Posts in Category "Acrobat X"

What Acrobat or Reader do I have?

Every so often, I get a question through my blog where it is clear that folks aren’t sure if they are using Reader or Acrobat or what version.

Although this sounds like a simple question to answer, when I’ve thought about how I would create a post to answer it, well, it made my head hurt.

Depending on how you purchase Acrobat, you will also receive access to different tracks (Classic, Continuous or potentially both). Only the Continuous track receives interim, feature bearing updates, like the ones I referred to in a recent blog post for the October 2015 release.

Fortunately, the Adobe Support folks just posted a Knowledge Base article which is extremely thorough.

Here it is!

Customizing Acrobat X Common Tools

Whenever I get a chance to show Acrobat X in person, the first thing I do is show how to customize the interface.

If you’ve used Acrobat X for some time, you probably have already discovered how to use QuickTools to add your favorite functions to the toolbar. I wrote about this previously in my article Quick Access to Frequently Used Stamps.

Another area of Acrobat that may be customized are the Common Tools. The Common Tools include all of the page navigation and other tools:

In this article, I’ll show you how to customize Acrobat’s Common Tools and answer these questions:

  • How do I show the First Page and Last Page buttons on my Acrobat X toolbar?
  • Where did the Previous View and Next View buttons go?
  • How do I add the Find tool to Reader or Acrobat?
  • Where is the Magnifying Glass (Zoom) tool in Acrobat X?


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Batch Printing an Email Portfolio

Acrobat X includes an email archiving feature (see video for demo) which allows you to convert an entire folder of email into a single, searchable PDF, complete with attachments. I previously wrote about this featue in my post "Creating Email Portfolios for Small EDD Productions".

Acrobat X behaves a bit differently than previous versions of Acrobat as one of my customers found out:

One of my users is working with an email portfolio file. They open the file and want to be able to print selective content.  When they select the pages to print and go into the Print window they do not see the All PDF files or Selected PDF files. See below:

Picture of Print Window which does not allow for batch printing

In Acrobat X, you can selectively print the current file in the file preview window. That’s a new feature, but the result is that batch and selective printing is harder to do.

In this article, I’ve got solutions for both and also a bonus solution I bet nobody thought of yet.

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Turning off Read Mode while viewing PDFs in your Browser

This week, I had a couple of folks ask:

How do I turn off that weird bar that comes up while reading PDFs in the browser?
Can I turn off Read Mode when viewing PDFs in the browser?

These are the same questions and both refer to this floating toolbar visible when viewing PDFs in the browser:
Adobe Acrobat X Read Mode Toolbar

In this article I’ll explain:

  • What is Read Mode?
  • Why would I want to turn off Read Mode?
  • How to turn off Read Mode for an individual PDF
  • How to turn off Read Mode permanently via Preferences
  • How to turn off Read Mode when deploying Acrobat

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Acrobat X Customization Guide for Large Firms

Large law firms with more than fifty Acrobat users should take advantage of Adobe’s free deployment tools for Acrobat X. Many firms are upgrading to Acrobat X at this time, so I thought I would share a few tips which are specific for the legal industry.

Packaging Adobe Reader or Acrobat for your end-users isn’t difficult, but sometimes IT folks don’t know all of the settings or best practices.

In this article, I’ll discuss:

  • Where to download the Enterprise version of Adobe Reader and get your corporate licenses of Acrobat
  • How to download Adobe’s free customization tools
  • Recommended deployment settings
    • Customization Wizard settings
    • Registry Key Settings

This article will walk you through the settings I recommend using the Acrobat X Customization Wizard.

The information is not intended as a replacement for the numerous documents Adobe makes available to enterprise IT administrators. Here are a few you should check out:

Acrobat Enterprise Toolkit Page

This page is the starting point for everything you need to deploy Acrobat X.

On this page you will find:

Enterprise Administration Guide

This 118-page guide is the main documentation for deploying Acrobat and covers AIP, SCCM/SCUP, GPO, bootstrapper, Citrix and other deployment options.

Preference Reference

The Preference Reference, a dictionary of registry level preferences containing over 300 keys. The application is updated on a monthly basis.

