Author Archive: Rick Borstein

Comparing Scanned Documents Tips and Workarounds

Acrobat Pro includes tools that allow you to compare two PDFs to quickly spot the differences.

In Acrobat X Pro, the Document Comparison feature is available by choosing View>Compare Documents.

For a brief demonstration of this feature, click here.

Recently, I received an email from a law firm that was having trouble comparing two PDFs. The firm reported that during comparison, Acrobat couldn’t find any differences in the documents, even though visual differences were apparent during a visual inspection.

I was able to examine the documents and discovered that:

  1. The source documents were scanned documents
  2. One document was scanned in black and white. The other was scanned in greyscale.
  3. Documents were OCR’d

The difference in color space (black and white vs. greyscale) was enough to seriously affect Acrobat’s ability to detect changes. In effect, Acrobat saw these as being two completely different documents.

That’s probably a bug (I reported it), but we all still have a job to do. Fortunately, I was able to come up with a workaround.

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Adobe Reader 10.3 Update for Mobile Devices adds File Organizer, More

Yesterday, Adobe released an update for Reader Mobile 10.3 (iOS, Android) which adds several useful new features.

Since so many lawyers are mobile these days, I thought I’d cover what’s new in our newest Reader.

Of course, Reader Mobile is free! Just search for “Reader Mobile” in your platform’s app marketplace..

Add Text Tool

You might be familiar with the Typewriter Tool in Acrobat (it’s actually now called Add or Edit Textbox, but I digress) in Acrobat.

The Add Text Tool offers the same functionality in Adobe Reader Mobile. To use this new tool, just click on the tool and touch where you want to place the text. You can change the font size, color and position of the text.

Document Organizer

Finally! This new file organization tool allows you to create folders, copy, move, rename and delete documents. This makes it much easier to manage PDFs while you are mobile.

iOS Dictionary Support

You can now click on a word and choose the Define option to quickly see a definition. It’s the standard iOS dictionary, so I don’t know whether many legal-specific terms are included or not.

Form Interactivity Support

Reader Mobile now supports some of the basic form features such as calculation and formatting. Some of these functions are required on some court forms, so these should work much better. Note that Reader Mobile 10.3 does not support XFA-based forms created by Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

Overall, it is a nice update to a free product!

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Check out Adobe eSign Solutions in Chicago on July 26th

Signing a document in Adobe EchoSignMy colleague Mark Middleton and I will be presenting a free electronic signatures seminar in Chicago on July 26th.

Adobe’s eSign solution, Adobe EchoSign, removes friction from the process of gathering signatures and information.

It’s easy to electronically sign any document on a PC or Mac, tablet or mobile phone with any web browser.

EchoSign allows documents to be signed by anybody anywhere.

In addition to signing, Adobe EchoSign offers sending, tracking, routing, archiving, auditing and reporting with reminders, alerts, password protection, cc’s to all parties and support for both e-signatures and written signatures. Discover a truly complete electronic signature solution that requires no IT support.

Adobe EchoSign easily integrates with SalesForce, SharePoint, Documentum, CRX and many other applications including those developed in-house.

Register now

Adobe EchoSign Event Agenda

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  Registration  

Thursday, July 26, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
Breakfast provided

Location
Gleacher Center
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
312-464-8787  |  Map

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
  Introductions, Overview, and Resources  
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  Digital and Electronic Signatures – What’s the Difference?  
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
  Adobe Electronic Signatures featuring Adobe EchoSign Presentation  
10:20 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
  Adobe EchoSign eSignatures and Web Contracting Demonstration.  
11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  Q&A and Wrap-Up  

Register now

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New Reader for iOS and Android Annotates and Fills Forms!

On April 10, 2012, Adobe released a major update to Adobe Reader for iOS and Android (Mobile version 10.2.0).

Of course, Adobe Reader is still free!

New features include:

  • Fill in and save data in forms
  • Add Sticky Notes, highlights, striekthrough and underline annotations
  • Use the freehand drawing tool
  • Use the new Ink Signature tool to sign any PDF document using your finger
  • Integration with Adobe EchoSign for online electronic signature workflows
  • Added support for intradocument links

I tested the new Adobe Reader on an iPad2 and Motorola Atrix Android phones.

You can get the new version of Adobe Reader from Apple’s App Store or the Android Market (now called Play Store on some phones). When you do, make sure you read the Quick Start document that is included.

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Customizing Acrobat X Common Tools

Whenever I get a chance to show Acrobat X in person, the first thing I do is show how to customize the interface.

If you’ve used Acrobat X for some time, you probably have already discovered how to use QuickTools to add your favorite functions to the toolbar. I wrote about this previously in my article Quick Access to Frequently Used Stamps.

