Posts in Category "Administrative"

July 29, 2009

LiveCycle Designer ES – Adobe Acrobat Pro’s Cinderella

Many educators have heard about the wonderful ways you can use Adobe Acrobat to create classroom materials like worksheets, forms and portfolios. Don’t get me wrong. This is really cool stuff. But today I want to talk about a hidden gem. Bundled with your Windows version of Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended is a lesser known, elegant and robust application called LiveCycle Designer ES. LC Designer is a full-featured form design application that enables you to create electronic forms using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface. I will be honest here. LC Designer is not for the novice user. If all you want to do is take an MS Word document, convert it and make a nifty form, then by all means use the Form Wizard in Acrobat. But if you want more form options, a more flexible layout, and the ability to easily edit your form design, then you really should give LC Designer a test drive.
Last year, I was asked to make changes to our school’s progress report card. I had previously created the progress report card in MS Word and then used Acrobat’s Form Wizard to create a pdf form. This seemed to be a great solution until I had to make changes to the content in the progress report card. Of course, I couldn’t edit the text in the pdf document. To make the necessary changes I had to revise the original MS Word document, convert it to pdf and then create all of the form fields again. I had close to 80 form fields in the progress report card and I wasn’t happy about having to create them again. Clearly, I needed a different product to tackle this job. Out of desperation I scoured my hard drive for something else and stumbled across LC Designer. With LC Designer I was able to create all the elements I needed in my form from scratch, including static text, design elements and a wide variety of form fields. I had more control over the layout and functionality of the form, and best of all, it was a breeze to edit when I needed to make changes after publishing the form. The following screenshots show the LiveCycle interface and what the final progress report card looks like in Adobe Reader.
progress report card in Live Cycle.jpg progress report card in reader.jpg

7:37 AM Permalink
August 6, 2008

Adobe Education eSeminar Series

The Adobe Education eSeminar Series begins August 14, 2008.
These free of charge online events will cover topics such as distance and eLearning projects using Acrobat 9, creating interactive PDF files, electronic portfolios for students and educators and much more.
The presentations will be conducted by Adobe education product experts and/or Adobe Education Leaders.
This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts right from your computer.
Details and registration

11:18 PM Permalink
May 5, 2008

Enable Typewriter Tool for Acrobat Reader

For some reason, educational institutions don’t like to take the time to run Form Field recognition before publishing PDF forms. Adobe Reader users will not be able to digitally fill out the form unless the form has had the fields added in Acrobat. Using the Form Field Recognition tool is ridiculously easy (Forms > Form Field Recognition).
If you don’t take the time to run FFR, at least activate the Typewriter tool for your Acrobat Reader users (Full-blown Acrobat users can activate the Typewriter tool anytime). The Typewriter tool allows text to be typed anywhere on a document.
To activate the Typewriter Tool for Acrobat Reader users:
1. Open Adobe Acrobat 8
2. Click Tools > Typewriter > Enable Typewriter Tool in Adobe Reader
Useless bit of information – The longest word that can be typed using only the top row of alphanumeric keys is “typewriter.” (I know your testing it out…now get back to work!)

2:08 PM Permalink

Extracting Non-Sequential Pages from PDF’s

I often find it necessary to single out various pages from a PDF document and combine them into another. For example, I may need to combine pages 3, 5, and 10 from a fifty page document into a new PDF.
Acrobat provides an “extract pages” option that allows you to extract a range of pages, but this option does not allow for the combination of discontinuous pages. However, you do have a couple of options.
Option 1 – Use the “drag and drop” method as described by the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog.
Option 2 – Use the “Create PDF from Multiple Files” option using the directions below (my preferred method)
Directions for Option 2
1. Open Adobe Acrobat 8
2. Click on the Create PDF button
3. Select the “From Multiple Files” option
4. The Combine Files dialogue box will open. Click the Add Files button
5. Find the PDF file with the pages you wish to extract and click the Add Files button
6. The PDF will appear in the Combine Files Dialogue, now to select the specific pages.
7. Click the Choose Pages button
8. The Preview and Select Page Range dialogue box will open. This will allow you to type in both a range of pages and non discontinuous pages. For example, if you wished to include pages 1 through 5 and pages 10, 11, and 15 you would simply select the Pages radio button and type 1-5,10,11,15. Cool!
9. Acrobat also provides a Preview tool to help select the correct pages.
10. Click the OK button.
11. The Combine Files dialogue will open and provide an overview of the pages that you selected.
12. From here, decide if you want to combine pages from another document or proceed forward by clicking the Next button.
13. Make sure the Merge files into a single PDF button is selected and click the Create button.
14. Sit back and watch Adobe Acrobat works its magic!

11:26 AM Permalink