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April 29, 2009

Office 2007 SP2 and PDF

The newest patch to Microsoft Office 2007, called Service Pack 2 (SP2), includes several improvements to the Office family of products. Among them, and something Microsoft discussed back in May 2008, is greater support for file formats, including “support for XML Paper Specification (XPS), Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A and Open Document Format (ODF) v1.1.” When Microsoft first released Office 2007, they made available a free plug-in that allowed the user to export and save to PDF and XPS. With the release of SP2, they are including this capability by default, as well as adding ODF support.

Regarding PDF in particular, Microsoft has mentioned SP2 will support the creation of PDF 1.5 files from some Office applications. The specification for PDF 1.5 was first published by Adobe in 2003 and was supported that same year in Acrobat 6. Acrobat 9, the current release of the product line, supports PDF 1.7 files, which was the version ratified as ISO 32000. [Update: To a point Gray Knowlton at Microsoft made on his blog, I should clarify this is not meant to imply the PDF files output from Office 2007 SP2 applications do not support ISO 32000. Also, I should note that Acrobat 9 outputs PDF files based on earlier versions of the PDF specification, as well, including PDF 1.5. Thanks Gray.] Jim King has an informative blog that, in part, talks about the ISO standardization process of PDF.

In general, through its continuing support of the format, Microsoft is providing further validation that PDF is well established in important processes of users around the world. I know Microsoft has mentioned save as PDF is one of their most frequent customer requests. So what does this mean for Adobe Reader and Acrobat? Well for Reader, there will likely be more PDF files in the world for users to consume using the product. And for Acrobat, the more PDFs that are created the more users will be interested in doing additional things with those documents—which is the strength of Acrobat. We’ve posted a lot on this blog about some of those things, like collaborating on documents, removing sensitive information from documents, making your sets of documents interactive (with Flash and video content), or collecting a set of files together into a PDF Portfolio.

Rock on, PDF.

Dave Stromfeld, Acrobat Product Manager

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3:35 AM Permalink
April 23, 2009

How you can influence the future of Acrobat

Periodically, Adobe will do user studies so we can understand how customers are using Adobe and non-Adobe software at work or at home. As part of user research, we’re always looking for good candidates with whom to speak. For information about general Adobe research, you can check out our Adobe User Research page. You can also follow Adobe User Research on Twitter at @adobe_research.

For Acrobat, we are currently recruiting for two user research sessions, in the areas of Forms and PDF Portfolios.

  • Forms – If you need to create and distribute forms or surveys as part of your job (whether you use Acrobat and PDF or whether you use another method), you can apply to participate in our Forms user research by filling in this questionnaire.
  • PDF Portfolios – If you’ve used Acrobat 9′s PDF Portfolio feature, you can apply to participate in our PDF Portfolio user research by filling in this questionnaire.

If you’re accepted to participate in either study, you will receive $150 in American Express gift checks.

We really hope you’ll consider sharing your experiences with the Acrobat team so we can continue to make our software as useful as possible.

Thanks!

Dave Stromfeld, Product Manager

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11:04 AM Permalink
April 7, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the (Adobe) Forum…

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

Just a quick note to let you know that the Adobe Acrobat Forums have been substantially updated and improved this weekend. Legacy Adobe and Macromedia forums were integrated into a single shiny experience.

Some of the highlights of the new Forums are:

  • Integration of Adobe ID for true single sign on to all Forums
  • Updated look and feel
  • Email participation, including starting a new discussion and alerts
  • RSS feeds for many parts of the forum (topics, users, announcements, etc.)
  • Rich text options: inline images and videos, file attachments, code samples
  • Improved search capabilities including wildcard searches, fuzzy search and more
  • Earn points for participation that demonstrates expertise in the community

We look forward to you giving the new forums a try. We think it will be another great way for us all to participate in the Acrobat community.

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9:02 AM Permalink
March 27, 2009

Acrobat Press – March 2009

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

Some more recent press about Adobe Acrobat which I thought you all may find interesting.

  • March 6 – The Paper-less Practice of Law in BC – David Bilinsky has a blog called Thoughtful Legal Management, in addition to being a staff lawyer for the Law Society of British Columbia and the Editor-in-Chief of Law Practice Magazine. He posted about the benefits of transitioning to a “paperless” law practice by replacing paper-based processes with digital ones. And he recommends using Acrobat instead of mailing documents to clients, writing it would “save trees, postage and handling costs.”
  • March 14 – Build a Better Portfolio with Adobe Acrobat – Taz Tally of Layers Magazine has a great article on how to build a PDF Portfolio in Acrobat 9.
  • March 15 – Software Review: Adobe Master Collection – T. Michael Testi of BlogCritics Magazine has done a thorough review of the software found in the Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) Master Collection. His series is up to 11 reviews so far. In his Acrobat 9 review, he mentions several key features in Acrobat 9 Pro and Pro Extended, and concludes by stating Acrobat 9 is a “must have upgrade.” “If you need to present information to clients in a way that will wow them, if you want to embed video, audio, and other rich media files into a PDF, then Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended is the only way to go. It takes the PDF to such a new level, that I very highly recommend it as a must have upgrade.”
  • March 16 – ESPN’s Ultimate Tourney Guide – Finally, for all you March Madness fans, ESPN and Adobe have created a PDF file that showcases some of the new capabilities of Acrobat 9, including its native support for Flash video. The interactive PDF file will help enable hoops enthusiasts to enhance their experience with a portable copy of their bracket. Through the PDF, they can also learn more via dynamic content from ESPN.com about the tournament teams, the latest news, and ESPN polls. Kurt Foss of AcrobatUsers.Com has written a good summary here. Joel Geraci, Acrobat’s Developer Evangelist, has a detailed 3-part series on how the Guide was constructed. And BrandWeek highlights some of the business and branding aspects of the partnership.

 


Please let me know if you like these Acrobat press summaries by using the Comments section below. And thanks for reading.

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8:13 AM Permalink

I’ll take “Fantastic Software” for 200, Alex.

Please forgive any missing images or edits from our blog archives.

One of the categories on Jeopardy last night was “Also Found at a Circus” and it had answers like “clownfish”, “three rings” and “safety net”.

 

Here was the $600 question:

 

It’s pretty exciting to be the answer to a Jeopardy question.

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7:45 AM Permalink
March 14, 2009

Seeking feedback from SharePoint users

The Acrobat and Reader Teams are interested in how Microsoft SharePoint users are using PDF files, Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Are you an active SharePoint user who works with PDF files on SharePoint? If you are and you’re willing to have an hour phone call with Adobe, please post a comment on this blog with your business email address. (This email address will be hidden to everyone except Adobe.)

Thank you very much!

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5:53 AM Permalink

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