Training Videos for the Acrobat Customization Wizard

Adobe Technical Evangelist Joel Geraci offers videos on using the Customization Wizard.

SCUP Catalogs for Acrobat X and Reader X

SCCM/SCUP are Microsoft’s latest change and configuration management solution that replaces older methodologies such as SMS and GPO. Unlike these older technologies, SCCM provides features such as metering, asset intelligence, inventorying, and improved remote client administration.

Rick Borstein’s Acrobat X Deployment Webinar Recording

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Acrobat and Microsoft Office 2010 Compatibility

Over the past few months, I’ve received a number of inquiries about Acrobat and Office 2010 compatibility.

Adobe Acrobat X is the first version of Acrobat to support Microsoft Office 2010.

The Acrobat 9 PDF Maker toolbars do not function or appear in Microsoft Office 2010!

Didn’t Acrobat 9 ship recently? Why doesn’t Acrobat 9 support Office 2010?

The timeline below shows that Acrobat 9 shipped two years before Office 2010.

  • Acrobat 9 shipped in June 2008
  • Microsoft Office 2010 shipped  in June 2010
  • Adobe Acrobat X shipped in November 2010

What does Adobe mean by “support for Office 2010”?

Adobe Acrobat X installs toolbars and advanced integration— called PDF Makers— into Office 2010 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

In addition to offering one-click conversion from Office applications, the PDF Makers enable additional functions within Acrobat and Windows Explorer. In fact, Acrobat itself relies on the PDF Makers working correctly for important functions.

Can’t users just print to the PDF Print Driver?

The Adobe PDF Print driver offers basic PDF creation via the Print command.

Output from the PDF Print Driver is not functionally equivalent to that of the Adobe PDF Makers.

What will my organization miss if I do not install the Acrobat X PDF Makers?

Here are a few of the key features that will be missed using an earlier version of Acrobat with Office 2010.

  • Bookmarks
  • Links (Navigational links such as cross-references, table of contents, footnotes and endnotes)
  • PDF Creation from Windows Explorer
  • Combine multiple file types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) into a single PDF
  • Convert comments in Word, Excel and PowerPoint to PDF Comments
  • Comment Routing from PDF back to Word
  • Select worksheets for conversion in Excel
  • Create PDF and automatically attach to email
  • Tagged PDF for accessibility
  • PDF/A-1A (PDF for Archiving)
  • Multimedia Embedding
  • Optimized conversion of PowerPoint
  • Converts speaker notes from PowerPoint
  • Create custom mail-merged PDF and automatically attach to email
  • Manual and automatic archiving of email  from Outlook and Lotus Notes

What Office 2010 applications are supported by Acrobat X?

Acrobat X installs into the standard Microsoft Office ribbon interface in supported applications:

Acrobat X offers PDF Maker integration for the following Office 2010 applications:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Visio (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Project (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Access (Pro only)
  • Microsoft Publisher (Pro only)

Although many of the conversion options are common to all Office applications, some PDF maker
functions are application-specific.

Do the Acrobat PDF Makers work in Office 64-bit mode?

Yes. The Acrobat 10.1 update (June 2011) introduced 64-bit versions of the PDF Makers.

What do the Acrobat X ribbons look like in Office 2010?

Here are a few examples:

Microsoft Word 2010 PDF Maker
Microsft Excel 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft Outlook 2010 PDF Maker
Microsoft Visio 2010 PDF Maker

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Quick Access to Frequently Used Stamps in Acrobat X

Acrobat allows you to use a number of stamps that "live" in the annotation layer of the document.

For example, you could quickly add a Confidential stamp to your document:

Picture of a PDF document with a Confidential stamp on it

Adding a stamp isn’t difficult in Acrobat X, but it is a few steps:

  1. Open the Comments panel
  2. Twirl open the Annotations section
  3. Click on the Stamp tool
  4. Choose a Stamp category
  5. Choose a Stamp
  6. Stamp it on your document

That isn’t hard, but it’s easy to reduce the number of steps. Here’s how . . .

