January 2009 Archives

Thanks for Friday

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I just wanted to thank all those people who decided not to use the M1 on Friday, it made the round trip (4 hours each way) from Home to York much more pleasant. I'd also like to thank the partner organisation I visited on Friday for letting me use their offices and share some knowledge on what's happening with Acrobat.

We were specifically looking at the extra capabilities of Acrobat 9 Professional Extended over Acrobat 9 Professional. Since that's a mouthful, I'll refer to Acrobat 9 Professional Extended as APEX! We ran a number of sesions covering... well, basically the features highlighted in the slide below....

APEX table.jpg

I believe the sessions went wel, I'm just waiting for feedback today..... fingers crossed!


Late last year we wrote a contributed article for Injection Molding magazine highlighting the many benefits of PDF for collaboration. This article is now live on their site. It is also running in the current issue of their printed magazine for those of you who still like the feel of wood pulp composite in your hands...

The article is at: http://www.plasticstoday.com/imm/articles/software-collaborating-global-teams.


While this article is highlighted on an Injection molding site, the content applies across all MFG segments. I hope you’ll find the article good reading.

In other news, I'm girding my loins for a long day trip to Yorkshire tomorrow, probably an eight hor round trip... If everyone could avoid the M1 tomorrow, it would really be a help.

Update on Portfolios

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On Monday I presented to my fellow colleagues (now that phrase doesn't look right to me!) on the subject of Portfolios in Acrobat.... yup, it's a theme right now.

Well I wanted to reinforce the session with something and I was plesantly surprised when this video appeared at the Adobe Lounge.... What's that you say? You haven't heard of the Adobe lounge? Well it's home to a whole series of Podcasts and Vidcasts covering tips, tricks and hints about using Acrobat.... So, not the sleazy wine bar you might have thought it was.

here's the url for the main page...


....and here's the url for the Vidcast on using Portfolios, featuring computer guru Steve Dotto of DottoTech and Adobe's Stephen Fehr.


To watch the video, just click on the little "Pod" logo.

Acrobat 9 - GIS?

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Just a quick one on this, I think I've mentioned that Acrobat 9 can produce Geospatially aware documents, well, if you browse on over to those lovely people at Acrobatusers.com you can see a whole library of Geo aware PDF's. One in partucular is very relevant, the inaguration parade route for President-elect Barak Obama!

Take a look here....


Acrobat ePortfolios - BETT

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I spent last week at the BETT education show at Olympia in London. Of all the shows and events I help out with, I'd have to say it's my favourite. This year I gave a few presentations on using Acrobat for ePortfolios and it does seem that this is going to be a theme over the next few months as everyone who has seen them want to know more.

Indeed, I followed up BETT with a customer visit on Friday to a creative agency in London who also wanted to talk Portfolios. I arrived in my suit and of course felt overdressed instantly, I really should remember my customers better.... I looked like a visiting Accountant. (no offence, Accountants)

As I'm sure I've mentioned before Portfolios can really change the way in which you present many pieces of related information.

It’s really easy to make a PDF Portfolio and add files to it. You can create folders within your PDF Portfolio, delete component files and folders, edit component filenames, and add and edit descriptions of component files.

here's how....

1. Create your Portfolio and add files

Create a PDF Portfolio
Choose File > Create PDF Portfolio.

Add files to a PDF Portfolio
From an open PDF Portfolio, do one of the following:
• Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Add Files, and select one or more files.
• Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Add Existing Folder, and select a folder.
• On the desktop or from a folder, drag any files or folders into the PDF Portfolio
work area.

Create a folder in a PDF Portfolio
Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Create New Folder.

Remove files and folders from a PDF Portfolio
Select one or more files or folders in the PDF Portfolio and press Delete.
If you delete a folder, all of the files within it are deleted from the PDF Portfolio.

2. Customize your Portfolio

Choose a layout
1 From an open PDF Portfolio, choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Edit Portfolio.
2 In the Edit Portfolio pane, select Choose A Layout.
3 If necessary, choose a category from the pop-up menu.
4 Click the layout you want.

Add a welcome page and header
1 Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Edit Portfolio.
2 In the Edit Portfolio pane, choose Add Welcome & Header.
3 Select either Welcome Page or Header, and then select a template from the list.
4 Click in the boxes to add content.
5 As needed, select a text or image box and specify size, background color,
and other properties.

