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Our last blog warned about some of the pitfalls of upgrading to Acrobat DC. If you haven’t downloaded the upgrade yet, I recommend you take a few minutes to read it. Having given fair warning first, now let’s look into some of the exciting new features.




Adobe takes working with Acrobat documents to a whole new dimension with Acrobat DC. It now provides touch capability and has an entirely new interface. Most folks are saying the new interface is much more uncluttered than the old. Let’s look at a couple of examples. The following image (courtesy of shows the right-hand toolbox in both Acrobat Pro DC and Acrobat XI. Adding to DC’s functionality is the ability to customize the tools that appear in the toolbox. If you find that you never use the “Prepare Form” tool, for example, you can delete it. Similarly, if you find that you frequently use the “Print Production” tool, it’s easy to add it to the menu.

Adobe Acrobat DC Right-Hand Menu

Looking for a specific tool? If you don’t find it on the right-hand toolbox, you will find it in the Tools menu at the top of the screen. Clicking on the Tools menu shows all of them:

Tools Screen of Adobe Acrobat DC

Notice that each tool has the word “Add” below it. Click this button and it is added to the right-hand toolbox. If you click the dropdown arrow next to the word Add, the options to “Open” the tool and “Learn More” about the tool appear.

Not only has the right-hand side panel changed, the top menu bars have changed. Following is the top menu lines for both Acrobat Pro DC and XI, again courtesy of (Check out their blog about Acrobat Pro DC for their take on it.)

Acro DC Old and New Screens2

The top menu row in Acrobat Pro DC holds common commands and can be modified somewhat. There is a floating page control that can be docked to this top line, if desired. When not docked, it is visible at the bottom of the screen when you mouse over that area. The second row of the top menu is context sensitive. In other words, it changes depending on which tool you are using.

Having worked with DC just a little, I can tell you that it will take some time to learn the new interface and use it efficiently. To help with that process, Adobe has some excellent tutorials that teach the basics. You’ll find them here.

The good news is that the tools work the same across platforms. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac or a PC, a tablet or a phone. Acrobat makes good on its promise that you can work anywhere with their Mobile Link that accesses recent files across desktop, web, and mobile. Additionally, whether you’re using Acrobat Reader, Standard, or Pro, the menus are all alike, with options not available in the Reader or Standard versions grayed out.

Work Anywhere

Adobe’s promise that you will be able to “work anywhere” is met in a number of ways. First is the multi-platform product itself. Acrobat DC is available on Mac, PC, and mobile devices. And did you notice earlier in this article that we said Acrobat DC is now touch capable for the growing number of users with touch screens. Additionally, there is the whole “DC” thing. “DC” stands for Document Cloud. Adobe DC includes 5 GB storage space in their Document Cloud. Lastly, Acrobat’s Mobile Link app enables you to access recent files across desktop, web, and mobile.

Enhanced Editing

Imagine you’re at a client facility and you recognize that your PDF has a typo in it or you want to add an additional bullet point to your features list. You can do that directly to the PDF from your phone or tablet. Or perhaps at the last minute you see that the image includes an old model of your product. You can swap the image in the PDF for a newer one.

Acrobat DC’s Pro version includes enhanced document editing capabilities, including the ability to edit scanned documents – yes, you read that correctly – you will be able to edit your scanned documents. The editing functionality has been improved to allow full paragraphs to reflow while editing. In other words, you won’t have a large white space in the middle of a paragraph because you deleted three words. The text will reflow. You can also change the text size and type directly in your PDF and resize or move the text boxes.

Not to be outdone by text, images can now be edited in the PDF. You can flip, crop, rotate, or replace images right in your PDF. That’s pretty amazing.

(Of course it creates a version control nightmare, but that’s fodder for another blog.)


Acrobat DC allows you to send, track, manage, and store signed documents with a built-in e-signature service. This service is included with your subscription to Acrobat DC. E-signatures are legal and enforceable in 27 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Adobe’s e-signature service complies with industry security standards including HIPAA and PCI v3.0 used by the credit card industry. You can learn more about this technology and it’s security here.

This blog just touches the surface of Acrobat DC capabilities. If you think you’re ready to purchase, please read our last blog that discusses some of the issues surrounding the implementation of Acrobat Pro DC.

If you’re ready to buy, click here to purchase your copy.

