September 2008 Archives

Acrobat 9 - multimedia!

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Hot on the heels of the portfolios mentioned below.....

A friend of mine (he'll hate me saying that) sent me a url for a website from David Gilmour (Pink Floyd anyone), well it seems the site conbtains some really excellent multimedia PDF's.... so i checked it out....


....and by crimminy, it does!

Here's the url:

My friends tell me that Mr Gilmour may at one time have been in "the Floyd"

The PDF files were created by another talented chap, Harry Hemus, if you like what he's done (and why wouldn't you eh?), then check his website..

....Great use of PDF Harry.

Acrobat 9 Portfolios

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A very good use of the sexy portfolio capability in Acrobat 9 was pointed out to me. If you follow the following url....


You end up at the Technology Review innovators webpage, it contains a whole load of technology related PDF Portfolios, take a look, I spent far to long perusing their work.... when I....err.... should have been working :-)

Congratulations to the USA team

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Well, I do like to play a bit of golf, albeit stymied somewhat by my poor game!

Well done to the USA team in securing the Ryder Cup, all I can add is Booooo! (Weekly)



Adobe at the PCPro Awards

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well, as I type I'm missing the PCPro awards in London, I don't think Acrobat was up for an award this year, but I hope Photoshop does well. It's good to see PCPro did their best to advertise the awards as an upmarket, upscale affair, just look at their website....


I think I give the page a certain something..... a certain, "is he gurning or does Steve actually look like that" quality!

Acrobat Connect - Saves the day

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Well, it really did you know.... I'm not lying!

I had the opportunity to present to some very senior chaps at a systems integrator and facilities management company a couple of days ago.

Unfortunately, as I arrived at their offices I found out that the MD was unable to attend because there had been some serious train issues. As a result, we started the meeting with the MD on a speakerphone. Luckily we were talking about Adobe Connect, so we asked if he was at a laptop and it turned out he was.

I read out the url for my meeting room and within a minute we had a Connect conference up and running with my webcam, full screen sharing and the presentation recommenced.

Unsurprisingly everyone was really happy with the ease of connecting and general usability, I think the perception in the past was that you had tpo trade of easy accessibility with functionality.... not with Adobe Connect.

Sorry there, sounded like a sales bloke, won't happen again.

Don't forget, to try this out yourself, just pop along to


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Hiya, bit of a cryptic entry this one, but I felt the need to post about the people I work with rather than the products. Every now and then you get plesantly surprised by people. Just when you think you're working in a huge multinational software company and it's all about the targets, the software and the business objectives your colleagues do things that remind you that where your work is all about the people you work with. I'm incredibly lucky, the Acrobat bods from all around the globe are a really excellent bunch of people, they all know why, it's nothing to do with me, just some great behaviour I've witnessed showing how we support a colleague in a time of need, I feel quite lucky to be a part of this team.

Driving driving driving

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This must be my least green week ever. Through dint of some awful planning, I spent/am spending....

Monday, working from, saving the planet and such
Tuesday, in Cambridge
Wednesday, Penzance (5.5 hours in the car each way, ouch!)
Thursday, London office, well done Steve, used the train. Slept all the way in!
Friday, Up to Manchesterford to see a customer, then off to Durham..
Saturday, presentation in Durham followed by drive home
Sunday, make a Steve shaped dent in the sofa

Total miles 1400.... Effect on global health, nasty! Status of Steve, older and wisened!

Let this be a lesson to us all, with some better planning I could have removed the need for 2 of these trips using Acrobat Connect Professional. I have been doing so recently and this week has served as a good reminder of just how beneficial to my health the reduction in travel has been, thanks to using Connect!

BTW: I look awful rigtht now as I type, I need some sleep.

Acrobat 9 with AutoCAD


So there I was, you know how these entries start.....

I was speaking to a client this morning who wanted to work with AutoCAD files. Now, AutoCAD is hugely popular in the Construction and Engineering industries, however it does have the occasional limitation in terms of sharing the information it produces.

The easiest way to share CAD drawings with the largest number of people is to use Acrobat. It's really easy to convert from AutoCAD drawings into PDF files...

You can use PDFMaker to convert AutoCAD files from within the AutoCAD application. You can also use the Batch Conversion feature to convert many AutoCAD files in one operation. Even if you don’t have AutoCAD, you can convert AutoCAD files to PDF from Acrobat.

