PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis: Part 2

PDF Portfolios— a new feature of Acrobat 9— are useful for Case Analysis.

A screenshot of a Case Analysis Portfolio

In PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis, Part 1, I covered how to:

  • Download and use a special Portfolio template for Case Analysis
  • Customize the Portfolio Cover Sheet and Header
  • Create folders
  • Add new columns to capture fielded information

In this article, I will discuss how to:

  1. Add your own case files to the Portfolio
  2. Move files to appropriate folders
  3. Add keywords
  4. Sort and Filter information

I’ll also include a few tips for working with PDF Portfolios.

Prerequisite . . .

If you haven’t already, please read PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis, Part 1. In that article, I’ve posted a starter PDF Portfolio template..

Download the sample portfolio, open it, and follow the instructions in the first article.

Adding Files to the Portfolio

If you haven’t reviewed the incoming case documents yet, you can add them directly to the portfolio and move them to various folders as you sort through them.

To add files to the "root" level of the Portfolio:

  1. Click on the List View button at the top of the window:

    List View of a PDF Portfolio

  2. Click the Modify button at the top of the Portfolio window:

    Portfolio Modify Button
    - Click Add Files to add several files.
    - Click Add Existing Folder to add an existing folder

Tip: Add Existing Folder
Choosing this option exactly mimics the folder hierarchy. A replica of the folder on your desktop complete with subfolders will be created inside the portfolio.

 

Add Files via Drag and Drop

It is easy to drag files directly into the Portfolio window.

  1. Click on the List View button at the top of the window:

    List View of a PDF Portfolio

  2. Navigate to the desktop and open the folder containing your documents.
  3. Press Alt-Tab (Option-Tab on the Mac) to switch back to Acrobat and your portfolio
  4. Press Alt-Tab again (Option-Tab on the Mac) to switch back to open folder
  5. Drag the files from the folder window to the Portfolio:

    Using drag and drop to add files to a PDF portfolio

Add Files Directly to Existing Folders in the Portfolio

If you have already created folders in the portfolio for various document types (letters, emails, depo, etc.) it makes sense to add them directly to the folder. This workflow presumes that you’ve already categorized the documents and have them on your local drive.

To add files to a portfolio folder:

  1. Click on the List View button at the top of the window:

    List View of a PDF Portfolio

  2. Double-click to open a folder in the portfolio:

    Open a folder in the portfolio

  3. Bring the files in using the Modify menu or drag and drop.

Moving a File to a Different Folder in the Portfolio

As you review documents, you may wish to place them in different folders for easy recall.

To move a file to a folder:

  1. Click on the List View button at the top of the window
  2. Drag the document icon on top of the folder icon:

    Drag a document into a PDF Portfolio folder

Reviewing Files and Adding Notes

In Part 1 of this article, I described how to enter text in fields. To review, just click inside the field and start typing:

Adding text to field of a PDF Portfolio

Text entry allows you to classify documents in many ways. Once you’ve reviewed documents, you may wish to sort and filter information.

Sorting by Column

You can sort by any column in the Home or List View:

  • Click once to sort A to Z
  • Click again to sort Z to A

Click to sort columns in a PDF Portfolio

Understanding Flat versus Foldered View

The Portfolio template I provided offers two ways to view documents in the Home view:

  • Filtered or Unfiltered
    Filtering allows you to view a subset of your files
  • Foldered or Flat view
    See the folders and files or see a "flattened" view of all of the files in the portfolio

The PDF portfolio template I provided defaults to Flattened view which show all of the files inside the portfolio.

To switch between Flattened and Folder views:

  1. Click the Home View button at the top of the window

    Home View Button

  2. Click on the view you need:
    Foldered vs Flattened view

NOTE: Flattened view is not available in List View
You’ll need to go to the Home View to see a flattened list of files. Click the Home View button at the top of the portfolio.

 

Filtering to a Subset of Documents

As you review documents in the portfolio, you enter keywords which capture your thinking about them.

For example, in a Medical Malpractice case, you might enter the keyword "treatment options" wherever you find that an alternate treatment was available instead of the faulty one chosen for your client.

As you start to think about your case, you might want to retrieve certain documents, perhaps by keywords.

Here’s how:

  1. Click the Home View button

    Home View Button

  2. Click the Filter button:
  3. The filter panel opens at the left of the screen:

    Filter Panel in a PDF Portfolio

  4. Click the pop-up menu labeled Select field name . . .
  5. Choose the field you wish to filter:

  6. Enter the text you wish to find in the field:


    The portfolio will now only display those documents that match your filter.

  7. Click the Done button to stop filtering.

Other Filter Options
Filtering is powerful and there are additional options to explore. You can find documents that contain, or do not contain words. Multi-level filtering is also possible. You can even find documents that occur before, after or between various dates.

Tips

Easier Previewing
If you have a widescreen monitor, you can display both the Portfolio List View and the document.

Choose Window—> Split Vertical
Eaiser Previewing  by splitting the window

In the preview area (right above) it is easy to navigate:

Easier Navigating

Flaky Home View
The Home View of the Case Analysis template sometimes exhibits odd behavior. For example, PDFs don’t always preview when you click on them, or you have to click twice. You’ll find it if more reliable to work in List View. (It’s a bug and we’re working on it).

What’s Next

In my next article in this series, I’ll discuss how to add a full-text index to the portfolio and how to export the list view to a spreadsheet.

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