In our last post, we were talking about all the time-saving ways you could use Adobe’s online document services through Adobe Reader XI; now, we’d like to share just how to get that work done. But here’s the thing: there is no way to explain just how simple it is to use these services. Will that keep us from trying? No way. As soon as you catch on, feel free to open up Adobe Reader and try it yourself (we don’t think it will take you very long).
The key to using any of the services – with or without Adobe Reader – is your Adobe ID. It’s how you identify yourself to each service, and it’s how you sync all of your information between Reader, Reader Mobile, Acrobat.com, and any of the other services you’re using. (Don’t have one? Don’t worry. You can create one for free at any place you would otherwise sign in; you can even do so within Adobe Reader! Read on.) There are several ways to sign in from within Adobe Reader, but one of the quickest ways is to open up your Tools pane; here’s what that looks like:
- Click on “Tools” in the upper right corner of the application.
- Once the Tools pane is open, you’ll see a little blue bar at the top of the pane with a “Sign In” link. Click on that. (If you see your name there already, you’re already signed in – good work!)
- A pop-up window will appear where you’ll be able to sign in. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, you can create one with that same pop-up window.
Easy, right? And now that you’re signed in, you can access any of the services in that Tools pane. All of your subscriptions are associated with your Adobe ID, so if you’ve subscribed to one or more of the services, you’ll have those paid options available to you. Otherwise, you’ll have access to the services at their free or trial level, where available (for more info on pricing, see: Acrobat.com, SendNow, ExportPDF, CreatePDF.). Here’s how to access each of the services from Reader:
- Export a PDF file to Word or Excel by expanding the “Export PDF” panel. Choose the PDF file to convert (the document that’s currently open will be the default here), and choose the format you’d like to convert it to (.docx, .doc, .xls, or .rtf). Click on “Convert”, and watch the magic happen. When the conversion is finished, you’ll be prompted to save the converted file to your computer – or, if you prefer, directly to an Office 365 or SharePoint location. Want to give it a shot? Subscribe to ExportPDF.
- Create a new PDF file by opening up the panel marked “Create PDF”; just click to choose the file you’d like to use. As with ExportPDF, you can choose from locations on your computer or from an online location. Now click “Convert”. Give Adobe Reader a few seconds to communicate with the CreatePDF servers, and voila – you’ll get a prompt to open the newly converted PDF file in Adobe Reader. Have we even had to leave Adobe Reader yet? No. Convert your own files by subscribing to CreatePDF.
- When it comes to sending files with Adobe SendNow, you’ll see some options: choose the file and the recipient, and then write a message to be delivered along with the file. You can decide whether you’d like your recipient to sign in for access to the file; you can opt for delivery receipts to find out when the file has been downloaded; and you can limit the time that the file will be available for download. All without ever leaving the Adobe Reader window you’ve got open already. For the full range of features, try a SendNow subscription.
- Finally, open up that last panel to upload the current document to Acrobat.com for secure storage and access from any device; the free service includes 2 GB of storage space and hooks into Adobe Reader Mobile for reading on the road. You don’t even need a subscription for this service; just use your Adobe ID to access your own cloud storage account.
When we told you that Adobe Reader wasn’t just for reading anymore, maybe you thought that we were being facetious. We were not: Adobe Reader XI grants you access to all these services and more, and all you need to get started is an Adobe ID. Time to give Adobe Reader another look, people; see what this software can do to amp up your workflow and inject some more time into your day by downloading it for free.