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?


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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:

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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Adobe Reader for iPad and iPhone is Available

Legal professionals are increasingly using mobile devices to access documents. Of course, usage of PDF in the legal industry is widespread.

I’m happy to report that Adobe Reader for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) is now available. It’s free.

There are quite a few PDF-related products in the app store, but it appears that a lot of folks were looking forward to the "real" PDF Reader.

Adobe Reader for iOS let’s you:

  • View and magnify PDFs on your iPhone or iPad
  • Search for text
  • Navigate Bookmarks in the PDF
  • Scrolling Control
    • Continuous vertical
    • Swipe left and right
  • Supports password protected documents
  • Supports rights-managed documents (Adobe LiveCycle)
  • Email and Print documents

Adobe Reader for iPad includes a graphical Getting Started document, but the app is so easy to use I doubt you’ll need it.

I’ve included a screen shot below which shows the bookmark view.

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Acrobat X Customization Guide for Large Firms

Large law firms with more than fifty Acrobat users should take advantage of Adobe’s free deployment tools for Acrobat X. Many firms are upgrading to Acrobat X at this time, so I thought I would share a few tips which are specific for the legal industry.

Packaging Adobe Reader or Acrobat for your end-users isn’t difficult, but sometimes IT folks don’t know all of the settings or best practices.

In this article, I’ll discuss:

  • Where to download the Enterprise version of Adobe Reader and get your corporate licenses of Acrobat
  • How to download Adobe’s free customization tools
  • Recommended deployment settings
    • Customization Wizard settings
    • Registry Key Settings

This article will walk you through the settings I recommend using the Acrobat X Customization Wizard.

The information is not intended as a replacement for the numerous documents Adobe makes available to enterprise IT administrators. Here are a few you should check out:

Acrobat Enterprise Toolkit Page

This page is the starting point for everything you need to deploy Acrobat X.

On this page you will find:

Enterprise Administration Guide

This 118-page guide is the main documentation for deploying Acrobat and covers AIP, SCCM/SCUP, GPO, bootstrapper, Citrix and other deployment options.

Preference Reference

The Preference Reference, a dictionary of registry level preferences containing over 300 keys. The application is updated on a monthly basis.

Training Videos for the Acrobat Customization Wizard

Adobe Technical Evangelist Joel Geraci offers videos on using the Customization Wizard.

SCUP Catalogs for Acrobat X and Reader X

SCCM/SCUP are Microsoft’s latest change and configuration management solution that replaces older methodologies such as SMS and GPO. Unlike these older technologies, SCCM provides features such as metering, asset intelligence, inventorying, and improved remote client administration.

Rick Borstein’s Acrobat X Deployment Webinar Recording

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Download a PDF Copy of the Acrobat Help File

I recently received this note from a law firm:

I know that Adobe offers online HTML help, but I’d really like to get a PDF copy of the help? Is one available?

Short answers . . . Yes!

Downloading the Help File

Follow these steps to get a PDF copy of the Help file:

  1. Choose Help>Acrobat X Pro (or Standard) Help or press the F1 key
  2. The Help file will launch in your default web browser or possibly in the Community Help Viewer

    Click the View Help PDF link in the upper right corner of the window

  3. The Help PDF will open.
    Hover over the bottom of the window until the Heads Up Display (HUD) appears, then click the Floppy Disk icon on the HUD toolbar to save the PDF to a location of your choice.

Using the Help File

When you open the Help file, the Bookmarks panel will open automatically. You can browse through the bookmarks to open the section of your choice.

I also suggest you try using Advanced Search. Choose Edit>Advanced Search to open the Advanced Search window and enter the term of your choice.

Advanced Search lists all the "hits" within the document. For example, when I typed in PDF/A as my search term, here was the result . . . 67 hits!

Just click on any of the results to go directly to that page in the PDF and highlight the term.











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Acrobat and Microsoft Office 2010 Compatibility

Over the past few months, I’ve received a number of inquiries about Acrobat and Office 2010 compatibility.

Adobe Acrobat X is the first version of Acrobat to support Microsoft Office 2010.

The Acrobat 9 PDF Maker toolbars do not function or appear in Microsoft Office 2010!

Didn’t Acrobat 9 ship recently? Why doesn’t Acrobat 9 support Office 2010?

The timeline below shows that Acrobat 9 shipped two years before Office 2010.

  • Acrobat 9 shipped in June 2008
  • Microsoft Office 2010 shipped  in June 2010
  • Adobe Acrobat X shipped in November 2010

What does Adobe mean by “support for Office 2010”?

Adobe Acrobat X installs toolbars and advanced integration— called PDF Makers— into Office 2010 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

In addition to offering one-click conversion from Office applications, the PDF Makers enable additional functions within Acrobat and Windows Explorer. In fact, Acrobat itself relies on the PDF Makers working correctly for important functions.

Can’t users just print to the PDF Print Driver?

The Adobe PDF Print driver offers basic PDF creation via the Print command.

Output from the PDF Print Driver is not functionally equivalent to that of the Adobe PDF Makers.

What will my organization miss if I do not install the Acrobat X PDF Makers?

Here are a few of the key features that will be missed using an earlier version of Acrobat with Office 2010.

  • Bookmarks
  • Links (Navigational links such as cross-references, table of contents, footnotes and endnotes)
  • PDF Creation from Windows Explorer
  • Combine multiple file types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) into a single PDF
  • Convert comments in Word, Excel and PowerPoint to PDF Comments
  • Comment Routing from PDF back to Word
  • Select worksheets for conversion in Excel
  • Create PDF and automatically attach to email
  • Tagged PDF for accessibility
  • PDF/A-1A (PDF for Archiving)
  • Multimedia Embedding
  • Optimized conversion of PowerPoint
  • Converts speaker notes from PowerPoint
  • Create custom mail-merged PDF and automatically attach to email
  • Manual and automatic archiving of email  from Outlook and Lotus Notes

What Office 2010 applications are supported by Acrobat X?

Acrobat X installs into the standard Microsoft Office ribbon interface in supported applications:

Acrobat X offers PDF Maker integration for the following Office 2010 applications:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Visio (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Project (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Access (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Publisher (Pro only)

Although many of the conversion options are common to all Office applications, some PDF maker
functions are application-specific.

Do the Acrobat PDF Makers work in Office 64-bit mode?

Yes. The Acrobat 10.1 update (June 2011) introduced 64-bit versions of the PDF Makers.

What do the Acrobat X ribbons look like in Office 2010?

Here are a few examples:

Microsoft Word 2010 PDF Maker
Microsft Excel 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft Outlook 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft Visio 2010 PDF Maker

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