Another area of Acrobat that may be customized are the Common Tools. The Common Tools include all of the page navigation and other tools:

In this article, I’ll show you how to customize Acrobat’s Common Tools and answer these questions:

  • How do I show the First Page and Last Page buttons on my Acrobat X toolbar?
  • Where did the Previous View and Next View buttons go?
  • How do I add the Find tool to Reader or Acrobat?
  • Where is the Magnifying Glass (Zoom) tool in Acrobat X?

Enjoy!

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Get Reader or Acrobat to work in Chrome, Compact PDF Output from Chrome

Google Chrome is a browser that is growing in popularity. I’ve recently switched to Chrome, myself.

Chrome IconThere’s a lot to like about the Chrome browser:

  • Fast
  • Excellent bookmark handling
  • Protected Mode (sandboxed) for more secure browsing and prevention of phishing attacks
  • Built-in Google Sync to keep all your bookmarks synchronized across your computers

Chrome offers built-in basic PDF viewing and PDF conversion of web pages.

Nice as this sounds, Chrome can’t display every kind of PDF. When that happens, you’ll see this message

Chrome also lacks some of Reader (and Acrobat’s) navigational features such as Previous View and Next View.

Since Chrome is growing in popularity, of late I’ve received quite a few questions about PDF in Chrome:

  • How do I get Adobe Reader (or Acrobat) to work in Google Chrome?
  • How do I turn off the Chrome PDF viewer?
  • Why does Chrome make huge PDFs?
  • How do I get Chrome to print PDFs as text?

In this blog article, I’ll show you how to:

  1. Use Adobe Reader (or Acrobat) as the default PDF Viewer in Chrome
  2. How to create smaller, better quality PDFs from Chrome

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SCUP Transition Tool for Reader 9 to X Deployments

This item will only be of interest to IT folks, so if you don’t work for a large law firm and have "IT" in your title, you can stop reading now.

One feature of the Acrobat and Reader X family is support for Microsoft System Center Update Publisher (SCUP).

This tool is used along with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and allows IT adminstrators to more easily deploy Acrobat and Reader installs and updates without complicated scripting.

If your organization . . .

  • Uses SCCM
  • Wants to move from Reader 9 to Reader X

 . . . then the new Adobe SCUP Transition Catalog for Adobe Reader may be of interest to you.

Currently in beta, this tool allows you to use SCCM to easily update Adobe Reader 9 that is currently deployed in your organization to Reader X.

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Batch Printing an Email Portfolio

Acrobat X includes an email archiving feature (see video for demo) which allows you to convert an entire folder of email into a single, searchable PDF, complete with attachments. I previously wrote about this featue in my post "Creating Email Portfolios for Small EDD Productions".

Acrobat X behaves a bit differently than previous versions of Acrobat as one of my customers found out:

One of my users is working with an email portfolio file. They open the file and want to be able to print selective content.  When they select the pages to print and go into the Print window they do not see the All PDF files or Selected PDF files. See below:

Picture of Print Window which does not allow for batch printing

In Acrobat X, you can selectively print the current file in the file preview window. That’s a new feature, but the result is that batch and selective printing is harder to do.

In this article, I’ve got solutions for both and also a bonus solution I bet nobody thought of yet.

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Turning off Read Mode while viewing PDFs in your Browser

This week, I had a couple of folks ask:

How do I turn off that weird bar that comes up while reading PDFs in the browser?
Can I turn off Read Mode when viewing PDFs in the browser?

These are the same questions and both refer to this floating toolbar visible when viewing PDFs in the browser:
Adobe Acrobat X Read Mode Toolbar

In this article I’ll explain:

  • What is Read Mode?
  • Why would I want to turn off Read Mode?
  • How to turn off Read Mode for an individual PDF
  • How to turn off Read Mode permanently via Preferences
  • How to turn off Read Mode when deploying Acrobat

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Free Acrobat Plug-in for Splitting Docs

ARTS PDF, an Acrobat plug-in developer, now offers a free Lite version of their ARTS PDF Aerialist plug-in for Acrobat X, 9 and 8 for Windows and Mac.

You can find out more about it here:
http://www.artspdf.com/arts_pdf_aerialist_lite.asp

One specific piece of functionality the free Aerialist Lite provides is the ability to split documents by arbitrary page ranges. For example, you could split your 3000 page document into any range of pages such as 1-499, 500-700, 701-1000 and 1001 to 3000.

An added benefit is the ability to use this plug-in in as part of an Acrobat X Action.

The plug-in also offers some additional features which overlap the existing functionality in Acrobat.

Arts PDF is hoping to introduce you to their products. There are links and text within the free version promoting upgrades to the paid versions of Aerialist.

Can’t beat free, so you might want to give it a try.

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