Step 1: Add the Stamp to your Quick Tools bar

You can add your own favorite tools to the first row of tool icons in Acrobat.
Pictue of the Quick Tools area of Acrobat X

To add the Stamp tool to the Quick Tools area:

A) Open the Comments panel
B) Twirl open the Annotations section
C) Right-click on the Stamp tool and choose Add to Quick Tools

Picutre showing where to click to add the Stamp tool to the Quick Tools bar

The Stamp Tool is added to the toolbar:
Picture: The Stamp tool has been added to the toolbar

Step Two: Choose your Favorite Stamps

Acrobat allows you to easily access frequently used stamps without having to dig through sub-menus. Here’s how to "favorite" a stamp . . .

  1. Click the Stamp Tool and locate a stamp you like and stamp it on the document
  2. Click on the stamp on the page to select it.
    Hint: When selected, the stamp selection handles will be visible:
    Picture of a Confidential stamp which is selected
  3. Click on the Stamp tool menu and choose Add Current Stamp to Favorites
    Picture: Addiing the selected stamp to Favorites

Now, your favorite stamp is available to apply in two clicks:

Picture: The stamps menu now has the new favorite stamp

Bonus Tip 1: Use the Stamps Palette

The Stamps Palette is a floating, resizable window which offers a large preview of multiple stamps.

To open the Stamps Palette, simply go to your Stamp tool menu and choose Show Stamps Palette:Picture: Finding the Stamps Palette option in the Stamps menu

The Stamps Palette opens. Select a stamp and drag it onto your page:

Picture of the Acrobat X Stamps Palette

Bonus Tip 2: You can "favorite" from the Stamps Palette

Here’s another way to favorite a stamp . . . just right-click on it in the Stamps Palette:

Picture: Favoriting a stamp from the Stamps Palette

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Preventing Edits to Bates Numbers . . . now with an Action!

Bates Numbering is the process of sequentially numbering legal documents.

Bates Numbered Page

I’ve updated this article to cover Acrobat X and I’ve also included a free Action to lock down Bates Numbers.


Acrobat 8, 9 and X Pro allow you to apply and remove Bates Numbers to documents.

In Acrobat X, open the Tools panel and the Pages section:

In Acrobat 8 and 9, choose Advanced—> Document Processing—> Bates Numbering:

Bates Number Menu

The ability to remove Bates Numbers is valuable in case you make a mistake during the numbering process. However, due to the adversarial nature of the legal business, attorneys may desire to limit what the other side can do with documents.

To whit, this email I received from an attorney last week:

What can I use to flatten Bates numbers so that they cannot be altered or removed using the Acrobat Bates numbering process?

I know I can print to PDF, save as TIFF, print-then-scan, etc., but am looking for a solution that will work in batch mode and not degrade the appearance of the file. Also, I don’t favor using security settings because I don’t want to restrict the user’s ability to access the file.

In this article, I’ll discuss how to “lock down” Bates Numbers so that they cannot be removed by Acrobat’s “Remove Bates” option.

Continue reading…

Code Obfuscation for Patent and Court Filings

If your firm does IP work for technology companies, or is involved in cases involving software source code, you may be obliged to submit your client’s source code to the USPTO, a court or third party.

Since source code is considered a trade secret, most regulatory agencies use a "50%" rule. Source code submitted is obscured so that it cannot be used as-is.

Picture showing obfuscated codeThis process, referred to as code obfuscation, protects your client from disclosure of their valuable software source code.

Curiously, some law firms use a paper-based process for this. One law firm I visited created a series of diagonal bars on transparency film, then photocopied thousands of pages.

As you can guess, that workflow was time-consuming and expensive.

Fortunately, the process is easy to automate in Acrobat X. Not only can we hide the code, we can completely delete the hidden code so it can never be recovered.

Step 1: Create a Code Mask

A Code Mask is an overlay on your document which hides the underlying text or images. The mask must have transparent areas where codes shows through and opaque areas which hide the text. You can create a mask using a graphics program like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign.

Tip: Use a Vector Code Mask
Although you could use a bitmap image as a mask, I have found you get much better results using a vector illustration program. Instead of pixels in the PDF, the lines are drawn electronically which scales nicely to various page sizes.


