Category Archives: Acrobat

10 reasons to install Adobe Reader X

I know, I know, you can already open PDFs right? Google Chrome opens PDF files natively, Preview does an ok job on Mac OS X or you already have Reader 9 or earlier installed right.. why bother installing the Adobe PDF Reader? Lets have a look at the top 10 reasons you should put aside 10 minutes to download and install the latest free Adobe Reader X.

  1. New user interface – Reader no longer gets in your way. If you open a PDF in the browser there are no clunky toolbars, you just get your PDF and even the standard browser zoom keys are supported. Nice!
  2. Sandboxing – This is the safest way to view all those rich PDFs. The new sandbox (gory details here) protects you in much the same way as the latest version of Microsoft Office and Google Chrome do. If for whatever reason a hacker breaks into Reader, they are stuck in the sandbox and cannot hack your system.
  3. Commenting – Reader supports both the highlighter tool and the popup note tool. Free! You dont even need the PDF to be created with Acrobat Pro like in previous versions. You can comment on ANY PDF as long as the author hasn’t restricted it via security or it is a dynamic PDF form.
  4. Share – The new Share panel allows you to easily send the open document or other files via email or large files using Adobe’s new cloud based SendNow service. I use this all the time!
  5. Latest PDF standards – Are you just crazy for standards? Reader X supports the latest PDF standards like PDF/A and ISO32000
  6. Full support for Acrobat workflows – You can participate in real time document reviews initiated by Acrobat users without worrying about email attachments and multiple threads. As you comment on documents others can see it as well, and you can see their comments with a click of a button. You can even have a chat window open!
  7. SharePoint integration – Use Microsoft’s Sharepoint solution? Now you can check PDF files out to let others know you are working on them, then check the file back in via a new menu option. Easy!
  8. Fill in PDF Forms – Not just any PDF forms, but ones that shrink and grow depending the data you enter, making it easy for you to get it done and on to something else more enjoyable.
  9. Reader Extensions – Acrobat users just love adding smarts to their PDFs that only Adobe Reader users can take advantage of. Things like drawing tools, stamps and more all light up when opened in Adobe Reader. PDF Forms created by Acrobat & LiveCycle users can even allow you to save the form partially filled out, and then come back to it later.
  10. Open any PDF – Why have a PDF viewer that can’t read the latest and greatest? You’ll end up needing Adobe Reader anyway for Dynamic PDFs of all kinds including PDF Portfolios, Rights Managed PDFs, Dynamic PDF forms, rich PDF content that uses Flash and more.

All that in one application!  Download Adobe Reader X for free and don’t forget to update your parents PC too!

Upgrading a large amount of computers at once? Check out the IT Matters blog

Extending PDF support within Microsoft SharePoint

I’m seeing a lot of organisations adopt Microsoft’s SharePoint server lately and one common discussion point is around PDF workflows and how to support functions such as Check In / Check out etc. For those users out there, you’ll be please to know that Adobe has quite a few new ways for you to extend your SharePoint workflows into the world of PDF, including native support within Adobe Acrobat X and LiveCycle ES2.5

Check-in / Check-out support

Acrobat X allows users to support Checkin & out workflows. Acrobat will automatically prompt a user when they open a PDF file from within SharePoint and ask if they just want to open the file, or check it out and open. Acrobat then remembers the links to Sharepoint and will prompt the user to check the file back in when they close it. A new menu item will appear whenever a document is opened from Sharepoint allowing the user to access additional functions.

SharePoint Menu within Acrobat X

Good news for Adobe Reader users too.. this functionality is included in the free Adobe Reader X!

Review & Commenting on PDF documents.

Sharepoint can be used as a repository for all the correspondence during an Acrobat Shared Review. As long as all the users have permission and can access the Sharepoint server, the integration is quite easy. With a PDF file open in Acrobat 9 or Acrobat X, simply start the Shared Review wizard, select Sharepoint, select your workspace, then invite other users. Acrobat will upload the file to SharePoint and send out a download link to each invited user. From there on any user with Acrobat or Reader (if the initiator used Acrobat Pro) simply adds comments to the PDF and clicks “Publish My Comments” on the top right of the document.

