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Batch printing PDF files from an Email Archive in Acrobat X

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I can always tell when a particular capability of Acrobat is hitting the main-stream; that’s when the really good questions start coming in. Creating email archives using Acrobat has hit the main-stream.

You can use PDFMaker to archive individual, selected, or entire folders of Microsoft Outlook email messages to a PDF Portfolio. Within the PDF Portfolio, each email message appears as a separate PDF file along with any attachments in their original format. This is a great way to archive and store email messages at the end of a project or just keep information handy without clogging up your .PST file. If you need to print out an individual message, that’s pretty easy, just click the print button on the toolbar.

Recently, the complaint/question came in where a user wasn’t able to print all of the messages in the archive. On the surface, it does seem impossible… unless you understand that the email archive is built on top of our PDF Portfolio technology. Batch printing PDF files from an Email Archive in Acrobat X

New Version of the AIM Application Available Now

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Please download the new Administrator’s Information Manager (AIM) application.

The new application features the following:

  • More robust Update mechanism.
  • “Check for update” button so users have control over when to check and get the latest.
  • Version and date info in the UI
  • Several other bug fixes having to do with linking.
  • User can choose to view local content in AIR or in the browser.
  • Online content automatically goes to browser
  • Added all the prefs for Acrobat and Reader 10.1 and 10.1.1 as well as others.

Acrobat and Reader Security and the Need to Keep Updated

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Tim Rains, Director, Product Management at Microsoft recently published an article detailing the key findings of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 8 on document file format exploits where Acrobat and Reader were explicitly called out. Quoting Tim…

The key things to take away from this study are:

  • Once attackers figure out how to exploit a document parser vulnerability, they will try to use that exploit for years to come.
  • Newer is better: running the latest version of document parsers and the latest service pack is a very effective mitigation against these types of attacks.
  • Keep all of your software up to date including document parsers such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and others.
  • Use Microsoft Update to keep your Windows based systems up to date, instead of Windows Update. Microsoft Update will help keep all of your Microsoft software updated including Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office, where Windows Update only keeps Windows operating systems up to date.
  • If you haven’t updated the document parsers you have installed on your systems, you should give serious consideration to doing so.
  • Don’t open email attachments or documents hosted on the Internet if you don’t know and trust their source.

The whole article is really great reading if you’re looking for a solid business case to upgrade sooner rather than later. Leveraging out SCUP catalogs for Acrobat and Reader are a good idea as well.

Read Targeted Attacks and the Need to Keep Document Parsers Updated

Adobe Reader and Google Chrome: Revisited

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Adobe has been working closely with Google lately. The first example was our Reader sandboxing technology or “Protected Mode”. Here’s another great example of cooperation.

Google Chrome includes the Chrome PDF Viewer which does a great job at rendering basic PDF files but can’t properly display some PDF files like Dynamic Forms and PDF Portfolios. If you are using Chrome, it now displays a bar at the top of any PDF file that the Chrome PDF Viewer detects it can’t properly render.

You then have the choice of making Reader the default viewer.

If you click “Never” then change your mind at some point and want to display your PDF files in Chrome using the Adobe Reader, you can easily disable the native viewer. Just type “about:plugins” in address bar and then disable the Chrome PDF Viewer and Enable the Adobe Reader. You don’t even need to restart. It just works.

Unfortunately, there is no solution for the Mac at this time.

New Enterprise IT Tools for Adobe Acrobat and Reader

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To help IT professionals, we are releasing a number of these resources free of charge, but without an official support program. Like other technologies on Adobe Labs, these tools are not finished products, but rather beta or prototype utilities that may work in your particular environment.

The following list comprises all of the resources that are currently available to download. More tools/utilities are expected to be added in the future.

JavaScript Blacklist Framework for Adobe Acrobat or Reader — This utility allows IT to modify the JS API blacklist for any Acrobat product. It allows simple visual inspection and modification of tBlacklist in the registry’s HKLM hive without opening and editing the registry manually.

Multi-User Reader Desktop (MURD) — The MURD tool allows IT to install multiple Reader versions, create custom file extensions and mime types, and control the version that opens what type of file.

You can find these tools on Adobe Labs

Getting Text Out of a PDF file: Copy vs Export

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I love when I get these types of questions.

Should I expect copy with formatting to produce the same result as export a selection to Word or Excel? If not, is one better than the other?

To answer this question, I’ll share an email that I was forwarded from one of our engineers that provides some insight.

Basically, “Copy with Formatting” and “Export Selection” won’t give you the same results; they were not designed to. “Copy with Formatting” formats the text as a continuous stream; text in multiple columns will not be preserved as columns for example. This was by design and the intention is to help paste content into an existing file that may formatted somewhat differently. Export a selection will attempt to preserve the content as it appears in the PDF file, including content position.

Here are a few tips to help you decide which method to use when reusing content from a PDF file.

Use “Copy with Formatting” when copying small amounts of text or simple content (text and a few images). This allows you to paste content inline to existing content. It allows you to “match destination formatting” when pasting into Word, for example.

Use “Export Selection” for complex content containing inline images and vector art or when you explicitly want to preserve the relative positioning of all content.

Finally, “Copy with Formatting” may be slightly slower since it needs to put multiple formats onto the clipboard.