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August 19, 2011

OCR Improvements in Acrobat X

“What exactly are the OCR improvements in Acrobat X?”

Our Joel Geraci offers his insight into these Acrobat X additions.  See below for a preview, and click here for the extended blog post!

That question came in recently from one of our field people. As a marketing guy, I just take engineering’s word for everything [not really]. If they tell me that the OCR is improved, I say “ok” and move on [again, not really - this is just a rhetorical conceit]. So I asked, they told.

To begin with, there’s a new OCR engine in there and it’s operating at about 1% more accurate than the previous one. Now, I know that one percent doesn’t sound like much but when your already close to 100%, that extra one percent is a big deal. But there are also some process and usability improvements as well.

Check out this link for more content and analysis from Joel!

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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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