You can download a sample Code Mask below.

sample_code_mask.pdf (37K) (letter size 8.5 by 11)

Step 2: Convert Source Code to PDF

If your client did not supply PDFs, you’ll need to convert the source code files. Most often, you’ll receive plain text files.

Check your court rules or eFiling guidelines to see if your court requires specific font sizes or margins. You can open the source code text file in a word processor and print to PDF.

Alternately, you can convert the text to PDF directly in Acrobat. Simply open the text file in Acrobat and— poof— you’ve got a PDF.

Want more control over text conversion in Acrobat?
You can change the Text conversion settings. Here’s how:

Choose File> Create> PDF from Web Page and click the Settings button

To change the font:
Adjust the File Type to Text and click the Settings button
to change the font used.
Click OK when done.

To change the page margins
Click the Page Layout tab in the Settings window and adjust the margins.

Step 3: Add the Code Mask to the document

You will use the Watermark feature to add the Code Mask to the document.

  1. Start watermarking . . .
    A) Click the Tools panel
    B) Open the Pages section
    C) Click the Watermark menu and choose Add Watermark
    Picture of Acrobat X Tools Panel
  2. The Watermark window opens.
    Here’s what to do:
    A) Click the Browse button and locate the Code Mask file. (You can use my sample above)
    B) Set the Scale relative to target page to 100%

    Picture of Acrobat X Watermark window
    C) Option: Click Save Settings . . . to save your setting so you can use it again later.
    Picture of Save Watermark window

  3. Click OK
  4. Open the Protection section of the Tools panel, and choose Sanitize Document.

    Picture of Acrobat X Sanitize panel

  5. The Sanitize alert opens. Click OK.
    Picture of Sanitize Warning window

    What does Sanitize Document do?
    Sanitize Document is a robust
    metadata removal function in Acrobat. Sanitize will rasterize the document turning it into an image so that the underlying code cannot be recovered. Functionally, it does in one step what Remove Hidden Information does with all options set to ON.

  6. Give the file a name and click the Save button.
    Picture of Save As window

Automate the Process using an Action

With an Action in Acrobat X, you can automate the process above across:

  • A file open in Acrobat
  • Any number of txt or PDF files you want to combine, then obfuscate
  • Multiple individual files
  • Grab an image from your scanner and obfuscate.

I’ve created an Acrobat X Action you can use to automate the process. This action:

  1. Asks you to locate the code files (can be PDF or TXT files)
  2. Asks you for the destination for the obfuscated files
  3. Obfuscates the code as shown with a watermark
  4. Sanitizes the document removing all code underneath the code mask
  5. Saves the file as an Acrobat 5 (PDF 1.4) level file
  6. Adds the suffix _obfuscated to the file name (e.g. mycode_obfuscated.pdf)

Because the watermark action requires a file local to your file system, you’ll need to tweak the Action a bit. Don’t worry, it’s easy! Here’s how:

  1. Download the Acrobat X Code Obfuscation Action (2K)
    Note: This file is stored on Click the download button after the page loads.
  2. Double click the Code Obfuscation Action.sequ downloaded in Step 1.
    Click the Import button to add it to your Actions panel.
    Picture of Import Action message
  3. The Edit Actions window appears.
    Make sure the Code Obfuscation Action is selected and click the Edit button.
  4. Click the Options button next to the Watermark step of the Action.
    Picture of Action Steps
  5. Acrobat won’t be able to find the Source code mask file, so you will see an error message. Click OK.
    Picture of Error Message.
  6. The Watermark Window appears. Click the Browse button and locate the watermark file, following the steps noted above in the Watermarking section.
  7. Click OK then Save the Action.

Tip: Save your code masks in a location that won’t change
Since the watermark function in Acrobat references a specific code mask file, if you rename it or change the location. you’ll get an error message. Save the file in a location and leave it alone . . .


Running the Action

Running the Code Obfuscation Action is simple!

