March 2009 Archives

Off on Holiday

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I'm off for a week so won't be posting, I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, since I haven't installed any counters for this Blog, I'm blissfully unaware of the actual numbers of people who read this. Springtech has been really valuable and I'm looking forwards to some more tinkering with Acrobat 9 in a little over a week.

Until then...

This morning I jumped into the Sessions refreshed after a good nights sleep and an early morning Blog post. Today we have been looking at Acrobat pro Extended and specifically the use of the 3D engine, this afternoon we will be looking at the Adobe 3D Reviewer in some more detail.....

The Adobe 3D Reviewer is a separate application that is installed with Acrobat Pro Extended. You can use Adobe 3D Reviewer to work with CAD files in many ways:

* Merge CAD files.
* Compare and measure exact geometry.
* Calculate bounding box and physical properties.
* Move and delete parts.
* Add animations.
* Create exploded views and bills of material.
* Export to neutral formats and raster and vector 2D files.

To edit a 3D model in an open PDF, right-click the 3D model and choose Edit In 3D Reviewer. (If you don’t see Edit In 3D Reviewer in the menu, right-click the 3D model and choose Enable Content first. Also, if the file is protected, you cannot edit it.)


This much I know already, and have used the 3D reviewer in a few meetings, but I'm hoping to learn mothe this afternoon!... The image above? That's what I hope to be my kitchen in our little holiday home.


Crikey, the late morning and afternoon went by like a flash, so sorry that I didn't write an update.

Well, the afternoon looked at Acrobat in comparison to some of the other PDF products out there and we then moved on to talk about the various security features available in Acrobat.

It was a really useful session overall and I guess I just have one comment to put here regarding some of the other PDF products out there. We looked at various aspects of how these other systems created PDF and the quality of the finished article. Can I just say how genuinely stunned I was at the quite awful job some of these products did, I'll just pick on one element... Tagging!

PDF files can contain many things. At a minimum, a PDF contains the text, graphics, bookmarks, links and other elements of content that go to make up an electronic document.

In addition to content, PDF files may also include "structure". Structure is the term for a set of instructions that define the logic that binds the content together - the correct reading order, for example, the laguage being used in the document, and the presence and meaning of significant elements such as figures, lists, tables, and so on.

Tagging is a vital part of creating a PDF that will be genuinely useful for business, publishing, accessibility and well, just about everything.


Acrobat has a large number of tag types, over 30 I think. and these types recognise specific parts and elements of a document and will tag them accordingly so that the document structure is recorded and can be used by other systems. The tagging gets broken down into block elements.. Block-level elements are page elements that consist of text laid out in paragraph-like forms. Block-level elements are part of a document’s logical structure. Such elements are further classified as

Container elements
Heading and paragraph elements
Label and list elements
Special text elements
Table elements
Inline-level elements
Special inline-level elements

So, we have a way of expressing all of a documents constituent elements to either Acrobat itself or any other system.

I compared this to what I saw some other tools produce where every element was just called a Paragraph or worse, didn't even correctly recognise any structure within the document. Well I was really surprised, and not in a good way.

Put it this way, if you have any interest in Accessibility, Document Structure, I'd seriously ask questions about what's happening under the bonnet if you're looking at a non Adobe PDF tool.

...erm.... rant over :-)

More later this morning as Day 2 Commences!

Just a little snippet of something added to Acrobat and Reader 9.1.

We have a feature under the "Sign" main menu options called "Apply Ink Signature". This takes you directly to the pencil tool and will allow anyone using a tablet PC, PC with a separate Tablet, or any other tablet type device to capture a handwritten signature directly onto the Acrobat PDF page.

A really nice easy way to sign a document!!

....not that I'm surprised, but it's working well with around 150 delegates online from locations as diverse as Ottawa, London, Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid etc. etc. etc. Well done us!

Well, I've arrived at my online destination in plenty of time for the start of our virtual Springtech conference. As it turns out, we have collected most if not all of the UK Adobe technical talent in a single room to join the conference. and what a collection of humanity it is.... I'll leave you to imagine what a room full of technical talent looks like!



I've been speaking with a few organisations looking at widespread deployment of Acrobat (wise people indeed, even in these tough times). It would seem that one of our better kept secrets is the existence of the Acrobat customisation wizard....

The Customization Wizard is a free downloadable utility designed to help the IT department take greater control of enterprise-wide deployments of Acrobat 9 and Reader 9. It has been available since last autumn on The wizard lets IT administrators customise the Acrobat installer and many application features prior to deployment and provides a simpler and more intuitive graphical interface to the Windows Installer for Acrobat.

We have created a datasheet on to learn how the Customisation Wizard which should save you time and give you more control on your enterprise installs. You can download the Customisation Wizard here.

Oh yes, and the datasheet is here!

