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June 26, 2014

Best Practices: Converting PDF content to Microsoft Office

When it comes to storing all the content I’ve created, I always use PDF files: they’re searchable, efficient, and easy to share at a moment’s notice. My computer’s hard drive (and my Acrobat.com account) is full of blog posts I’ve written, old data tables, even shopping lists – all stored as PDF files. This is great when I have to search for a file on my hard drive or view it on a mobile device, but what about when I have an old piece of writing that I want to edit or update?

The easiest way I know to make whole-sale changes to PDF content is simply to export that PDF (or just a piece of it) to a natively editable format: Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Acrobat makes it easy to seamlessly convert one of my old blog posts to a usable Word document, or save a data table from a PDF file as an Excel spreadsheet so I can do a few calculations. Acrobat will even recognize common elements in the pages of a PDF file to use as template images in your converted PowerPoint.

So instead of retyping all that content you’ve got stored in a PDF file, why not just export to Microsoft Office? Here are a few tips from our friends at the Acrobat User Community to help you get started. They even have a ready-made tool set so your Acrobat interface will be all set up to support your PDF-to-Office conversions!

Convert PDF to Microsoft Office formats
Export the comments in a PDF file to Microsoft Word
How to convert part (not all!) of a PDF file to Microsoft Office

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8:08 AM Permalink
May 12, 2014

Adobe Send is here!

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a really exciting new service we were working on: Adobe Send. Well folks, the wait is over! Adobe Send is here, and oh boy, are we glad to see it. It’s got everything you need in a file-sending-and-tracking service:

  • Adobe Send hooks into your Acrobat.com account, so you can send files from cloud storage or from your desktop.
  • The tracking features for personalized links show you exactly who’s previewed the file, who’s downloaded it, and when.
  • Adobe Send even lets your file recipients read most types of files in preview mode — often eliminating the need to download them at all.

If you’re already a SendNow customer, then congratulations – your subscription automatically gives you access to Adobe Send, so you can check out the new service immediately. It’s fully integrated with Acrobat.com and other Adobe document services, so we think you’ll find that you can send and track files even more easily.

Now, for all of you who are wondering what’s happening with the transition from SendNow to Adobe Send, we recommend you start by reading the initial blog post. We’ve also got a few FAQs up in the SendNow forum, so you can read those or post a question of your own for the team. We’ve also put up a brand new Adobe Send forum with a few FAQ and how-to tips, so head on over there if you want to learn more about the new service or ask a question about it.

If you’re curious as to how this new-fangled service looks, here are a few shots of Adobe Send in action – but it’s even better to check out how it works first hand! Go on and send yourself a thing or two at http://cloud.acrobat.com/send.

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1:00 PM Permalink
April 29, 2014

Adobe Reader: The Perfect Study Tool for Finals Week

reader blog 1

College students know all too well what time of year is fast approaching – Finals Week! Since we can’t buy each and every one of you a mega-sized cup of your caffeinated-beverage-of-choice for those imminent all-night study sessions, we thought, why not try to help you avoid all-nighters altogether?  Oh, who are we kidding – there’s nothing we can do to help you avoid those. But we can help you avoid unnecessary stress!  Here’s a list of Adobe Reader tips and tricks we compiled to help you sort through those lengthy PDFs your professors assigned you to read over the course of the semester. And remember, Adobe Reader is a free service, so you can save your money for … well, realistically, more coffee.

  1. The Read Aloud Function- Are your eyes zapped or are you too tired to actually read what y
    ou were assigned? Let Reader read your PDFs for you. Or even better, if you turn any of your final papers into a PDF, have Reader proofread it using the read aloud function to pick up on any grammatical errors.
  2. The Highlighter Tool- Just like you would in any text book, highlight important phrases, sentences or definitions to easily refer back to so you’re not wasting time searching through text for the important stuff.
  3. The Typewriter Tool- Quickly add comments to your PDF for note taking with Reader’s Typewriter tool. Just select the Add Text Comment tool from the Comments panel, click the Add Text Comment tool, click the page where you want to add your text, and type away.
  4. The Comments Tool- If you’re working on a group project, the comment tool might be the better way to go. It makes collaboration much easier because there is no need to print and mark up.
  5. Reader for Mobile- Don’t be confined to the library, take your files with you wherever you go to maximize your study hours.

With these tools, there’s no need to hit the panic button when you see a 150-page PDF file.  Even better, these are just a few of the tools Reader offers for its users. Check them all out here.  Most importantly—good luck with finals! We know you’ll ace them all with Adobe Reader in your back pocket.

College                        reader blog 2

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12:29 PM Permalink
April 24, 2014

The Best of Both Worlds: When it makes sense to use FormsCentral instead of Acrobat

Being a super-famous international Acrobat mega-star* has its perks. For instance, I get to decide where I want to spend my summer this year: my chalet in the south of France, or my bungalow in St. Lucia?** Wherever I choose to go, I know I’ll be happy.

