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MAX 2010 Preconference for Flash Builder Developers


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.


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.

MAX 2010 Call for Speakers

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The Content Team at Adobe is looking for the most highly qualified speakers to present at MAX 2010.

MAX 2009 Sessions for Acrobat Now Posted on Adobe TV

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If you were not able to make it to MAX 2009 this year or were at MAX and missed some of the Acrobat sessions, here’s your chance to catch up. The Acrobat specific presentations have been posted to Adobe TV. The following is a list of the ones that I organized and a few others that I highly recommend watching.

Download the MAX Companion Application

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Enhance your conference experience with the MAX Companion. MAX Companion is a cross-platform, multiscreen social application designed to help you navigate the conference and communicate with other attendees in real time via Twitter. Built with the Adobe® Flash® Platform, MAX Companion is available in two forms, as a desktop download and on a large interactive multitouch screen.

Get the MAX 2009 Widget

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We recently released the MAX widget. The widget was created with Photoshop and Flex Builder 3 (no Flash authoring involved).

MAX 2009 Speaker Profiles: Ian Campbell

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Ian Campbell: ICCS
Ian has been consulting and training on Acrobat for over 10 years now, and is an Adobe Certified Expert living in London, England. He regularly trains companies and public bodies throughout the United Kingdom and Europe in a number of Adobe products, but counts Acrobat as his all-time favorite. As part of his work for Adobe Systems Europe he has devised and presented Acrobat launch tours, helped co-ordinate partner websites, written the occasional publication – and delivered more eSeminars via Connect Pro than he can remember.

MAX 2009 Speaker Profiles: Thom Parker

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Thom Parker: Windjack Solutions
Thom has been involved with the Acrobat and PDF Community for quite a few years. In 2004, his company WindJack Solutions released its first Acrobat plug-in, PDF CanOpener, and followed that with two scripting related plug-ins AcroButtons and AcroDialogs in 2005. Thom is a prolific contributor in the user forums at, having answered thousands of questions since its inception. He has authored over 60 tutorials on a wide variety of Acrobat and PDF scripting topics for the site. Thom spends much of his time immersed in developing custom scripted solutions for clients spanning a broad spectrum of industries all over the globe, and providing custom on-line training in Acrobat and PDF scripting topics. Thom and his company WindJack Solutions‘ latest effort is a new subscription web site,, that provides millions of Acrobat and PDF users on-line access to a comprehensive library of training videos, sample files, copy-n-paste scripts, and automation tools all focused on what can be accomplished with scripting in PDF files.

MAX 2009 Speaker Profiles: Donna Baker

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Donna's WeeMee

Donna Baker: Baker Communications
Donna is a freelance graphic designer, and author of a couple dozen books about design software, and Web design. About half of the books she’s written are on Adobe Acrobat. Donna has also written a monthly article for since the early days of the site. In the last year or so, she’s started to narrow her focus to all things Acrobat. She’s an Adobe Community Expert, an Adobe Certified Expert, and in her spare time she’s one of the online Adobe Acrobat Help system moderators.

MAX 2009 Speaker Profiles: Harry Hemus

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Acrobat Rocks! – Literally

Harry Hemus: Dividi Projects

is based in the UK and has created some incredible PDF documents, all which started life as either Photoshop or InDesign documents. He’s the guy who created the rich PDF that was created for
David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd fame) to share a live performance of “A Great Day for Freedom” with his fans. Harry founded Dividi Projects which creates interactive, rich-media PDF documents, e-brochures, and presentations for corporations and organizations. The company began by delivering projects on DVD, but after investing in a range of Adobe solutions, he quickly discovered that he could improve how clients deploy their marketing and communications projects using Adobe Acrobat software.

MAX 2009 Session Catalog and Scheduler has launched!

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Grab yourself a cup of coffee and get settled in for a long post. I’ve got a lot of new for you with this one.

To start with, the MAX 2009 Session Catalog and Scheduler has launched. With that, I’m also starting a series of profiles about the speakers that I’ve arranged to deliver some fantastic content for you. Look for new profiles every day for a week or so. If you already know about the scheduler, jump to the first profile on Lori DeFurio – otherwise, keep reading.