Acrobat 9.4.2 Adds Backward Compatibility for PDF Portfolios

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With the latest update of Acrobat 9 and Reader 9, PDF Portfolios that were created in Acrobat X (ten) will play in version 9.4.2. When viewing PDF Portfolios in 9.4.2, everything will work pretty much as expected with just a few caveats. You can see from the images below that we’ve done our best to keep the experience in version 9 and X consistent but differences in the underlying API between Acrobat 9 and X can cause some issues that you should be aware of when viewing or modifying a PDF Portfolio in 9.4.2 that was created in version X. The list below provides details on what to expect.


Acrobat 9


Acrobat X

What to Expect When Viewing:

PDF Previews are only for the first page of a PDF file. The Acrobat 9 API cannot render a thumbnail for more than just the first page of a PDF file so you won’t be able to flip through the document the way that you can in Acrobat X.

"Web content" is not supported in version 9 as it is in Acrobat X. You will see the icon for an HTML file rather than a preview of the web page.

There is no multimedia support on the cards since this requires the Acrobat X API’s but these files can be played back when double clicked.

Acrobat X supports embedding fonts that are used in the Portfolio Layout; version 9 cannot access these fonts. In Acrobat and Reader version 9.4.2 and higher, the font used by the PDF Portfolio layouts will also be used for display in 9.4.2 if it exists on the system. This is true whether font is embedded or not. Also, since the embedded fonts are not able to be accessed while viewing in 9.4.2 there is no anti-aliasing. You will see this mostly in the Freeform layout, the text on the angled cards may look jagged.

The “Display Name” field will not show any text when in “Files” view in 9.4.2 unless a Display Name field was set in Acrobat X, or you add a Display Name field in 9.4.2. The “Display Name” is automatically populated with the file name by Acrobat X for display purposes only. If you modify the Display Name, data is entered into the field, if not, the field remains blank. The effect of this is that if the sort order is by “Display Name” the sort will appear incorrect in the Acrobat 9 Files view because there is no data actually in the field. If you want to sort on Display Name, be sure to modify the Display Name field in Acrobat X to something other than the file name.

In Acrobat 9, the color palette is used by both the Layout and the Files view, in Acrobat X the Files view does not use the color palette. When you open an Acrobat X Portfolio in 9.4.2 and switch to “Files” view, the color palette will be used.

The Summary field beside the file preview in the Linear layout will display as “plain text”; no text formatting is displayed. There are repercussions to editing this field which I’ll cover next.

What to Expect When Modifying:

The layout of the Portfolio cannot be changed; the “Edit” button is grayed out. However, the Portfolio content can be updated; you can add and delete files and update the metadata fields.

In Acrobat 9, text in the "Description" field can be added/updated from the Layout view but all other Fields have to be updated from the list view.

Acrobat 9 does not support rich text in Portfolio metadata fields so updating or adding text in a field or adding new files will cause the font and formatting to be stripped. The updated or new fields will show in the default system font when displayed again in Acrobat X.

Thumbnails for new files that are added will be the thumbnails created by Acrobat 9, so for example adding an Office attachment on Windows will show an icon or thumbnail instead of a preview.

Drag and Drop re-ordering in the document tray will not work at all. Acrobat 9 does not have the API to support this type of reordering. You can usethe Files view to reorder the documents.