March 2008 Archives

Even better results


I can't deny, it was a good weekend....


Forms and Nice results

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Using Acrobat 8 to convert ordinary PDFs to forms

I'm regularly asked about creating forms using Acrobat 8. Now, I may have coivered this before, but I thought it might be worth a reminder...

Create your form

So, you can design a form in your favourite layout program (or any program, Word for example), turn it into a PDF, open it in Acrobat 8, and choose Forms > Run Form Field Recognition.

Acrobat looks through the document and searches for anything that looks like a form field (such as "Name: ___________") and adds the interactive form field logic on top of the underscore part. The form field name is derived from the text preceding the underscore ("Name" in this case) and is sized appropriately.

The form field is now ready to accept data as is. You can use the Form editing tools to do things like change its appearance, add actions, and so on.

Choosing the Run Form Field Recognition command not only creates the fields (in a couple of seconds), but it displays a "Recognition Report" that lists all the fields it detected -- each one linked to the actual field for easy selection -- and includes "Hints for Repair" that explains why some of your fields may not have been detected.

I would say that overall, this works for around 75-80 percent of fields on a form, but it varies. I've had forms that were 100% recognised and some that were only 50% recognised.

Share your form

Once completed, simply "Save As" the form and you can send it to your intended recipient. Don't forget, if your target audience uses the free Adobe Reader, you should also use the "Distribute Form" option..... This will allow Free Reader users to add digital signatures to the form and also perform a "Save As" directly from the Reader....

I'm pleased this feature is generating interest as I think it's a great way for people to gradually move from paper based forms work towards eForms without a massive upfront cost in terms of labour and software expense.

Oh yes, and as people have been reporting all over the place..

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Software maker Adobe Systems Inc. beat Wall Street's expectations in the first quarter with profits that rose 52 percent on continued demand for its design and Acrobat products. For the three months ended Feb. 29, Adobe posted a profit of $219.4 million, or 38 cents per share, according to an earnings report after the close of trading Tuesday.

A pretty good start to the year, the best part for me being the continued strength on the Acrobat business, yes, I'm a bit biased.

My colleague Steve Allison was quoted in the Financial Times yesterday in an article around the increased demand for distance learning (Connect anyone?) as corporates tighten their belts.....

Distance learning boosted by downturn – Financial Times, 17-03-08 PDF These are good times for distance learning. Steve Allison, a technical evangelist at Adobe, predicts significant changes in online learning. With employees increasingly mobile and working in remote locations, individuals will rely far more on e-learning. “With on-demand learning and instant access, the technology will allow you to push out all the information and it is then that you will get a change in the habit of learning,” he says. He says Adobe has found one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the acceptance of new technology is a traditional mentality, with older people reluctant to use the latest IT. To counter this, Adobe tries to ensure its products are easy to use.

Here's the link to the full article...,dwp_uuid=02e16f4a-46f9-11da-b8e5-00000e2511c8.html

Back from the cold

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I'm back from the cold (averaging minus 25 degrees overnight, minus 9 during the day) I can reccomend Mont Tremblant in Quebec for anyone who like their skiing a bit on the cold side. That said, the snow was flipping awesome, we had a 16" dump overnight on one evening, as you can imagine, things were fluffy, then bumpy on the following day.

On the Acrobat news front, it is now possible to try Acrobat out for free in an online hosted version. This real-time TestDrive does not require product installation or download — it's the fastest way to try Acrobat 8 Professional. In just minutes you can start exploring Acrobat through your web browser on your own, or follow a series of video tutorials to experience some of the newest features.

Worth a look I'd say....

Tremblant Trembles

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It's Monday afternoon and in around a day and a half I shall be off for my winter break attempting to ski. This year we are off to Mt Trembland in Eastern Canukistan (Canada).

I'm back in around 2 weeks so don't expect anything new, unless I fall, it rains etc. In which case I may get bored and post some pics.