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Archive for August, 2013

August 27, 2013

Scan to PDF and OCR Resource Directory

One of the coolest things you can do with Adobe Acrobat is scan paper documents into PDF files; not only can you save digital copies of important files (and then secure them as PDF files), you can run OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in Adobe Acrobat to convert those scanned documents into usable text. This allows you to copy content, search for specific words or phrases, even edit the text on what was once a printed page. Digitizing your documents can help you keep your desk paper-free, as well as give you options for using those papers that you never had before.

The scanning functionality is so awesome that we get a lot of questions from Acrobat users about how best to use it, so we’ve decided that it’s time to put together a directory to help you get answers to all your scanning and OCR questions. Here’s our comprehensive list of resources to help you become a scanning pro with Acrobat.

Please note: These resources cover scanning and OCR functionality in Acrobat X and Acrobat XI; the information will be relevant to you no matter which version you’re using.

Basic document scanning:

1. How to scan documents (infographic): Basic step-by-step instructions for scanning a file to PDF.

2. Scan a paper document to PDF (video tutorial): A 90-second video that walks you through Acrobat’s scan settings.

3. Taking the guesswork out of scanning to PDF (article): This long-form tutorial tells you how to get your scanner to play nice with Acrobat, which presets to use for your scan, and how to get the best OCR results with Acrobat.

 

OCR and text recognition:

1. How to create a searchable text document from a scanned page (video tutorial): Once you’ve scanned a document, you need to make the text usable. This video shows you how.

2. How to find and correct OCR errors (video tutorial): After running OCR, find and correct any mistakes in the document to makes sure all the text is accurate.

 

Editing, optimizing, and using scanned content:

1. How to edit text in a scanned PDF - Acrobat X (video tutorial): Use Acrobat X to recognize text in a scanned image, then make changes to that text. Also includes some tips for getting the best OCR results.

2. How to optimize a scanned PDF (video tutorial): This video walks you through the steps to improve the appearance of a scanned document (even remove stains on the page!).

3. Export scanned content to Word or Excel (video tutorial): You can scan a document and export the content to Word or Excel to keep working on that content. This video will give you a few tips on how to export easily and accurately.

 

On-demand seminar (25-minute video). This is a long-form video seminar covering OCR and scanning to PDF using Acrobat X. The video includes: Ian Campbell on taking your correspondence totally paperless by scanning to PDF; David Mankin on how to use OCR in Acrobat X; an interview with our very own Ali Hanyaloglu on OCR basics; and Dave Merchant with scanning updates in Acrobat X.

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5:59 AM Permalink
August 13, 2013

How to Make Your PDFs More Social

Here on the Acrobat blog, we often focus on PDF and information security – how to protect, secure, even redact information; today, let’s change things up and talk about sharing what you create with the world at large. With Adobe Acrobat, your PDF documents and presentations can follow you to Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, and the web at large. Follow these quick guides to learn how to socialize your PDF files and make them easier to share on your favorite social network; we’ll also discuss how to optimize your PDF file for search engines. When you have content to share or promote, use a PDF file – it’s secure, professional, and already part of your daily routine.

Okay, so let’s start with Facebook, where you most likely have a collection of both personal and professional “friends” who might want to see or share your latest work. Follow these steps to see how you can get others to share your content for you:

  1. Upload the PDF file to share to your website or blog, and note the file’s URL.
  2. Select and download your desired Facebook logo or badge.*
  3. In Acrobat XI, open the Tools panel, and choose Add Button from the Interactive Objects panel.
  4. Click the page with the Add Button tool to draw a rectangle. Release the mouse to show the Field Name dialog box and then click All Properties.
  5. The Button Properties dialog box opens and displays the General tab; type a name and tooltip for the button.
  6. On the Appearance tab, set the Border Color and Fill Color to None.
  7. On the Options tab, choose Icon Only from the Layout drop-down list and then click Choose Icon.
  8. Click Browse to locate and select an image format such as PNG, GIF, JPEG or PDF. Click OK.
  9. Click the Actions tab and choose the Open a Web Link from the Select Action drop-down list. Click Add to open the Edit URL field.
  10. Type the Facebook URL https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=followed by your link’s URL and click OK.
  11. Test the link on your document page.

* Learn about using Facebook brand assets and select a logo/badge here: https://www.facebookbrand.com/

Ever feel like you need more than 140 characters to tell your story to your Twitter followers? No worries. PDF files let you ramble on as long as you want. So don’t cut out any of the good stuff; share your PDF file in all its glory with your Twitter followers, and add a retweet button to the file so they can all do the same. Here’s how:

  1. Upload the PDF file to share to your website or blog, and note the file’s URL.
  2. Select and download your desired Twitter logo here: https://twitter.com/logo.
  3. In Acrobat XI, open the Tools panel, and choose Add Button from the Interactive Objects panel.
  4. Click the page with the Add Button tool to draw a rectangle. Release the mouse to show the Field Name dialog box and then click All Properties.
  5. The Button Properties dialog box opens and displays the General tab; type a name and tooltip for the button.
  6. On the Appearance tab, set the Border Color and Fill Color to None.
  7. On the Options tab, choose Icon Only from the Layout drop-down list and then click Choose Icon.
  8. Click Browse to locate and select an image format such as PNG, GIF, JPEG or PDF. Click OK.
  9. On the Actions tab, choose Open a Web Link from the Select Action drop-down list. Click Add to open the Edit URL field.
  10. Type the Twitter URL http://twitter.com/?status=RT: followed by your link’s URL and click OK. *
  11. Test the link on your document page.

* You can include the Tweet in the Edit URL field. In order for hashtags to work, you need to replace the # with %23.

