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Most of us are familiar with typical document sizes such as letter (8.5″ by 11″), legal (8.5″ by 14″) and ledger/tabloid (11″ by 17″).
A recent email I received made me realize that not everyone knows how to actually format their documents to match:
I have the attached document that I need to output at 14 inches wide by 14 inches high. When I print to PDF, there is not a choice for this. I’ve attached the Word file so you can take a look . . .
When I opened the document, I realized that the document was set to Letter size in landscape orientation (11″ by 8.5″). I was able to work with the customer to find a solution, so I thought I would share it here.
If you are using an Office application, such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you should create and edit your document at the desired print dimensions. That way, your editing process will reflect the physical page size.
When you change the page size in Word, the layout will adjust automatically and text will reflow.
Here’s how to change the page size of a document in Word. This is for Office 2013, but 2007 and 2010 versions are substantially identical.
Acrobat will convert the document to the exact page size specified in Word.
Here’s how to check. With the file open . . .
Maintaining page size is tricker when printing via the AdobePDF printer. For example, when I created a 5.25 X 7.25 custom page size and printed to the PDF printer, the output looked like this:
It is possible to maintain the PDF page size by creating a custom page size for the PDF Printer. Here’s how . . .
Note: Word and other applications may complain about margins and paper size when you go to print.. You can ignore these issues.
In my testing, the page size setting wasn’t “sticky”, at least in Word. That’s probably a good thing since I think most of us create standard letter-size and other documents.
Clients and customers often review PDFs on their mobile phones. Perhaps you’ve sent an Intake Agreement to your client which they open on their iPhone or Android device. Your client then has a question and they want to call you.
Your phone number appears on the PDF you sent, but your client needs to know how to copy it, then paste it into the dialer application on their phone. That’s a hassle. Wouldn’t it be great if they could simply click the phone number in the PDF and dial the phone?
Yep, that’s possible! This capability is also very useful to add to your marketing brochures. Why not make it easy for potential clients to contact you?
You can add a special URL to a link so that it will dial the phone. Here’s how to add a “Dial the Phone” URL in Acrobat.
When your client or customer clicks on the phone number, it will open the dialer application on the phone:
I’ve tested this on Adobe Reader Mobile on both Android and iOS, but other PDF viewers may also support this.
If the recipient opens the PDF on a desktop or tablet device, the link will be ignored.
Acrobat includes a plethora of review tools, but most are not very eye catching. You want your edits to get noticed, right?
Today, I’m sharing a set of 23 stamps that I have designed. These stamps help you call attention to your edits with colorful iconography:
I created the stamps using Adobe Illustrator, so each stamp is a tiny, vector file that scales and prints well. The text has been converted to outlines, so adding a stamp from the supplied file does not embed fonts in your document.
Right-click the link above and choose Save As or Save Target As to download the file to your desktop.
The Stamps file is a PDF, but it has some special properties. You must install the file for it to work as a stamp.
IOW, just opening the file won’t do you any good!
Follow these steps to install the Stamps file.
Note that you will need to be an admin on your computer to install the file.
These folder locations may be hidden on your computer, so don’t freak out if you don’t see them at first.
Here are some tips for finding them:
WIN: Open an Explorer window and paste the path into it. Change the USERNAME to your user name and hit enter.
MAC: Open your Home folder, then go to the View menu and choose Show View Options. Check Show Library Folder.
This part is easy!
After adding the stamp, double-click it to add a note:
To keep the Stamp tool selected, right-click on it and choose Keep Tool Selected:
Stamps may be sized. Just click and drag to size as you apply them. Or, select the stamp later and drag the handles to scale it.
If you don’t like the gigantic list of stamps with preview, choose “Show Stamp Names” from the Stamp menu to use a slim, text only list:
Quick Tools appear at the top of the document window. Add the Stamps tool so that you don’t need to open the Comments pane.
You can re-order or delete stamps in the file.
Open the Review Stamps.pdf file in Acrobat from the your Stamps folder (see above).
