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Posts tagged "Acrobat"

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
July 30, 2013

Become a Stamp Collector with Acrobat’s Stamp Tool

We all have our pet tools in Acrobat – you know, that one thing that you always open up Acrobat to use. Sure, I love all the shiny new tools that come out in each new version of Acrobat; in fact, the new editing capabilities are at the top of my list for go-to tools. That said, I want to take a minute to play favorites with an Acrobat feature that doesn’t always get the props it deserves: I’m talking about stamps. Stamps, you say? Yes. Stamps. Let me tell you why this hard-working commenting tool doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it probably should.

Let’s just start with the basic fact that Acrobat comes stocked with 22 stamps right out of the box. You can find them (and your other stamp commands) in the “Comment” pane, in the “Annotations” panel. Right there, nestled into the upper right corner, is a mini menu with all your stamps ready to be placed on a document.

Stock Stamps in Acrobat XI

Above: Stock signature stamps in Acrobat XI

Isn’t that awesome?! Look at all those messages you can place on your PDF files! Pretty soon, you’ll start slapping these annotations on your documents like you were born to do it. Need to approve a document? BAM. Approved. Need to call out places to sign or initial a contract? BAM. Pointers applied. Whatever the business at hand calls for, there’s likely a stamp for that.

“Well, Rebecca,” you might say, “I’ve got a really stringent approval protocol. I can’t just approve a document, I need a time stamp and my name and the date and all that! Oh, shucks, I guess stamps just aren’t for me.” You know what I say to that? Relax. We’ve got you covered. With Acrobat’s dynamic stamps, you can apply a stamp to the document that does, in fact, include all of that information: your name, the date, and the time you applied the stamp to the document. That way, your coworkers or your manager or your client knows the last state in which you viewed the document, and when you revised, received, or approved the content. Whenever that happened to be, that’s what the stamp will say.

Dynamic stamps

See? Dynamic!

Dynamic stamp applied to document

“Okay, that’s great… but what if there’s this one reeeeally specific thing I have to stamp onto my document? Or if I want a stamp that’s branded with my business’s logo or color scheme?” Oh, sure, now that you know about stamps, you’ve got to have your own SPECIAL stamp. We get it. That’s why we included a “Custom” option that lets you create a stamp from any beautiful and unique work of art that you’ve got saved as an image file (such as a JPEG or PNG).

Create new custom stamp

Pick an image, any image.

 

Manage your custom stamps

If you want something complex, or something that uses your color scheme, or something that just looks better to you than what we’ve got loaded up in Acrobat already, go ahead and create a new stamp from whatever you’ve got lying around on your hard drive (or whatever you can concoct in Photoshop). We promise not to feel too hurt that *sniff* our stamps *sniff* just weren’t good enough *sniff*.

Now run along and find the stamps that match up with your review and approval workflows; if you’ve got ideas for other stamps you’d like to see in Acrobat, let us know in the comments! Until then, just use the custom stamp tool and go wild. We’re pretty sure you’ll start thinking of the stamp tool as one of your favorites, too.

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1:01 PM Permalink
July 23, 2013

Architecture firm relies on Adobe Acrobat for visual content collaboration

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Architecture clients need dynamic visual communication to help them understand the creative visions of a company like Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. So RSHP leverages the creative power of Adobe solutions such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and After Effects to bring images into a compelling storyline. Plus, with Adobe Acrobat, RSHP’s architects and designers can combine all types of content into PDF files optimized for any device.

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“Rich, visual content enables us to communicate our ideas internally and with clients, resulting in stronger designs and winning bids,” explains David Liu, associate IT manager at RSHP. “We need the most powerful creative and collaborative tools available, which is why we turned to Adobe software.”

North Greenwich Arena

Adobe solutions dramatically reduced operating expenses by eliminating paper and printing costs and streamlining workflows. Plus, it improved productivity by allowing RSHP to expand client access to important project details.

Learn more about Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and how they use Adobe Acrobat here.

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5:56 AM Permalink
July 10, 2013

New to the Acrobat User Community: Top Ten Features

If you’re familiar with the Acrobat User Community, you’ve probably seen the vibrant user forums, expert advice, and the many, many tutorials on all things Acrobat (and beyond). What you may not have seen (especially if you haven’t visited for a few weeks) are the brand new top features pages. The community leaders distilled four of our favorite products – Acrobat XI, Reader XI, EchoSign, and FormsCentral – down to the top ten things they love most about each; more than that, they’ve also shared some great tutorials about how to use each of those ten features. If you’ve been looking for a way to get to know more about a feature – say, how to set up PayPal payments for one of your FormsCentral forms or how to get multiple signatures on a document with EchoSign – now’s your chance. Check out the Top Ten Coolest Things to do with Acrobat XI, Reader XI, EchoSign, and FormsCentral.

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6:09 AM Permalink

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