Now that everyone is buzzing about you, you’re bound to need to make more presentations to show off your skills.  Veteran presenters know that sometimes you need to kick it up a notch by designing a presentation in InDesign.  Once your presentation is perfect, you can simply save it as a PDF file, and upload it to SlideShare.  With SlideShare, you get a lot of the functionality you would get with PowerPoint, but you can also turn your slideshow into a leave-behind deliverable that can be accessed with just a single link. Here’s a quick rundown on how to do that with a PC and with a Mac:

Mac

  1. In PowerPoint, locate and select your PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx) file and click Open.
  2. Choose File > Print and click PDF at the bottom of the Print dialog box. Select Save as Adobe PDF from the drop-down list.
  3. In the Save as Adobe PDF dialog box, choose Standard Adobe PDF Settings and click Continue.
  4. In the Save dialog box, choose a name and storage location for the presentation’s PDF file and click Save.
  5. Sign into your SlideShare account in a browser and click Upload at the top of the screen.
  6. On the Upload page click the Upload button again to open the Finder window.
  7. Locate and select your presentation’s PDF file, and click Open.
  8. After uploading the PDF file, click Save & Continue and then click View Presentation.
  9. Use the SlideShare controls to play your presentation.

Windows

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint and click Preferences in the Acrobat ribbon.
  2. Select Standard from the Conversion Settings drop-down.
  3. In the Application Settings portion of the PDFMaker dialog box, check only these settings. Click OK.
  4. Access the SlideShare site with your web browser, sign in, and click Upload at the top.
  5. On the Upload page click the Upload button again, select your PDF file, and click Open.
  6. After uploading the PDF file, click Save & Continue and then View Presentation in SlideShare.

Are we close to curing your PDFs of any social anxiety? The last area to tackle is Search engines, which work based off of a complex algorithm that decides what is going to make it to the top of the results and what gets buried back on page 46.  If you aren’t factoring in search engine optimization for your website or online PDFs, then you are missing a major opportunity. We can even help your PDFs with that too:

  1. Select Properties from the File menu and click the Description tab.
  2. Add a Title, Author, Subject and Keywords. At the bottom, check to see if the document is Tagged PDF and click OK.
  3. If the text in your document is not searchable, click In This File in the Text Recognition panel. Click OK in the Recognize Text dialog box to run OCR.
  4. Open the Accessibility panel* in the Tools panel. If the document is not tagged, click Add Tags to Document.
  5. If your document contains graphics, click Set Alternate Text in the Accessibility panel.
  6. Click OK to detect all the figures that require Alternate Text.
  7. Add Descriptive Text for all the document images in the Set Alternate Text dialog box and click Save & Close.
  8. Click File > Save As Other > Reduced Size PDF from the menu.
  9. Select Acrobat 9.0 and later from the drop-down and click OK.
  10. In the Save As dialog box, give the file a meaningful name for search engines.

All of these tips were brought to you by the Acrobat Users Community. The Acrobat Users Community is where you can connect with Acrobat and Adobe Document Services peers and experts. If you use Acrobat, Reader, FormsCentral or EchoSign, you’ll want to take advantage of the many free community resources like tutorials, tips and Q&A to learn more about Acrobat and Document Services.  If you have any questions on this article or anything else about Acrobat, please visit Acrobatusers.com.

 

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6:06 AM Permalink
August 6, 2013

Top 10 Reasons To Use PDF Instead of Word, Excel or PowerPoint

Working with PDF formats allows professionals to edit, share, collaborate and ensure the security of the content within digital documents. Now, the PDF can do that much more. Here is the top 10 hit list of why it is the best format.

 

1)    PDFs are Universal.  Editing documents in Word can be easy and useful, but if you save a Word document on a Mac, it may not visually transfer properly to a PC; whereas PDFs are viewable on any device.

2)    Trusted Security. Even legal professionals trust PDFs as their preferred file format. According to Legalscans.com, for an electronic document to be admissible in a court of law, it must be created in a file format that cannot be altered without leaving an electronic footprint. PDFs satisfy that need.

3)    Quick and Easy to Create. Whether working with Word, Excel or PowerPoint, documents are easily converted into PDF, and with Adobe Acrobat XI you can easily convert them back if need be.

4)    Decreases File Size. Professionals can convert any file into a PDF without sacrificing quality. You can even merge multiple documents, such as spreadsheets, photos, and presentations, into a single PDF file.

5)    Reading is Free. Most PDF Readers, including Adobe Reader, are free to the public.  This ensures that anyone you send the file to will be able to see the full version of your document.

6)    Interactive Documents. To create a fully interactive experience, the latest version of Adobe Acrobat allows you to add hyperlinks, rich media, music, movies, and many other advanced features to your PDF.

7)    Mobile Access. Adobe Reader is available on any device, so people can read your PDF files anywhere they want, while still accessing a lot of the same functionality they would get on a desktop. 

8)    Completely Searchable. Users can easily find what they are looking for through a quick search. PDF documents can even be organized with a table of contents that link all sections to the appropriate pages in the file.

9)    Password Protection. Many industries deal in sensitive material or intellectual copyrights that need an even higher level of security.  The password protection option allows both recipients and those receiving the file to know that their information is secure.

10) Document Analytics. Recipients can also view who has access to the information. If the password is breached, the appropriate actions can easily be taken.

Bonus) Collaborating with Teams.  Colleagues can markup and comment on documents, leaving you in control of editing the original, even if they only have Adobe Reader.

 

We know there are many more reasons why you use PDFs, so let us know your number one reason for using PDFs in the comments below.

 

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5:55 AM Permalink

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