”

For example, Adobe FormsCentral provides Pomfret School a flexible platform to create and deliver registration and testing forms to students at the beginning of each school year. At the same time, skills-assessment forms for math and other subjects are made available online to incoming students, enabling Pomfret to place students in classes best-suited to their skill levels. The Adobe solution also streamlines sharing student assessments with teachers, who no longer have to wait for paper-based tests to arrive by mail or come back to campus to pick up assessments. To learn more about how Pomfret School is using Adobe FormsCentral, click here.

Todd Gerber, group product marketing manager, Acrobat Solutions

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August 11, 2011

FormsCentral Tweetaway Winner!

The winner of our recently concluded FormsCentral Tweetaway is @JuliaFoster! Congratulations again and thanks for helping us spread the word.  Julia will be receiving a one year FormsCentral subscription!

In case you missed our tweets, FormsCentral is one of the easiest ways to collect, analyze, and report on your data.

  • Check out FormsCentral, powerful online form builder, for real time results and analysis
  • With FormsCentral, you can easily create, distribute and analyze online forms
  • FormsCentral makes the task of creating surveys and collecting and analyzing data simpler than ever!

Learn more about the latest new features such as Summary Reports, Rating Scales, Apply Skip Logic, Twitter integration by checking out the FormsCentral site!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in our contest, don’t worry the next one is right around the corner!  Please stay tuned to Acrobat on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

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August 10, 2011

Come a little closer: What’s new in FormsCentral

We feel very lucky to be hearing from all of you about what you need in a good cloud-based forms authoring and distribution service. As you may have read, we’ve recently been able to implement several brand new features that you have been asking about for some time. In several installments over the next week or two, we’ll take a closer look at these features and what you can now newly do with Adobe FormsCentral!

New feature #1: Page Skip Logic

This addition was one of the features most often requested on the forum and through e-mail feedback to the team. Until now, respondents have had to go through all questions on a form, and in some cases, only a subset of respondents would need to respond to all of those. Thus, you may have been required to include apologies like “If you answered yes to the last question, go to question 3. If you answered no, go to question 4.”

No longer! Now, with either the Basic or the Plus plan, you can add rules to your page breaks that allow questions to be skipped altogether.

For the full post, click here.

New feature #2: Summary Reports

Summary reports. These beauties are now built into your forms once data starts flowing in; without exporting any data or fussing around with other spreadsheet programs, you can view your form’s responses graphically. Today, we’ll go through the details of what these summaries can do for you in FormsCentral.

For the full post, click here.

New feature #3: Form Templates

Now, born of your innovation (and your many requests for new ways to kick-start certain form types), we present 7 new form templates to support the various ways in which you’ve been using FormsCentral. We like to keep them organized by category, so here they are, according to the type of form they represent.

For the full post, click here.

Rebecca Staley, Acrobat.com marketing specialist, Acrobat Solutions

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August 8, 2011

Don’t Be Fooled

When we shared the results of the Acrobat X Productivity Study that was conducted by Crimson Consulting in June, we proved quantitatively that there are productivity gains to be had when you use Acrobat X across your organization for the most common document creation, distribution and collaboration workflows.

But something was bothering us: What if a clone vendor took some of that data and claimed that their cheap tool delivered the same benefits? We know that’s not entirely true, nor likely, but we want you to be as informed as possible about the unique ways Acrobat can help solve your document workflow challenges. So here are some of the key differentiators of Acrobat associated with the scenarios in the productivity study. You should review the study and built-in calculator for yourself to see what the workflow improvements and cost savings are with Acrobat X.

Electronic Forms Scenarios

Only Acrobat X allows knowledge workers to quickly and easily distribute, collect, track and export information through forms, all out-of-the-box. This part of the study certainly raised a few eyebrows, because it shows that using Acrobat X to aggregate and track responses from an electronic form results in a workflow productivity improvement of over 4000%. That’s right: over 4000%!  It’s simply because nothing else on the desktop can do what Acrobat X can do when it comes to forms and data collection. The key takeaway is that while some clone tools allow you to create a PDF form, edit it, and e-mail it around, they may also leave you to manually handle the process of importing, collecting, managing, analyzing and tracking those forms. And that manual workflow has a negative impact on productivity.

Comment Review and Comment Aggregation Scenarios

We have been able to add comments to a PDF document since the mid-90’s. Acrobat allows comments and markup to be added to be virtually any kind of PDF file (even embedded video, Flash Player-compatible content and 3D) and share those comments amongst reviewers using a central location. We call this Shared Reviews.  E-mail is still the most often used mechanism to exchange files and comments in a typical workflow. This is certainly the case when using clone tools to add comments and markup to a PDF file. Although Acrobat X Shared Reviews was not tested and measured in the Crimson Consulting study, the authors do note that this method of collecting comments does save time and can further increase savings.

