Enable PDF text edits for text embedded in a screenshot

Acrobat icon.jpgConsider you have to complete a UI content review for the product you work on. Wouldn’t things be easier if you could use Acrobat text-edit-markup features to highlight the relevant content embedded in images? Of course, you can always add a sticky note in an approximate location, but that isn’t quite as effective!

So how do you enable PDF text edits for embedded text? Here’s how:
  1. Paste the screenshot in your favorite word-processing or layout tool. For example, FrameMaker.
  2. Generate a PDF of the page containing the screenshot.
  3. Open the PDF in Acrobat and select Document > OCR Text Recognition > Recognize Text Using OCR.
  4. Once the text recognition process is over, you’ll be able to select the embedded text and use the Acrobat text edit tools on it.
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This Help article discusses Acrobat text edit features in greater detail. For more information about the OCR features in Acrobat 9, refer to this Help article.

Automating conference registration using LiveCycle Designer

livecycle.jpgLast year, I had an opportunity to help automate the registration process for the STC India Conference 2009. I created a PDF form using LiveCycle Designer and designed a simple workflow around it.

The presentation at this link discusses this workflow, together with guidelines for both form authors and end users. A snapshot of the workflow is captured in the schematic below.

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Some 475 delegates registered using the form without any glitches.

Conference registration is, of course, just one of the examples of the numerous processes that you can automate using LiveCycle Designer. The tool is easy-to-use and provides templates and boilerplate forms that you can customize for your requirements. Through custom JavaScript/FormCalc scripting, you can easily fine-tune any aspect of the PDF form. For example, in the form in question, I used JavaScript to allow “conditional access” to fields. Thus, “field A” accepts input only when “field B” has a certain value, and so on.

If you are looking for the right learning resources to get started with LiveCycle Designer, refer to Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES2 Help (HTML). If you are looking for more information about the product or want to download a free trial copy, visit this page.

Linking to a page within a PDF (and more!)

Acrobat icon.jpgIf you have a PDF document live on the Web, can you link to a specific page within it instead of the PDF opening at the title page? Absolutely! The page=<pagenum> parameter let’s you do just that.

For example, try http://blogs.adobe.com/samartha/Handbook/pdf_handbook.pdf#page=8. When you click this link, the destination PDF opens directly at page 8.
There are several other parameters that you can specify when you open or link to a PDF document. The following parameters I think are especially useful:
For more information, see Parameters for Opening PDF Files (PDF) in the Acrobat SDK documentation set.

Download the free PDF production handbook

Creating a final, print-quality PDF from FrameMaker documents can be an involved, multi-step process. We thought it would be useful to capture all relevant considerations and steps in a single handbook that could be immediately put to use in real-world situations.

The following sections are included in this handbook:
  • Relevant scenario
  • Prerequisites
  • Important considerations
  • Equip yourself with relevant details
  • Stage 0: Prepare the content
  • Stage 1: Clean up the source
  • Stage 2: Prepare the book and create PDF
  • Stage 3: Test the PDF
  • Stage 4: Prepare the PDF for publication
  • Stage 5: Optimize the PDF in Acrobat
  • Appendix: Best practices for using conditional text
  • Appendix: Keeping track of content changes across versions in a collaborative environment
Click this link to download the handbook: pdf_handbook.pdf.

And yes, feel free to share it with your colleagues and friends!