Top 5: Fun Things You Never Knew You Could Do with PDF and Acrobat X!

What? You’ve never thought about the fun you can have with a PDF or Acrobat?

Are you still thinking that PDF is merely a way to view a document and that Acrobat is the way to generate PDF? Well, let’s see if we can get you thinking beyond PDF’s heritage. (If you are already ahead of me on this, don’t stop reading! We’re going to have some fun with this!). So, what I’m going to do is share with you my top five favorite capabilities of PDF and Acrobat with the hope of generating some discussion with you about interesting ways to utilize these capabilities within your agency!

In fact, let’s have a little contest. We’ll call it “The Wizard Wins!”

Sound fun? The rules are simple. For each capability below, whoever comes up with a creative or productive example of how you can use it on the job will be entered into a drawing for an Acrobat goodie bag with an Adobe hat, umbrella, and a cool, emergency cell phone charger.

PS – If you want extra credit, tell us about your favorite capability (not on MY list) and how you use it! Your suggestions do not have to actually be in production, they can be an ideas of how PDF or Acrobat COULD be used too. Ok, on to the list!

1. PDF Portfolios: What is a PDF Portfolio? PDF Portfolios allow you to combine a wide range of file types into a polished, organized package. You can apply professionally designed layouts, visual themes, and color palettes and the portfolio can be easily branded to your agency by adding your logos and colors. The finished PDF can be shared with anyone, just like a traditional PDF! And new portfolio accessibility features are added in Acrobat X

2. Rich Media: Huh? You can incorporate video, audio, Flash, and other types of interactive experiences directly into a PDF? YEP! Quickly bring ideas to life through rich, interactive documents. Insert your interactive media into a PDF and deliver seamless playback to anyone who uses Adobe Reader X or Reader 9.

3. Digital Signatures: Using digital signature in government is on the rise! Add integrity, authenticity and authoritativeness to your documents. Digitally sign PDF documents, or add document timestamps. Add certified digital signatures to help recipients validate document authenticity and integrity.

4. Integration with Microsoft Sharepoint: Ok, this is a NEW capability that I’m VERY excited about for our government customers. With Acrobat X, you will be able to work seamlessly with PDF files in Microsoft SharePoint! Check this out. You will be able to access SharePoint from any Acrobat Open or Save dialog box, open PDF files from SharePoint for viewing and check them out for editing, and then check them back in! How cool is that? (Sorry Mac users, this only works for the Windows folks out there.)

5. Action Wizards: So, this is another new capability found in Acrobat X. But give this some thought, especially with regards to your productivity. You can now automate routine, multistep tasks into a guided Action. Create, manage, execute, and share a sequence of frequently used steps that can be applied to a single PDF or batches of files. Two accessibility Actions come with the product, and actions can be shared. Create your own actions and share them with others. I have so many ideas how to use this in my daily work life!

So, there are my ideas. If you need additional guidance on using these capabilities, check out the
Acrobat X Features page at Adobe…and keep the conversation going in our Adobe for Gov Group here on GovLoop.

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David Lackey

Great list but one thing missing that would be a top tool in gov work, the redaction tools.

With the redaction tools you can irretrievably eliminate unwanted data from your PDF files. Good stuff that wasn’t available a couple of versions back.

Stephen Peteritas

Never knew number 2 was possible. What command do you use to insert them also does it make the file massive or does the PDF crunch it so it’s still sendable by e-mail standards?

Julia Begley

I’m most interested in the integration with Microsoft Sharepoint – but won’t be able to consider it until it can support Macs…

Andrew Krzmarzick

I was just messing around with Acrobat the other day and discovered that I can actually have it “Read Out Loud” the page to me! I was really surprised and impressed…and that seems to be hugely important when it comes to 508 compliance.