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Big Changes in the DDE Naming Convention for Acrobat X

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In the previous releases, it was possible that a PDF file would not open in the default handler if other applications were open. For example, even if Adobe Reader was set as default handler for PDF files, the PDF files would open in Acrobat if Acrobat was installed and running. This could lead to issues, especially for sandboxing applications.

In this release, the PDF files open in the default handler even if other applications that can read PDF files are open. In the example cited earlier, the PDF now opens in Reader, even if Acrobat is running.

To implement this feature, there has been a change to the DDE naming convention—the DDE server name has been made unique for Acrobat and for Reader. The new naming convention is as follows:

Acroview{A|R}{MajorVersion} where {A|R} refer to Acrobat and Reader respectively.

For example, the name is AcroViewA10 for Acrobat X and AcroViewR10 for Reader 10.

For connecting to previous versions of Acrobat and Reader, the DDE connect string name continues to be “acroview”. You can get the correct name by using the “DDEAPPNAME” macro defined in WinAppSemaphore.h.

NOTE: Any scripts that have hard-coded references to the DDE name will have to be updated.

Please see the Developers Guide to Acrobat X in the list of guides to the left for the most current information about developing with Acrobat X.

Get WOWed by the Acrobat Portfolio SDK

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Take a look at this slightly irreverent “commercial” for the Acrobat Portfolio SDK. We showed this during the Tuesday keynote at MAX. It’s surprisingly informative.

Acrobat Portfolio SDK beta Available on Adobe Labs

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Today at MAX 2010 we conducted a full day hands-on lab showing the new Acrobat Portfolio SDK which is now available on Adobe Labs.

The Acrobat Portfolio SDK provides new developer tools for the Adobe Flash® Builder™ and Adobe Flash Professional environments. Using these tools, developers and designers can now leverage their existing ActionScript and Flex skills to create customized PDF Portfolio layouts (navigators) for use in Adobe Acrobat X. Now the Flash community can target their client deliverables to the PDF ecosystem and Adobe Reader platform.

For an in depth look at what the new SDK is all about read my previous post announcing the MAX preconference session.

Download the Acrobat Portfolio SDK beta from Adobe Labs

Jacob Surber’s Perspectives on PDF Portfolios in Acrobat X

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In this video, Jacob Surber, Senior Experience Designer shares a behind the scenes look at the reinvention of PDF Portfolios in Acrobat X. If you’re curious about all that you can do with the new Adobe Acrobat Portfolio SDK, listen to what Jacob has to say then sign up for the “Using Flash Builder 4 to Create Custom PDF Portfolio Layouts” preconference at MAX 2010.

Register Now

What Developers Need to Know About Acrobat X

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Note: I’ve updated the content in this post and turned it into a static page. Please see the Developers Guide to Acrobat X in the list of guides to the left for the most current information.

Yesterday, Adobe announced Acrobat X and there are a lot of big changes and a lot of great new stuff for developers to play with. With the help of Leonard Rosenthol, PDF Standards Architect, PDF guru and developer extraordinaire, I’ve compiled a list of the top things developers need to know about the new version.

MAX 2010 Preconference for Flash Builder Developers

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For the first time, Adobe Acrobat has a preconference lab at MAX and it’s going to be a great one. Why? Because now Acrobat is even more fully embracing the Flash Platform, Flash Designers and Flash Builder Developers. The preconference lab takes place Sunday, October 24th 2010 – look for the preconference session below then keep reading for a description of what we’ll cover.

Using Flash Builder 4 to Create Custom PDF Portfolio Layouts

Leverage your ActionScript or Flash design skills to build custom PDF Portfolio layouts. This hands-on lab will introduce you to a new set of tools for developing PDF Portfolio layouts in Flash Builder 4. The PDF Portfolio Layout SDK and Flash Builder plug-in support the process of creating, debugging, and packaging these layouts. Clients will be amazed by the rich user experience you can create for assembling content and communications as part of your brand or design services.

Hopefully you already know what a PDF Portfolio is but if not, you can watch this video on Adobe TV to get a good overview of this cool new capability in Acrobat 9.

