The Acrobat Family just got a little bigger today with the announcement of a new mobile version of the popular communication tool; Acrobat Connect Pro. Many schools and universities already use Connect Pro for online meetings and virtual classrooms to bring eLearning to any desktop. With the release of the new mobile version, users of the iPhone and iPod touch now have access to their virtual classroom from anywhere.
I don’t know about you but if you’re like me we could all use a little shaping up. All the good food and drink at Super Bowl parties and Mardi Gras makes me feel a bit bloated and I could definitely shed a few pounds. Unfortunately it won’t be that easy. The treadmill awaits! So lets quickly change the subject.
Lets talk about BDS or Bloated Document Syndrome and PDF. We’ve all experienced this. A PDF approaching 10s of megabytes only to open up to reveal a couple of pages of text and graphics. Why? you may ask. Isn’t PDF supposed to be efficient? Well in theory yes, and there are many reasons why this can occur. Fortunately, Acrobat has a much easier way to shed those excess bits and bytes
Lets start with the the most probable cause – third party or “free” PDF creators. The PDF specification is available to any developer as it is now owned by the ISO organization iso.org (ISO 32000-1 as of July 2008). As a result anyone can create software for creating and managing PDF files. Its not that easy to develop good software and one of the most obvious signs of this is when a PDF is created that is suffering from BDS.
But what do you do if you have received a PDF or have created one that seems extremely large. In developing course materials, submitting papers, or sharing documents, the last thing you want to do is clog up e-mail and bandwidth with oversized files. No matter how you share and distribute documents, the PDF Optimizer in Acrobat 9 Pro is well worth a look.
Last month’s eSeminar on using Acrobat for ePortfolio was a great event. We had over 800 people attend. i demonstrated how to use the ePortfolio capabilities in Acrobat 9 to enable students and faculty to easily organize and collect, and present information from a variety of sources into a media-rich PDF Portfolio. I also demonstrated how you can easily collaborate and share documents and portfolios in real time or asynchronously. Acrobat 9 makes it possible to reflect, collect and manage feedback in multiple ways.
In case you missed the seminar you can view it on demand on Adobe’s OnDemand Seminar site. Here is the link. You will need a free Adobe ID to access it. By the way, your Adobe ID is also used to access the free Acrobat.com web service. This is a great resource for students and educators.
Kick off the new year with a resolution to get more productive and save time, money, and resources. Join me Thursday January 21st for an in-depth overview at how Acrobat 9 can make a difference to your institution’s cost-saving initiatives. Some of the topics I’ll cover are how to efficiently transform paper into searchable PDF, convert source files into lean interactive PDF documents, convert existing forms to PDF forms for distribution and data collection, collaborating with effective workflows, and more. Here’s the information…
With Adobe® Acrobat® 9 Pro solutions, institutions can get more out of their budgets while reducing the vast amount of paper that is used for a wide variety of administrative functions. Acrobat and its paperless PDF workflows make it easy to create forms and manage content in offices, across campus, and beyond.
Please join Steve Adler for this free eSeminar: Administration and Productivity with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro
See how Acrobat lets you create, design, and distribute interactive electronic documents or forms, and learn about the streamlined collection of data that they make possible.
Thursday, January 21
10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST)
Hello Everyone. I would like to welcome you back to the “grand re-opening” of the Acrobat in Education Blog. I now have the privilege of hosting this blog and am looking forward to sharing my experiences and thoughts here at blogs.adobe.com. Prior to joining the team here at Adobe, I worked in education for many years and at many different levels to integrate technology across the educational landscape. Acrobat is my favorite application and I hope that you will find it indispensable as you become better acquainted with all that it offers.
With many schools looking for ways to improve communication and collaboration in a variety of environments, more are discovering Acrobat’s unique offerings. Acrobat is one of the most misunderstood applications primarily because it can do so much. Since many applications are designed to do one thing really well, it is rare to find an application that is so versatile.
In the past year Acrobat use in education has grown tremendously, particularly with respect to the creation and development of e-Portfolios for both students and faculty. While there will be much more on this topic in the coming months, I wanted to start out by pointing you to some great resources for learning more about e-Portfolio trends and how Acrobat 9 makes it easy to create and maintain all sorts of collections in an intuitive interface called the PDF portfolio.And now for some links:
There are some great papers from Educause on portfolio trends. One that is very informative on Accessing trends in ePortfolio Adoption is written by Michael Reese and Ron Levy at Johns Hopkins University.
A white paper by Alan Foley at Syracuse University on using ePortfolios to demonstrate growth and assess learning is also very useful.
A recent customer success story on the use of Acrobat 9 for portfolio development at the California State University at Monterey Bay is located here.
Acrobatusers.com has a great compilation of all things Acrobat. Here is the link to portfolio tutorials, video, and articles.
Sample PDF portfolios from Adobe using Acrobat 9 can be downloaded here.
Lastly, Adobe has joined a new international organization that seeks to focus discussions on experiential learning and assessment through the use of portfolios. http://www.aaeebl.org/. Check out their site and get involved.
Hello? Is there anyone out there? Crackle, hum, buzz.
Um, ahem. Welcome to Acrobat in Education v3. v2, it turns out was plagued with inactivity and ennui. v3 should be better, because it’s more a part of my job as I describe it now. For those who checked occasionally, thanks! You will be rewarded. Those who gave up, come on back! Heck, I’ll even start by announcing a couple of things:
We have an event scheduled tomorrow to cover Collaboration in Acrobat with PDF. Register at:
Welcome back to school, back to work, or just plain back. 2008 is going to be exciting for the world of eLearning and ePortfolio building. I am seeing a lot of chatter and buzz about it out there.
As for the blog, I finally set up to start creating some demos that I will be posting URLs to on a regular basis. It took a little longer than I had hoped, but they are underway. You can check out the first two at:
I came across this on NPR the other day, and thought it might be interesting. It is more about web-based meeting technology, like Acrobat Connect, but PDF files play a role in providing a delivery format that one can use for documents. I am exploring a demo of using PDF in testing that I’ll posting in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, enjoy:
Just a quick note to point out a great Acrobat resource I just found. Steve Adler (Adobe Education Leader Extraordinaire) offers a series of well-done video tutorials for Acrobat. He calls them, AcroCasts. Check them out at: http://steveadler.net/AcroCast/AcroCast.html.
Creating a rollover glossary in a PDF
A customer asked me about the ability to use forms to create a rollover definition of words on a PDF page. Although you can do this with forms, another down-and-dirty way to create such a thing is with the Highlighter tool among the Comment and Markup tool set, and it’s easier.
First, select the Highlighter tool. Tools: Comment & Markup: Highlight text tool.
Next, highlight the word over which you want a rollover definition to appear when you hover your cursor over it. The default appearance will be yellow, 80% opaque. The trick is to reset the appearance of the highlight to 0% opaque.
Right (or control) click on the Highlight. In the Appearance tab of the Highlight properties dialog box, set the Opacity value to 0% and click OK.
With the Hand tool, double-click the now-invisible highlight and enter a definition for the word. You will see a small word balloon above the text to indicate that there is text there (there is no way to hide this).
Return to the properties (right or control click on the highlight) and choose Make properties default, so that the next time you create a highlight it will be invisible. Finally, click the Locked checkbox to prevent a user from editing the comment. If you need to protect the comment even further, you can use Security in Acrobat to restrict the permissions so that no one can change anything about the document—including comments.