Reader XI: Bigger and Stronger!

Among the hub-bub of the Acrobat XI launch recently, a significant tidbit might have escaped your attention:

> Adobe Reader XI

If you’re an Acrobat user, you probably don’t think about Reader that much unless you’re trying to get your client to fill in a form or comment on a file.

Fortunately, that just got a whole lot easier for you and your client with Reader XI.

Save Form Data and Comment

Adobe Reader XI for Mac and Windows can now:

  • Fill in and save data in PDF forms
  • Use all 20+ commenting tools available in Acrobat

Staying Updated

Adobe Reader XI, by default, will keep itself updated. That’s great for the security of your clients.

Continue reading…

Acrobat XI and Cloud Services Event in Boston, Princeton and Philly

My Adobe colleague Mark Middleton is sponsoring three free LIVE events in Boston, Princeton, NJ and Philadelphia.

You’re invited to join Mark and other Adobe Experts to discover Acrobat XI Pro: "The Ultimate Multitasker" and Acrobat XI Cloud Services featuring Adobe electronic signatures, Adobe EchoSign. 

Acrobat XI Pro is packed with smart tools that give you even more power to communicate easily, seamlessly, and brilliantly.  From editing PDF text and graphics, to converting PDF files to PowerPoint presentations, to creating new PDF and web forms, to sending documents to others for signing, Acrobat XI is all new!  Plus, discover a truly integrated and complete electronic signature/web contracting solution that can be used on any computer, tablet or mobile phone with a web browser allowing documents to be signed by anyone anywhere.

Adobe Acrobat XI with Cloud Services

9:30am -12:30pm  | Breakfast and Registration at 9AM
Boston
Princeton
Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 16th

The Westin Boston Waterfront
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210

(617) 532-4600

Directions

Wednesday, October 17th

Westin Princeton Forrestal Village
201 Village Boulevard
Princeton, NJ 08540

(609) 452-7900

Directions

Thursday, October 18th

The Westin Philadelphia
99 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 563-1600

Directions

 

Continue reading…

It’s new! Top Ten new features of Acrobat Pro XI for Legal Pros

Today, Adobe announced a new version of Acrobat . . . Acrobat XI (11). The latest version of Acrobat offers many new features that will be valuable to legal professionals

I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks, but here’s my . . .

Top Ten New Acrobat Pro XI Features for Legal Professionals

  1. PDF Editing
    For years, I’ve been saying that PDF is primarily an archive format, but Acrobat XI makes it easy to make significant text and graphic edits to PDFs. Text wraps when you edit it and you can easily replace images. You can even add to a bullet list and search and replace text. The redesigned Content Editing panel (see below) makes the process easy to understand.

     
  2. Easier PDF/A Conformance
    Acrobat XI can convert just about any existing PDF to PDF/A. If the regular conversion steps fail, Acrobat XI can reconvert the file via PostScript (e.g. automatically print to the AdobePDF printer) or rasterize pages as necessary to bring the file into compliance.
    .
     
  3. Save PDF to PowerPoint
    When I tried this feature, it floored me! Acrobat can convert PDFs to editable PowerPoint files complete with backgrounds, artwork, and bulleted text.
     
  4. Redesigned Combine Panel
    The Combine documents experience in Acrobat XI is much improved. You can visually swap in pages, change order, and see thumbnails of existing files. Acrobat XI Combine works better on the Mac than previous versions. Mac users now can see thumbnails and convert Office file types, too. You still need to have Microsoft Office on your computer, of course.
  5. FormsCentral
    Acrobat has long had tools to create forms, but the process involved creating an original file in another program and then laying form fields on top of the PDF later. Acrobat XI includes FormsCentral, a new standalone tool that allows you to create both PDF and web forms and collect the data. FormsCentral includes a nice library of pre-built forms to get you started.
  6. WebMail Support
    Use Yahoo or Gmail? You can now send email directly from the File menu in Acrobat (File> Send File . . .). You can configure multiple email accounts, too, and set the default mailer.
  7. Create PDF and Run Action
    You can now run an Action directly from a file in Microsoft Office. For example, you might convert a contract to PDF then automatically show the Bookmarks panel and password protect the file.
  8. Easy Signature Workflows
    Acrobat now allows you to easily sign a document by typing your name, drawing your signature or using a signature stamp. You can then easily add your signature to any document or even send it for additional signatures using Adobe’s EchoSign eSignature service.
  9. Restrict Editing Easily
    With Acrobat’s new ability to edit PDF, you may wish to protect the important documents you share. Acrobat XI includes new, easier single-step method to add this restriction.
  10. Customize Panel Toolset
    Sometimes you just need the tools you use everyday available where you want them! Acrobat XI allows you to create your own custom Toolset with just the tools you need. From a single customization window, you can create your own panel and Quick Tools (toolbar icons).

Continue reading…

The Vastly Underutilized Create PDF from Clipboard Feature

PDF from ClipboardThere are many ways to create PDF files using Acrobat, but one of the most useful might not be very well known to many Acrobat users.

I’m referring to Create PDF from Clipboard.

As the name suggests, Create PDF from Clipboard takes whatever is on your Clipboard and converts it to PDF. Amazingly, it works for just about anything you can put on the clipboard. I use this feature in Acrobat every day, sometimes several times a day.

How do I access Create PDF from Clipboard?

While it’s not hidden, you might not have run across it. The Create PDF from Clipboard feature works in both Acrobat Standard and Pro. Here’s how it works:

  1. Copy something to the clipboard
  2. In Acrobat, X, choose File > Create > PDF from Clipboard
    - or – Click the Create Button and choose PDF from Clipboard
    - or  (Windows only) type ALT-F-R-C

The instructions above are for Acrobat X, but the feature works substantially the same in Acrobat 9.

Acrobat converts the content on the clipboard to PDF and create a new, Untitled PDF document. Save the new document and you’re good to go.

How it Works and Limitations

  • Converting text on the clipboard generally preserves fonts and formatting, but not always. Results are typically like pasting text into a new word processing document and converting that to PDF. Text is laid out generically and the margins may be different.
  • If there isn’t anything on the clipboard, or if the content cannot be converted to PDF, this feature will be grayed out.
  • The content you want to convert must be in an application. You can’t, for example, select a JPEG file on your desktop and copy it to the clipboard. Acrobat won’t know what to do and the feature won’t be available.
  • Some applications don’t copy with the same quality. I noticed that while I can copy Visio objects to the clipboard, that the results are bit-mapped when converted via the clipboard to PDF.

Read on to learn about a few ways to use this feature and I’ll even tell you about a related and even more obscure way to create PDF.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

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!

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

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!

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…