Background:

Acrobat 9 comes with a default set of PDF Portfolio Layouts. These are great for bundling up a set of files and sending them around as a single PDF file. There are some basic features that allow you to customize headers and a welcome screen as well as the ability to apply different color palettes. But, with Acrobat 9.1, we introduced a rich ActionScript API that can be used to create interactive, highly branded custom PDF Portfolio layouts or “Navigators”, as they are referred to in the API.

That was phase one.

Phase Two:

At MAX 2010, well be introducing a beta version of a new set of tools that plug into Flash Builder 4 to support the process of creating, debugging, and packaging PDF Portfolio Layouts that have even more capabilities than previously available. Users will be able to experience your new enhanced PDF Portfolio Layouts in a future release of Adobe Reader 9 that will be available when these tools are released.

The New Project Wizard:
The New Project Wizard is an extension that automates the process of creating a basic navigator project.

After running the wizard, you’ll have a basic navigator with all the code and resources you need to compile, package and deploy for use in Acrobat, it’s basically identical to one of the Layouts that we ship with Acrobat, so you know it’s been tested and is ready to go.

The Debug Launcher:

The Debug Launcher is a Flash Builder launch configuration type that has been customized to support the running and debugging of navigator projects in a Previewer application.

The Previewer Application:

The Previewer Application is a simulation of the Acrobat and Reader PDF Portfolio runtime. It allows you to test your Layout in various flavors of Acrobat and in Reader with a virtual PDF that has different permission bits. It even lets you test your custom properties, metadata and localization strings, all without loading your Layout into Acrobat itself.

The Export Wizard:

The Export Wizard packages all of the needed navigator resources into a single .nav file.

Pushing the Envelope:

Finally, all of the custom components that we use in the Layouts that ship with Acrobat are available for you to either use as-is or extend. This opens up opportunities to customize a PDF Portfolio Layout if you are a Flash Builder expert or just getting started. The image below is a customized PDF Portfolio Layout running in the Preview Application.

What’s in it for Flash Designers?

Because these tools are built on Flash Builder 4 and use the new skinning model, Flash Professional Designers can use their existing skills to create “Visual Themes” or skins for all of the skinnable components in the Acrobat Portfolio SDK. If you know how to skin a video player, you can skin these components – it’s that easy.

Please join us and learn about these great new tools. See the Preconference page at the MAX web site.

The PDF Portfolio Exchange is Open on AcrobatUsers.com

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Whether you are a fan of assembling multiple files and formats into a
PDF Portfolio, or even if you haven’t yet tapped into this powerful
capability within Acrobat 9, the just-launched PDF Portfolio Exchange on AcrobatUsers.com offers you new opportunities to get more out of PDF Portfolios.

The PDF Portfolio Exchange provides an easy way to upload your
templates and layouts to share with others. And if you are looking for
guidance on how to create your first PDF Portfolio and to understand
the many benefits for you and your users, the Exchange offers free
downloadable templates
and tutorials to simplify the task.

Go to the PDF Portfolio Exchange on AcrobatUsers.com

Stamps Gone Wild

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Great and Powerful Wizard of Scripting otherwise known as Thom Parker of pdfscripting.com explains everything you wanted to know about stamps in PDF and then takes it to the next level in a new video “Stamps Gone Wild”.

If Stamps in Acrobat are a mystery to you or if you are thinking of using an Acrobat clone that claims to support stamp annotations, you’ve got to see this video.

Watch “Stamps Gone Wild”

New Experts Recruited at the AUC

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I wanted to take a moment to introduce 3 new people who’ve joined the Adobe Acrobat User Community’s Experts team at AcrobatUsers.com. If you’re not already a member, you should be, it’s free and probably the best and fastest way to get those difficult or obscure questions answered. I’ve found it extremely helpful myself… and I have access to the engineering team!

Calling all Flex Developers

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In case you haven’t heard, Adobe Acrobat 9 has an ActionScript API for PDF Portfolios.

Learn it and make yourself stand out from other Flex developers. The Adobe Acrobat PDF Portfolio Navigator Developer Contest may be your opportunity to get your work reviewed directly by some of the top brand agencies and RIA design firms in the world. In the process, you can also win some great prizes.