Open the Pages panel in Acrobat. Note that the first page is blank. DO NOT DELETE the First page.
To Delete a stamp, select the thumbnail, right-click, and choose Delete Page
To re-0rder the stamps, drag the thumbnail of the page to a new location.
Visit the Acrobat Help page:
Jonathan Schreiber, a very smart colleague of mine who specializes in Adobe EchoSign, asked me if it was possible to list all of the form fields in a PDF. Jonathan was developing an application to map the Acrobat form fields to a custom API for EchoSign.
If you don’t understand what any of that means, don’t worry about it. If you develop PDF forms, it can be useful to have an inventory of all of the fields. That can help you check for errors and better understand tabbing order and naming.
Oddly, although the Forms panel in Acrobat shows a list of them, there is no way to export the list.
You can select the text in the Console and copy it into another application or (top tip!) choose Create PDF from Clipboard in Acrobat to create a new PDF listing your fields.
Here’s how to use the List Form Fields action:
The Action works on both AcroForms (traditional Acrobat forms) as well as LiveCycle Designer (XML-based) forms.
I recently received this query from a customer:
I have assembled over 4000 pages of case data into a single PDF. When I choose Search (CTRL-F) and search for a keyword, it can take a while time to find a word. Is there any way to speed up the search?
Heck yeah! Acrobat Pro allows you to embed a full-text index in a document which greatly accelerates search. The index travels with the document (it’s embedded, duh!). An embedded index speeds up search ten to twenty times.
In this article, I’ll show you how to embed an index in a PDF. You can literally do this in a minute or two!
Note: Acrobat Pro can also create a cross-document index. I’ve written about this before.
With that simple change, even the largest PDFs can be searched super-fast.
If you add to your PDF over time, simply update the Embedded Index following the steps above.
Acrobat offers two variants of search.
ADVANCED SEARCH returns a search results lists which includes a snippet of the text in context. This is one of the best ways to quickly spot a search term. Advanced Search also includes a number of advanced search features such boolean operators (AND, NOT, OR) and many other remarkable features.
The best way to get the benefit of faster search with an embedded index is to use Acrobat Advanced Search option.
To get to Advanced Search, choose Edit> Advanced Search or type CTRL-ALT-F on Windows or CMD-OPT-F on the Mac.
In the Advanced Search window, simply type in the word or phrase you are looking for and hit the Search button.
Acrobat will return a contextual hit list of words. Below, I searched for the term “preflight” and found 254 instances in the document.
I hate filling out paper forms! Not only is my handwriting terrible, but the whole print/scan/send routine is time consuming.
Fortunately, both Adobe Acrobat and Reader have the hand Sign pane which let’s you add text, add checkmarks and sign a document:
While these tools are great, they don’t cover all of the use cases for typical paper forms, for example one like this:
On a paper form, you’d simply circle either Yes or No, but that is missing from the Sign pane in Acrobat. Fortunately, you can easily include a Circle Stamp. The procedure below works in either Adobe Reader XI or Acrobat.
Both Reader XI and Acrobat can use existing PDF files as stamps. While Acrobat can convert virtually any artwork to PDF, Reader cannot. To help out, I’ve included three Circle Stamps below (Red, Blue, Black) which you can import and use. Download these to your computer and follow the steps below.
red_circle_stamp (9k PDF)
black_circle_stamp (9k PDF)
blue_circle_stamp (9k PDF)
These small PDFs each are small circles with a diameter of 12 points.
Follow these steps to import that stamp
Once you have created the stamp, you can apply it to your document.
NOTE: If you haven’t provided a name in the Identity preferences, the Identity Setup dialog box prompts you to do so.
Below, I’ve applied the stamp.
I purposefully made the stamps included with this article small. When you apply the stamp, you can click and drag to scale it or do os later.
Below are the general instructions for using stamps. Using the Select tool or the Hand tool, you can do any of the following with the stamp selected:
If you regularly use a Stamp, you can add it to your favorites. It will then appear at the top of the stamp list.