Publish Comments button in Acrobat X

All the comments  go back into Sharepoint automatically (just the small comment data, not the whole PDF) and all the other reviewers immediately get the new comments!

Acrobat Form Distribution

In much the same way as the Shared Review feature in Acrobat can use SharePoint, so too can PDF Forms. Simply run through the Distribute wizard, select SharePoint and upload and track your PDF Form submissions!

Server-side integration

LiveCycle ES2.5 now includes a connector for SharePoint 2007 & SharePoint 2010. By enabling this connector and configuring it to work with your LiveCycle installation, users can perform server-side conversions of native documents into PDF, invoke LiveCycle processes & secure information with LiveCycle’s Rights Management component.

Adobe LiveCycle options within SharePoint

Read more about the SharePoint Connector for Adobe LiveCycle ES


I recently recorded a 1 hour demonstration of most of what I’ve talked about above. Take a look and see how Sharepoint & Acrobat X (and a just a quick look at LiveCycle ES) work together:

How to prepare PDF content for the Web, SEO & Accessibility

There was quite a lot of interest in today’s eSeminar on how to prepare PDF content for the Web. In this session I covered all the basics you need to know in order to make your documents both accessible and optimized for search engines.

There are six areas you need to consider;

Searchable PDF
Is there text in your document? If you have scanned material, make sure you perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so that search engines can read through the content!

Document Properties
Make sure the metadata within the PDF is included and correct. The more information, the more likely to get a high ranking within a search engine

Tagged PDF
Have you considered the needs of users with accessibility requirements? Make sure you tag your PDF and ensure you include other details such as Alt Text on images.

Optimized PDF
Is your PDF optimzing for viewing on the screen? Have you enabled fast web view so the first page is displayed while the rest of the PDF is loading?

Document Navigation
Have you provided bookmarks & links to let your readers navigate through the document with ease? Have you used Open Parameters to set URLs to the document to open to the desired view?

Secured PDF
Have you  secured the document so that your audience can only do what you want them to do?

In the presentation I not only discuss what you need to do, but how to go about it using Acrobat 9 or the latest Acrobat X. I’ve included my slides from today’s session;

A recording of the 1hr eSeminar is here;

The final part of the demo demonstrates how to use the Action Wizard feature to automate the Prepare for Web process. Definitely worth watching!

Adobe announces Acrobat X

Adobe today announced the next generation of Acrobat. What does that mean? Acrobat X (pronounced Ten) is a vast improvement over previous versions, that includes a new intuitive user interface, collaboration features and other ways to make you more productive.

As Adobe continues work on Acrobat Dynamic PDF, Acrobat X users can create new PDF Portfolios, completely stylized and branded to allow multiple files to be delivered as a package. You can even include remote content such as websites & online video that will play when the PDF Portfolio is opened. The result is a very engaging PDF that is still lightweight and extremely portable.

Acrobat X users can leverage Dynamic PDFs to collect feedback from their colleagues by sending PDF documents that can automatically send the marked up comments back to the document author. These “workflow aware” PDFs know where they came from and with a click of a button within Acrobat X or Reader X the comments are sent in real time, reducing emails and allowing multiple users to collaborate in context with ease.

Microsoft SharePoint users can take advantage of the new integration features within Acrobat X. Checkin/checkout workflows, version & commenting are all now supported within Acrobat X as well as support for Sharepoint in Review & Comment workflows.

Form developers will be able to take advantage of the built in form improvements in addition to the bundled LiveCycle Designer ES2 for Acrobat X Pro users.

Acrobat X Pro users will become more productive with the use of Actions. An action can be created from a series of steps in Acrobat then run by the user. One example is when publishing documents online, an Action could be made to remove hidden information, add a watermark, ensure accessibility features are enabled and add security. Once setup, the user never has to remember each particular step and settings, Acrobat ensures the same consistent results.

Of course, there is also a new version of Adobe Reader. Reader X includes a new secure sandbox environment, further integration with Adobe’s online service, and great new commenting tools to allow you to add sticky notes & highlight any PDF!