Archive for March, 2009

Converting a PDF file to Excel Format

The pharmaceutical industry uses a lot of data. Consequently, we see a lot of tabular data converted to PDF documents. It is common to see lab instrument data, database reports and enterprise systems data output as PDF.

So, there you are, alone in your office staring at a PDF document wishing you had access to the original data. What do you do?

Fortunately, Acrobat 9.1 offers a couple of different ways to export to Excel.

  1. Select table and open in Excel
    This allows you to select a portion of a page and open it in Excel.

  2. Export as Tables in Excel
    This method uses some artificial intelligence to convert multiple page PDF documents to multiple worksheets in an XML-based spreadsheet file. It works best on files which were converted directly from Excel to PDF.

To open the XML-based file output generated using method 2 above, you’ll need either:

Acrobat generally will usually do a pretty good job converting the text, but formatting and column widths will look different than the original. Acrobat only copies over the text. Formulas will not convert. Do not expect 100% fidelity.

In the full article, you’ll receive my usual step-by-step instructions.

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Tips and Techniques for Deployment and Patching of Acrobat

Adobe recently released security updates to Acrobat and Adobe Reader 7, 8 and 9.

Large Life Science corporations centrally distribute software to users, most often on the Windows platform.

In this article, I’ll discuss the tools and techniques that are available to help IT personnel deploy and update versions of Acrobat 7, 8 and 9, including the free Adobe Reader.

First, I’ll show you where you can download the apps and our tools for deployment. In the full article, I’ll discuss how to “chain” installs, expand Adobe Reader, and use the Adobe Customization Wizard to streamline installation.

Get the Updates and the Deployment Tools

Various updates are available depending on the version of Acrobat and/or Reader you have installed. To make it easier to customize Acrobat, Adobe offers installation tools which help you remove earlier versions of Acrobat, serialize the product, and set a wide variety of program options.

The links below are for Windows versions. Mac Acrobat users can find updates here.

Acrobat and Adobe Reader 9.1

Acrobat 9.1

Acrobat Standard and Pro 9.1 Update (Windows)

Acrobat Pro Extended 9.1 Update (Windows)

Adobe Reader 9.1

Adobe Reader Enterprise Edition (Windows)
The enterprise edition of Reader does not include Adobe AIR or installations. Many firms don’t want to install these anyway.

Installation Tool for Acrobat 9

Adobe Acrobat 9 Customization Wizard (Windows, FREE)
Use this tool to remove Acrobat/Reader 7 or 8 and above and to customize program options. The result is a custom transform file to use with the deployment tool of your choice.


Acrobat and Adobe Reader 8.1.4

Acrobat 8.1.4

Update for Acrobat 8.13 Standard and Professional

Previous Acrobat 8.x Updates available here.

Adobe Reader 8.1.4

Adobe Reader 8.1.4 Update (Windows)

Adobe Reader 8.1.3 Full Installation (Windows) is available from the Reader Download Center

Installation Tool for Acrobat 8

Adobe Acrobat 8 Customization Wizard (Windows, FREE)


Acrobat 7.1.1 and Adobe Reader 7.1.1

Acrobat 7.x

Acrobat 7.1.1 Standard and Pro Update (Windows)
This will update an Acrobat 7.1.0 installation.

Previous Acrobat 7.x updates available here.

Adobe Reader 7.x

Adobe Reader 7.11 Update
This will update an Adobe Reader 7.10 installation.

Installation Tool for Acrobat 7

InstallShield Tuner for Acrobat 7.0 (Windows, FREE)
This product allows you to install and deploy Acrobat 7 and Adobe Reader 7.

Adobe generally does not issue complete, new packages for dot releases, so it’s important to properly “chain” these installs. I’ll also discuss how to expand the Adobe Reader to make it installable, and discuss the Acrobat Customization Wizard and other resources available. Read on for this information.

NOTE: If you receive my blog via email, make sure you click on the article title to read it on my blog.

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