Select a color scheme
1 Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Edit Portfolio.
2 In the Edit Portfolio pane, choose Select A Color Scheme.
3 Click the color buttons to preview color schemes, or click Customize Color Scheme
and specify the colors.

3.Add details about your files

Specify file details
The File Details view lists PDF Portfolio component files in table format, with columns
such as file descriptions, size, and modification dates. You can customize the columns
that appear in the File Details view.
1 Choose File > Modify PDF Portfolio > Edit Portfolio.
2 In the Edit Portfolio pane, choose Specify File Details.
3 Do any of the following under Specify File Details:
• To show or hide a column in the list, select or deselect it.
• To add a column, type the name in the Add A Column box, select a data type
from the menu, and click the Add button.
• To delete a column, select it and click the Delete button. You cannot delete
preset columns.
• To change the order of a column, select it and click the up or down arrow.
• To specify the order in which files appear when the PDF Portfolio is initially
opened, select a column name from the Initial Sort menu. Then click the button
for ascending or descending order. Initial Sort affects Home view as well as
File Details view. To create a custom sort order, add a new column, specify
a data type, and enter a value for each document. (For example, create a column
named My Sort and specify Number as the data type. Then enter 1 for the first
document, 2 for the second, and so on.) You can then specify this as the
Initial Sort order.

.... I think... yup, I'm sure I've told you this before, hang on a mo....

... yup, here it is

In fact, last time I included some screencaps too.

Well, that doesn't diminish the need for me to post on eportfolios again, the feature is really usefull and I can only see more and more people using it as a way of adding some personlaisation and pazazzz (check spelling) to their published information.

Finally, in other news.... Manchester United go top of the Premiership! Gloucester lose in a muddy sluggy boggy soggy (it was wet) affair to Cardiff Blues and as a result look to be out of further participation in the Heineken Cup (The Rugby equivalent of the Champions League), so an up and down weekend sportswise.

Glos lose.jpg




I occasionally hear people complain about the things they don't like about Adobe Reader. It's a free product with loads of really great features, but of course, everyone would like things to be just right for them. just like I prefer my first cup of coffee to have a little brown sugar, then I'm sugar free for the rest of the day!

So, now's your chance to influence what's going to happen with one of the worlds most widely distributed pieces of software.

The handsome, intelligent, witty and urbane people that make up the Adobe Reader Team would like to know what all of you want most in the next versions of Adobe Reader. Faster? Smaller? Easier to use? More pastel colours? Feature additions? OK the way it is?

For details see:

If you mention I sent you, please include the line about them being handsome, witty, intelligent etc... :-)

Hi there, let's talk about version compatibility of Acrobat PDFMakers. I get asked about this quite a lot and it has been a difficult question to answer.... until now, thanks to the work of my colleagues in the US.

A quick reminder, a PDFMaker is an Acrobat feature that operates within many business applications, such as Microsoft Office applications, AutoCAD, and Lotus Notes. When you install Acrobat onto your computer, PDFMaker buttons appear in the authoring application. Using PDFMaker within an authoring application is a simple, one-click procedure.

The PDFMakers were introduced with Acrobat 3.0 so they've been around for quite some time now, but I'm surprised how many people still "Print to PDF" even from applications like MSWord, Excel and so on. Now, there are PDFMakers for a load of applications.

Because PDFMakers run in 3rd party applications and we rely on their APIs to help us add navigational controls to the resulting PDF, we've been able to add new capabilities to the PDFMakers over time as the APIs in the native applications become more robust. Unfortunately, the 3rd party APIs are not consistent across versions and we need to drop support for a particular PDFMaker feature on a particular version of the 3rd party software.

To help better understand which version of Acrobat works best with which version of your other desktop applications, My colleague Joel Geraci has published a convenient table which lists the supported and unsupported version information about 3rd party applications supported for PDFMakers across the last 4 Acrobat versions.

You can see this table on Joel's Blog here...


Adobe TV - Acrobat Channel

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Hi there and a Happy New Year to you all.... The first thing I wanted to point you towards in 2009 is Adobe TV and more specifically the Acrobat Channel.

here's the url... http://tv.adobe.com/#ch+Adobe%20Acrobat

The channel is full of customer stories, tips and tricks and other product information. It's well worth the time to watch.