  1. Open the Tools panel in Acrobat and then open the Actions Wizard section
  2. Click the Code Obfuscation Action
    Picture of running the Code Obfuscation action
  3. Click Add Files button and add the files you wish to process.

Continue reading…

Using Save As to to Conform to PDF/A

PDF/A BadgeIn my earlier articles on PDF/A, I skipped over one of the easier ways to conform an existing PDF document to PDF/A.

Using Save As is perhaps the easiest way to apply the transformations necessary to existing PDFs such as embedding fonts, setting color spaces and the other twenty or so checks that Acrobat can undertake to conform to the PDF/A specification.

In this article, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use Save As in Acrobat X Pro to conform a non-PDF/A file to PDF/A-1b
  • Use Save As in Acrobat 9 Pro to conform a non-PDF/A file to PDF/A-1b

As you might guess, the processes are very similar, but it’s a little easier in Acrobat X. My experience has been that Acrobat X is a bit faster and more reliable for conforming operations.

What’s the difference between creating a PDF/A file and conforming to PDF/A?
Creating a PDF/A File = Converting directly from an electronic source like Word or Excel to PDF/A Conforming to PDF/A = Converting an existing PDF document so it meets all the requirements of PDF/A


What "Flavor" of PDF/A should I use for Court Filings?
In my exchanges with US Federal Court officials, they indicated that either PDF/A-1A or PDF/A-1B would be acceptable for eFiling. However, itcan be very challenging to conform files to the much stricter PDF/A-1A specification, so you should conform to PDF/A-1B if you have existing PDFs to submit.

That said, if you are creating PDF from Word or Excel, it is simple matter to create PDF/A-1A files. These "tagged" files are accessible to the visually impaired, so it is a good practice to create PDF/A-1A files if possible. It’s a cinch to do using the PDF Makers installed by Acrobat into Office applications.


Using Save As to Conform a PDF to PDF/A-1b in Acrobat X

Follow these steps in Acrobat X . . .

  1. Open a PDF file that you wish to conform to PDF/A
  2. Choose File> Save As> More Options> PDF/A

    Note: You can also choose File>Save As>PDF, then choose PDF/A from the Save As Type menu

  3. The Save As Window appears.
    – Click the Settings button
  4. The Preflight window appears.
    (A) Choose PDF/A-1b for Federal Court Filings
    (B) Check to create according to a PDF/A-1b profile
    (C) Check "Apply Corrections"
    (D) Click the OK button
  5. Click OK again to save and conform the file

Using Save As to Conform a PDF to PDF/A-1b in Acrobat 9 Pro

Follow these steps in Acrobat X . . .

  1. Open a PDF file that you wish to conform to PDF/A
  2. Choose File> Save As> More Options> PDF/A
  3. The Save As Window appears.
    – Click the Settings button
  4. The Preflight window appears.
    (A) Choose PDF/A-1b for Federal Court Filings
    (B) Check to create according to a PDF/A-1b profile
    (C) Check "Apply Corrections"
    (D) Click the OK button
  5. Click OK again to save and conform the file


Using Save As to Conform a PDF to PDF/A in Acrobat 9 Pro

Follow these steps in Acrobat X . . .

  1. Open a PDF file that you wish to conform to PDF/A
  2. Choose File> Save As
  3. The Save As Window appears.
    – Choose PDF/A from the Save As type list at the bottom of the window.
  4. Click the Settings button in the Save As window
  5. The Preflight window appears.
    (A) Choose PDF/A-1b for Federal Court Filings
    (B) Check to create according to a PDF/A-1b profile
    (C) Check "Apply Corrections"
    Click the OK button
  6. Click OK again to save and conform the file

What if the file cannot be conformed to PDF/A?

Save As may not be able to conform a file to PDF/A in which case you will see a message similar to this:

There are several issues which could prevent conforming a file to PDF/A-1B:

  1. The document requires fonts that you do not have on your system
  2. The document uses fonts which have a "Do Not Embed" flag
  3. The document has transparent objects
  4. The document is damaged
  5. The document is a XFA Form created with Adobe LiveCycle Designer

I wil be covering fix-ups and workarounds for difficult to conform files in future blog posts..

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