So let's start with a quick look at how to convert AutoCAD files when AutoCAD is not installed

The default Acrobat installation installs Autodesk filters. These filters allow you to convert files in DWG, DWF, DST, DWT, and DXF format into PDF, without the native application installed.

1. In Acrobat, choose File > Create PDF > From File.
2. (Optional) From the Files Of Type menu, select Autodesk AutoCAD, then click the Settings button and change the conversion settings as needed.
3. Locate and select the AutoCAD file.
4. If the Adobe PDF Settings For Autodesk AutoCAD Documents dialog box appears, specify the settings as needed, and click OK.

"Nice! So I don't even need to have AutoCAD installed to be able to turn a CAD file into a PDF for commenting and sharing with all of my non-CAD aware colleagues in Finance and Legal"


So, now then, let's assume that I have AutoCAD installed, how can I turn my work into a PDF for sharing?

Firstly, good news! When converting individual AutoCAD files, you don't usually need to change page size and plotting settings. PDFMaker uses the appropriate layout page size and plotting information to create a correctly sized PDF file.

1. To change the PDF conversion settings, choose Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings in AutoCAD.
2. Do one of the following:

• Click a button in the Adobe PDF toolbar: Convert To Adobe PDF or Convert To Adobe PDF And Send For Review .
• Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF.
• Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF And Email.
• Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF And Send For Review.

3. In the Choose Layouts dialog box, add or remove layouts as needed. To reorder the layouts, select a layout from the Layouts In PDF list, and click Move Up or Move Down.
4. To determine how the AutoCAD layers are converted, select one of the following, and then click Continue:
• Flatten All Layers. When layers are flattened, only those entities belonging to layers that are not frozen and are printable appear in the converted PDF.
• Retain All Or Some Layers. In the next dialog box, specify the layers to include in the resulting PDF.
5. Specify a filename and location in the Save As dialog box, and click Save.

"So now I can take the work I produce in AutoCAD and convert it to PDF so that those chaps in marketing and Sales can get a better visualisation of what we're doing"


Blimey, you ask a lot don't you? Well, I'm busy so let's just say that from here we could really delve into working with CAD layers and even running batch processing for converting multiple files in one hit! But you can find out about that some other time ...... :-)

Not always in a suit


I'm not always in a suit.

It seems I'm being lambasted for posting a pic of me that shows me as some kind of uptight pencil neck in a suit (Albeit a crushingly handsome pencilneck)

I think it's important to show that I have a lighter, more casual side (as if the purple and pink stripey tie wasn't enough) so here goes....

Here I am in relaxed weekend attire, describing to a close friend how big somethign is, the rest of the details are unimportant!


More product stuff to follow later......... I'm still getting high on using Acrobat Portfolios....

Adobe Acrobat Connect

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......and by the way, as posted in a comment on my last blog entry, Connect Professional looks just fine and dandy in Chrome too!

Well done to those pluckky chaps at Google. You may not have heard of them but they're a software company based in California (seems there's quite a buzz there at the moment). It seems they've decided to have a go at writing a browser, well as I type I'm editing my Blog using this thing called "Chrome" I believe it's currently in what's called 'Beta'.

Do you know what? It might just get me upgrading from Internet Explorer 3 that I've been using all these years! Perhaps more importantly, I've been using it to open and run Adobe Acrobat documents and all looks well, but that's not really a surprise now is it?

Watching this space with interest........

Cesar Salad, I don't know why, it's just taken my fancy...

Anyway, on to the producty stuff.

As you know, well, at least I hope you know, I also look after Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional, perhaps the worlds only thirteen syllable product.

I've recently been lucky enough to be showing it to audiences far and wide, all from the comfort of my home office, I sat near the window and used the sun as my lighting.... I really couldn't be greener if I tried. So, all well and good thus far. The only problem is the quality of my Webcam... it's awful, I'm not surprised however as i think it cost me £15 (around $300 dollars for my American friends) about 7 years ago.

The resolution and colour quality is so poor, to be honest, I think most of my customers think I'm made from Lego, take a look...

Here I am.....

But once my webcam gets a hold of my inner soul, I look like this...
steve in lego.jpg

Still, on the upside I do now have a rugged square jawline, watch out David Coulthard, I'm comming for your fanbase!

So, even Flash and (deep breath...) Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. If anyone can suggest a good portable webcam, I'm all ears.... (not sow's ears obviously, lets not extend the similie)

What Ho!