And in the now traditional "Other news"

United lost, Gloucester lost, Watford lost, England Won! Not the best sporting weekend of my life, still it was made all the more enjoyable by visiting my little neice who seems to have cuteness all sewn up :-)

Later this week, I'll be attending our internal SpringTech seminar event. It's 2 days of tech sharing amongst the European Adobe community. This year for the first time, the event will virtual with all the presentation streams being delivered using Adobe Connect Pro so we will not be descending en masse on a European city. As you can imagine, the city mayors of Europe are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Having so many attractive and intelligent people in one place can cause quite a disturbance and at least their police will not be called upon for any crowd/paparazzi control duties! We're a good looking bunch!!

derek Z.jpg

I'll try to blog towards the end of this week and let you know how things go!

Where did 10 days go?

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Well, to be honest, 3 of them disappeared thanks to a cold, I have a big nose so they can get messy!

I was recently asked about bates numbering of documents and am finding this to be a requirements that is moving beyond the expected legal environments...

Bates numbering is a method of indexing multiple legal documents (usually) for easy identification and retrieval. Each page of each document is assigned a unique Bates number that also indicates its relationship to other Bates-numbered documents. Bates numbers appear as headers or footers on the pages of each PDF in the batch.

The Bates identifier is referred to as a number, but it can include an alphanumeric prefix and suffix. The prefix and suffix can make it easier to recognize the central subject matter of the files. When designating documents for Bates numbering, you can add PDFs, PDF Portfolios, and any non-PDF files that can be converted to PDF. The process converts non-PDF file types to PDF, and then adds Bates numbers to the resulting PDF. If you add Bates numbering to a PDF Portfolio, any non-PDF files in the PDF Portfolio are replaced with the converted and numbered PDFs.

By the way, this is what an original Bates stamp machine looked like... just if you were wondering....


Lovely etching!

And finally, yes, I will stick my head above the parapet when United lose, we were thumped by Liverpool 4-1 at the weekend. I thought the game was a little closer than the scoreline suggests but, Liverpool were much the better side. Thank goodness then that Gloucester beat Wasps on Saturday and England managed a demolition job on the French on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.... Phew! Weekend rescued!

What a week, it's Friday already! As you know I try to use Connect as often as possible, sometimes though, it just helps to be there. Last week, I spent a day at a seminar for Pugh Computers. Pugh tend to specialise in the Education/Charity/Student sectors and we ran a joint seminar on Acrobat and Adobe CS4.

My colleague and all round publishing expert, Marcus, ran the CS4 session first and my goodness but there's some eye candy in the demos. Spontaneous oooh's and ahhhhs abounded as he ran through working in Photoshop with 3D models, creating video content, repurposing content for the web and on and on!. Great, "next up, Steve to show you PDF Forms" well, that's our standard in-joke anyway.

I ran my more Creative flavour of an Acrobat seminar and to be honest, thanks to the banter we managed to create between myself and the 60 or so delegates, we all had a good time! Acrobat finally has some pretty good eye candy of its own in demo terms, Flash content, ePortfolios, working with video and 3D models... People even found eForms interesting! Apologies to the delegate whose business card I have misplaced, I'll try to work out a way to get in contact regarding an on-site seminar.

As a contrast to that single event for 50 people, I also ran 6 eSeminars last week for one of our resellers. These enabled me to get around all of their customer facing staff in a fraction of the time that it would take with me driving around the country to their various offices.... Thanks Acrobat Connect Pro!

This week was also punctuated by a trip to manchester for an event with DABS, this time a virtualisation seminar, so I had the opportunity to talk about deployment in a virtual environment. The event was held at Old Trafford so I'll not apologise for including a pic from the event....... :-)


Nice view, not too shabby.

Finally a quick thanks for those people who emailed me recently after I asked for info on their use of MS project, cool, more than 3 people read this blog!

As the title says, I'll be posting some Acromobat (deliberate typo) stuff in a short while (busy last week and this!)

But first, I enjoyed a "perfect storm" of a great weekend and feel so good I just thought I should make a short post. First of all, we head down to Devon, staying at my best friends place, the weather is pretty near perfect for late Feb/early March and we are treated to gorgeous scenery like this...

Saunton Sands.jpg

So we ate some lovely local seafood, went for long walks along the sands, gosh, I'm welling up as I type... but that's no perfect storm. So, to add to the great weekend, first of all Gloucester contrived to beat Bath 36-27 in the local derby to extend their lead at the top of the table (Guinness Rugby Union Premiership, if you've not been reading recently)

Here's James Simpson-Daniel doing his stuff for the Cherry and Whites!


Then on Sunday afternoon I watched Manchester United win a penalty shootout to win the Carling Cup at Wembley (Home of football) against a Tottenham team that excelled on the day. Here's Johnny and Rio with the trophy...

Rio and Johnny.jpg

Then to top the whole weekend off, we were treated to a simply beautiful sunset just before we left devon to drive home on Sunday night....

towards woolacombe.jpg

Faye and I must have sat for around 30 minutes just watching the sun go down, perfect! Now, let's see if I can top that in 2009, or even 2010!