Sometimes, you may want to use the circle stamp repeatedly. Use this trick to avoid having to reselect the tool
Right-click on the Stamp Tool and choose “Keep Tool Selected”:
An Acrobat Shared Review allows multiple people, in real time, to add notes and comments on a PDF. In order to do so, you need a server or shared resources such as SharePoint or a network folder. Both of these are great solutions for behind the firewall reviews.
To see a short video of how Shared Review works, click here.
Occasionally, you may need to have an open review with multiple participants or collaborate with others across multiple domains. For these open reviews, many of our customers used our Acrobat.com service which made the process simple.
In January 2014, we announced that Workspaces on Acrobat.com will be retired in January 2015. That means that Acrobat.com will longer be an option for hosting Shared Reviews. Fortunately, Acrobat supports the WebDav protocol, so that is a great replacement for open reviews which were the forte of Acrobat.com.
I recently purchased a yearly subscription to an inexpensive webdav service from SqueakSoft webdav service. No particular reason, but that came up first in Google and it is only $6 per year.
You can, of course, use webdav on other hosting providers and cloud services.
Here’s how to get started with the SqueakSoft service and getting it working in Acrobat.
In the next screen, enter your desired WebDav username.
Add the service to your cart and complete the transaction. You will be asked to create an account to manage access to the WebDav service and you will also need to create a password for your WebDav service.
It might take a few minutes or more for the service to be activated.
Acrobat will create a small review folder on the WebDav server which allows all clients to sync comments to it:
Note, in the workflow above, I am suggesting that you email the document to your recipient rather than upload it to the WebDav server. This way, the WebDav server is only used to store the comments, not the document itself. SqueakSoft offers a huge amount bandwidth for a very small amount of money. If you are only using the service to sync the comments (my recommendation), then you would have enough space to conduct many thousands and thousand of reviews.
Each comment is saved as an obfuscated XML file. Anyone who would try to view the comments in a web browser by typing in http://webdavhost.net/YOURWEBDAVUSERNAME/ would be prompted for a log-in.
As part of the process above, the review PDF is emailed to your recipient.
When they open the PDF, they will see a message like this:
The recipient clicks the Connect button, and then is presented some information about the review such as the Review Deadline, review team, etc.:
The document will open and your recipient can and respond to comments made by everyone on the team.
A status bar at the top allows users to publish and retrieve comments which are synchronized to the PDF document in real time:
Here’s two QuickStart Guides. Enjoy!
Comment in a PDF file with Adobe® Acrobat® XI
Send a PDF file for shared review with Adobe® Acrobat® XI
I recently received this email from one of my blog readers:
Does Adobe Acrobat have a feature similar to the eraser in the old MS Paint program to edit pdf documents? The feature does exist in ScanSoft Paperport (I have version 11). It is very useful to remove stray marks on scanned images, staple marks, fax headers, punched hole marks, etc. If used with extreme zoom, I can remove just about any marks on the page so it looks like new. However, it would be useful to have all the features in one program. I prefer to use Adobe Acrobat to OCR, and otherwise manage PDF documents, but if they need editing I am forced to use ScanSoft Paperport. Also, the file size seems to go way up after I edit the document with Paperport.
There are two ways you can clean up content in a PDF:
I’ve never written about the second option previously, so this seems like a good opportunity to do so!
Using an external image editor makes the most sense for image-based PDFs. However, Acrobat can also call a program to edit vector content, too.
Adobe® Connect™ is Adobe’s web conferencing platform for web meetings, eLearning, and webinars. My guess is that most legal professionals have taken part in a web conference which allows for computer screen sharing and collaboration. Most large law firms have access to webinar services hosted by one of the major web conferencing platforms such as Adobe Connect, WebEx, Go to Meeting, etc.
One thing that distinguishes Adobe Connect from other web conferencing tools is that Adobe positions it as a development platform. This allows our partners to create some really interesting tools that run on top of the platform to meet the needs of vertical markets.
In fact, when I saw StreamText Legal’s new add-ins for Adobe Connect, I was blown away.