You might find yourself in a similar decision-making position if you’ve been using Acrobat to work with PDF forms; what about FormsCentral, you might say to yourself? Sure, you can use Acrobat for all your PDF needs (forms included!), but FormsCentral has a few perks of its own when it comes to working with forms. Let me explain what I mean.

First of all, you can use FormsCentral to create PDF and web forms. Publish as an HTML form and people can fill it out in a browser on their laptops, smartphones, or tablets; you can also download the PDF form to broaden your distribution options and let form recipients work offline – something I do when I’m on my little island. You don’t have to choose one format or the other.

Moreover, you can create these forms quickly, easily, and beautifully. When I say it’s “easy”, here’s what I mean: Choose one of the dozens of form and survey templates. Tweak the language, add or remove a question here and there, maybe toss in your logo or change some colors… and you’re ready to go. FormsCentral lets you collect information – on the web or with a PDF form – and look darn good while you’re at it. Let’s check in with ourselves for a second: so far, all you’ve done is logged into FormsCentral and decided which template you liked best – and you’re already close to done. St. Lucia, here we come!

If you’re using FormsCentral to put a form on the web, you’ve also got a few extra options to work with: you can collect payments securely through PayPal, show or hide form fields based on answers to previous questions, or change the language the form communications go out in. You also get to write messages for people to see at different stages: when they submit the completed form, when they get an email confirmation after submitting the form, and when they need extra information while they’re actually filling out the form. You get to talk to your form respondents at every stage of the game. One of the real joys of using FormsCentral, though, is what you see when the data starts rolling in. Real-time responses. Organized automatically in a data table. That you can filter and sort through. I mean… “easy” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Since the data is collected in real time and automatically stored in FormsCentral, you don’t have to lift a finger to collate or organize it. You also get to take advantage of the auto-generated summary reports, which are easy to drop into presentations or reports (again, with no actual work required of you). Sure, life can seem tough when you have to call your staff in Marseilles to let them know you won’t be joining them for baccarat this summer; but when you start using FormsCentral to manage your form creation and distribution, it sure does get a lot easier for you.

*By which I mean, “Sometimes my mom calls me when she needs help with the printer.”

**Obviously, this is not my life. But hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

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2:47 PM Permalink
April 21, 2014

Get ready: Adobe SendNow is transitioning to Adobe Send

Spring is in full swing around here, people. Trees and flowers are blooming all over the place! It’s a time for new beginnings! A time for new growth! A time for age-old clichés about caterpillars becoming butterflies! Which, incidentally, is why we’re here. On May 12, 2014, Adobe SendNow is turning into a figurative butterfly (and flying away) as we begin our transition to a brand new service: Adobe Send.

Adobe Send is going to be a lot like SendNow in many ways, so all you current SendNow users can look forward to enjoying similar functionality. Primarily, you’ll still be able to send and track large files — plain and simple. That said, Adobe Send is also going to have a sweet new pair of wings: as part of an improved, integrated set of Adobe document services, Adobe Send will make it even easier for you to send and track large files online. Whether your documents live in Acrobat.com cloud storage or on your computer, Adobe Send helps you send them off to wherever they need to go — and lets you keep track of them the whole way there.

So what does all this new growth means for SendNow? For a limited time, the two services will exist side by side to allow for an easy transition. Later this year, however, our old caterpillar will be retiring to make room for the new service.

Don’t worry: all paid SendNow subscriptions will automatically become Adobe Send subscriptions (no work required on your part), and we’ll give you a heads up before we ask you to make the switch. Once we have more information for you, we’ll share it here and in the SendNow forum. In fact, we’ve already posted a few FAQs to help cover the basics and make the upcoming transition as easy as possible for you. If you have any questions that aren’t answered in the FAQ, just post them in the forum and we’ll answer them as quickly as possible.

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5:00 AM Permalink
April 4, 2014

Where do I sign? Just ask the new Electronic Signature Guide.

I know we’re all independent people of above-average intelligence, and I know we all have the answer to every question all the time. We never need any help at all. Right? Well… sure, but even those of us who are omniscient just want someone to give us the answers every once in a while. For instance, how can I sign a document if I don’t have a printer? How do I  check up on a document that needed to be signed two days ago? What the heck is a digital certificate? Why is the sky blue!?

Well, smarty-pants, you can relax: The new Electronic Signature Guide can help you select the best option for your signature needs (we’ll have to get back to you about the color of the sky, though).

Electronic Signature Guide

Not unlike the the PDF Editing Guide that the Acrobat User Community published earlier this year, the Electronic Signature Guide walks you through the decision making process step by step: who needs to sign the document? What tools are available to you? Do you have any particular way you’d like to apply a signature to the document? As long as you can answer these questions (or even guess at them), the Electronic Signature Guide will tell you exactly how to get that signature done. Isn’t it nice when you don’t have to be the one with all the answers?

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8:10 AM Permalink

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