Document Comparison Scenario

Acrobat X Pro has document comparison capabilities that show text, formatting, placement and image changes across different types of PDF documents. While some of the clone tools include some document comparison tools, they are more similar to those in much older versions of Acrobat or are designed to compare specific types of documents only. Further, the Acrobat X user interface makes it easier to identify what the differences are as it synchronizes the view between the two versions of the document.

Document Security Scenarios

The list of Acrobat “onlys” is long here. Here is just a handful…

Unlike cheap clone tools, Acrobat X allows customers to digitally sign documents using Roaming ID’s and hardware tokens, with built-in support for trusted root certificates from many of the world’s leading Certificate Authorities. Numerous government agencies, military departments and regulated industries require this. Some nations are even distributing hardware tokens to their citizens. When it comes to digitally signing documents, the clone tools are reliant on Self-Sign signatures or the Windows Certificate Store, neither of which is appropriate for truly trusted or secure infrastructures (although Acrobat does support those methods too).

Today, only Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader conform to international standards for digital signatures, such as PAdES. Both of these applications support Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management, a powerful technology to not only protect documents, but also control access and revoke files too. Acrobat X now supports time-stamping documents from a trusted time source. Finally, Acrobat X is the only desktop application that can extend usage rights to Adobe Reader users so they too can sign and verify digitally-signed documents (and save forms and add comments and markup) at no additional cost.

When all is said and done, different capabilities are good to know about, but it’s important to remember that the savings in productivity far outweigh any savings you may gain in the purchase cost of cheap clone licenses. Check out the study to learn more about how the unique benefits of Acrobat X translate into savings for you and your organization.

Ali Hanyaloglu, senior marketing manager, Acrobat Solutions

 

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August 5, 2011

Meet the Adobe MAX Speakers

The Adobe MAX  conference takes place October 1-5, register now!  Our own Joel Geraci walks introduces several of the speakers in his blog.  Take a look below for a preview of what’s to come at MAX!

Joel Geraci

I’m back at MAX this year as a speaker again presenting “Pushing the Envelope with Interactive PDF from InDesign”. I’ll be showing how I put together our interactive success stories using InDesign for the layout and Acrobat Actions to automatically add the interactivity. You can read an in depth article on what I’ll be showing in my article Actions in Action at Adobe and the follow on article Using the “Video Player Plus” with the “Insert VPP JavaScript” Action. I’ll take you through the process step by step and explain my logic behind it all.

For more on Joel’s MAX presentation, click here.

Thom Parker of Windjack Solutions is back at MAX this year and will be presenting “Automating Acrobat: Best Practices for using Actions and Scripting”. Thom has been involved with the Acrobat and PDF Community for quite a few years. In 2004, his company WindJack Solutions released its first Acrobat plug-in, PDF CanOpener, and followed that with two scripting related plug-ins AcroButtons and AcroDialogs in 2005. Thom is a prolific contributor in the user forums at acrobatusers.com, having answered thousands of questions since its inception. He has authored over 60 tutorials on a wide variety of Acrobat and PDF scripting topics for the site. Thom spends much of his time immersed in developing custom scripted solutions for clients spanning a broad spectrum of industries all over the globe, and providing custom on-line training in Acrobat and PDF scripting topics.

For more on Thom’s MAX presentation, click here.

Chris Converse and Patti Sokol, two MAX veterans will, be taking over for Lori DeFurio this year and presenting “I Didn’t Know Acrobat Could Do That!”

Chris Converse is a graphic designer and multimedia developer specializing in web design and development, interactive media, print, motion graphics, and CD-ROMs. Converse is co-founder of Codify Design Studio (codifydesign.com), which specializes in both graphic design and the technologies that make the design happen across media. Codify standardizes on many Adobe technologies, from developing rich-media PDF files that leverage dynamic Flash applications, to Ajax-based web solutions built on either Adobe Spry or jQuery framework.

Patti D. Sokol brings over 15 years of enthusiasm and experience in teaching Adobe products to her role as an Adobe Solutions Consultant. Her in-depth knowledge and facility for clear and concise explanations enable her to show clients how to solve problems using Adobe tools and products. A dynamic and interactive instructor and presenter, Patti is a Certified Technical Trainer and an Adobe Certified Instructor for Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop.

For more on Chris and Patti’s MAX presentation, click here.

Donna Baker, of Baker Communications, is a freelance graphic designer, and author of a couple dozen books about design software, and Web design. About half of the books she’s written are on Adobe Acrobat. Donna has also written a monthly article for Acrobatusers.com since the early days of the site. In the last year or so, she’s started to narrow her focus to all things Acrobat. She’s an Adobe Community Expert, an Adobe Certified Expert, and in her spare time she’s one of the online Adobe Acrobat Help system moderators.

For more on Donna’s MAX presentation, click here.

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