Recently in PDF Portfolios Category

Turning on trace() for the Flash Player in Acrobat 9

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If you’ve started to work with the new Acrobat ActionScript API for creating custom PDF Portfolio navigators you’ll quickly come to a point where you may want to do some debugging. Unfortunately, the current Acrobat 9 application doesn’t provide a true debugging environment. However, you can see errors and get a pretty good understanding of what’s going on by simply outputting some trace() statements. Error reporting and trace() is off by default but you can turn it on by adding the following settings to the Windows registry:

Joel’s PDF Portfolio Utilities Updated

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I recently updated “Joel’s PDF Portfolio Utilities” to include the ability to combine multiple portfolios into one.

 

Combine All Open PDF Portfolios:
This script will look at all of the open PDF files to see which are PDF Portfolios meaning the collection object returns a value. Then, it will combine all the open PDF Portfolios into a single new PDF Portfolio that contains all the files and metadata from the sources. This version will not maintain folder structure so it’s best to use on PDF Portfolios that do not contain folders. Creating a new PDF Portfolio through app.newCollection() is a privileged function so you’ll need to wrap it in a trustedFunction to make it work, the code snippet below shows how.

 

Acrobat 9.1 SDK Update Released

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The Navigator SDK for PDF Portfolio Layouts is finally out of beta and is available for download. Samples, updated documentation and other resources are available in the Acrobat 9.1 SDK August 2009 update. You can get it by following the link below.

ZIP files in PDF Portfolios

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Why can’t I add ZIP files to a PDF Portfolio?

Ok – so this isn’t exactly a developer topic but the question has popped up in my inbox with enough regularity that I thought I’d write an article about it.

You can try to add a ZIP file to a PDF Portfolio but then you see the warning dialog to the right. If you choose to click "OK", the ZIP file will be added to the PDF Portfolio. Great!

Actually – not so great. No one will be able to open or extract the ZIP from the Portfolio unless they hack their registry (Windows) or plist (Mac). So even though you were able to add the .ZIP file, it’s of very little use if you plan on sharing that PDF Portfolio with a broader audience.

The list of embargoed file types is a lot longer than just ZIP. You see the same warning if you attach EXE, VBS, BAT, DLL, or JS because they are associated with malicious programs, macros, and viruses that can damage your computer; the list goes on and on.

PDF Portfolios use ZIP Compression:

So here’s the good news, when you add a folder full of files to a PDF Portfolio guess what happens. That’s right – Acrobat uses ZIP compression to bundle them up. You don’t actually need to go through the process of zipping a folder full of files and then add the ZIP to the Portfolio. Just skip the zipping step add the folder directly to the Portfolio. The file size of the PDF Portfolio and a ZIP with the same set of files in it is virtually identical plus you get a great Flash UI to help people find what they need inside the Portfolio.

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This is it! The last in my seven part series on developing custom PDF Portfolio
layouts has been posted. This one discusses adding files and resources.
Jump on over to Part 7 and take a look.

What now?

You didn’t really think there would be only seven did you?
I’m just getting started. Now that you have a chance to understand the basics with simple (and frankly…. ugly) examples, it’s time to make something functional and pretty.

I’m thinking about writing a few “utility” navigators and have a few ideas of my own but am interested in hearing from my dear readers as well so please comment with your ideas. Here’s a short list of what I’ve been thinking about.

Drag-n-Drop Ordering Wouldn’t it be great if you could just drag your files around into the order that you want them to appear? I’ve got some ideas on how to do that and actually have the order stick in other navigators that respect the sort order.
Advanced Folder Navigation By default, folders appear as items but I want to be able to build a tree just like some of the Adobe ones do and then be able to drag-n-drop files between.
A Vertical Navigator “Bar” I’m thinking something slim and sleek that sits on the side and uses the splitter to give you a nice big preview window but easily navigate the PDF Portfolio.
User Defined Thumbnails Add your own thumbnails to the files that don’t auto-generate them.

In addition to the utility navigators, I’m going to try putting together a few more visually stunning examples with some cooler navigation and animations so stay tuned.

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The sixth in my seven part series on developing custom PDF Portfolio
layouts has been posted. This one discusses sorting.

Jump on over to Part 6.

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The fifth in my seven part series on developing custom PDF Portfolio layouts has been posted. This one discusses working with document metadata.

Jump on over to Part 5.

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The fourth in my seven part series on developing custom PDF Portfolio layouts has been posted. This one discusses working with thumbnails.

Jump on over to Part 4.

As a reminder, here are the topics with links to the what I have posted so far

The “Customizing PDF Portfolio Layouts” Series

Coming soon I’ll have…

  • Part 5: Working with Metadata
  • Part 6: Sorting
  • Part 7: Adding Resources and Files

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The third in my seven part series on developing custom PDF Portfolio layouts has been posted. This one discusses previewing files and navigating folders. By the end of the article, you’ll have the code required to build a navigator
based on just about any data driven Flex control. I’ll also be adding a feedback section to all three parts so you’ll have a chance to help me improve these articles in the future. So – jump on over to Part 3.

The Customizing PDF Portfolio Layouts Series

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I just posted the first two of a seven part series that discusses writing custom PDF Portfolio Layouts or “Navigators” as we call them in “Acrobat Developer Land”. I’ll also take this opportunity to launch the PDF Developer Junkie Web.Blogs are great for all kinds of things like news and short articles or even a series of articles. However, sometimes, organizing articles in reverse chronological order just isn’t helpful. So – I created a web site to house all of my “How-to” articles.

If you’ve been interested in learning about how to create your own Navigators and you’ve got some ActionScript 3 skills, jump into the links below and get started. Each article has a sample Flex project attached as well as the Acrobat ActionScript SDK (prerelease version).

The “Customizing PDF Portfolio Layouts” Series

Coming soon I’ll have…

  • Part 5: Working with Metadata
  • Part 6: Sorting
  • Part 7: Adding Resources and Files