In our series on how to use the features in Adobe® Acrobat® Pro, today’s blog covers the Interactive Objects panel. You’ll be able to add buttons, audio, video and more using this panel.

We’re attacking this in two parts – the “Add Buttons” feature and then all other features. The other features are so similar, that you’ll find the video covering all of them to be shorter than the “Add Buttons” video. Remember, you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of any video to enlarge it to full screen.


Part 1 of 2: Adding Buttons

Learn how to add buttons, give them effective actions, change the way they look and respond, edit and duplicate them.


Part 2 of 2: Adding Video, Sound, SWF and 3D Objects
Learn how to add video and sound to your PDF files. You’ll follow the same pattern to add SWF and 3D objects.

Enjoy! I hope your interactive PDF files are incredibly effective!

Learn more about Brainstorming, Unleashing Your Creativity to Think Outside the Box here or purchase your copy here.

Pages Panel of Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro Pages Panel

We are in the midst of a series of blogs teaching how to use some of the features of Adobe® Acrobat® Pro. These features allow you to tremendously enhance your PDFs.

The first blog in the series covered the Content Editing panel. You can find it here. The second blog covered the first of three areas in the Pages panel. It’s available here.

Today’s blog covers the remaining two areas in the Pages panel of Acrobat®.

Remember that you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of any video to enlarge it to full screen.


Part 6 of 8: Insert from File and More Insert Options
There are a number of ways to insert information into an existing PDF. This video covers the following:

  • Insert from File command — this is the easy one!
  • More Insert Options – Starting at 1:48, the video covers the lesser known ways to insert information into your existing PDF — from a scanner and from a website. You’ll also learn how to insert a blank page.

Part 7 of 8: Combine Files
This short video (only 2:04) demonstrates how to combine multiple files into a single PDF. Yes, you could accomplish this by inserting one file after another into the first document, but using the Combine File command will save you lots of time.

Headers & Footers
The next command in the Pages panel is “Headers & Footers”. I have previously blogged about the topic here.

Part 8 of 8: Background, Watermark, and Bates Numbering
This last video covers the last three commands in the Pages panel.

  • Background – You’ll learn how to change the background color or add your own custom background to an existing PDF.
  • Watermark – Starting at 1:27, you’ll learn how to add a watermark to your document. The watermark can be simple text entered into Acrobat or an image.
  • Bates Numbering — Starting at 3:57, you’ll not only learn what Bates Numbering is (I’m guessing you don’t know) but also how it can be a great help to you.

Well, friends, that’s it for the Pages panel of Adobe Acrobat. The next video (or video series) will cover the Interactive Objects panel. See you then!

Adobe Acrobat Panels

Pages Panel of Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro Pages Panel

We are in the midst of a series of blogs teaching how to use some of the features of Adobe® Acrobat® Pro. These features allow you to tremendously enhance your PDFs.

The first blog in the series covered the Content Editing panel. You can find it here.

Today’s blog is the first of two that deal with the Pages panel of Acrobat®.

With such a large number of commands in the Pages panel, we’ve broken the tutorial into a series of videos. We ended up with eight videos, so we’ll cover the first five in this blog and the last three in our next blog.

Remember that you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of any video to enlarge it to full screen.

Part 1 of 8: Thumbnails, Rotate & Delete Commands
This first video covers the first three commands in the Pages panel.

  • Intro & Thumbnails – Thumbnails are pretty simple and take less than 2 minutes to cover.
  • Rotate – Starting at 1:45, you’ll not only learn the ins and outs of the Rotate command, but we’ll also teach you how to add the command to your tool bar.
  • Delete — Starting at 4:19, the discussion of the Delete command includes a caution that may keep you from being very sorry some day.

Part 2 of 8: Extract Command
The Extract dialog box allows you to specify a number of variables that gives you many options for extracting pages. Learn about them in this short 3:39 video.

Part 3 of 8: Replace Command
If you use Acrobat very much, you’ve probably used the Replace command before…still, I’m guessing you don’t know all there is to know about it. I was surprised that there is enough information to communicate about the Replace command that the video is 5 minutes, 43 seconds! You’ll learn:

  • The basics of replacing pages
  • A warning about using the command that may save you many headaches some day
  • How to add the command to your toolbar

Part 4 of 8: Crop Command
Learn the ins and outs of the Crop command in the pages panel – all 4 minutes, 21 seconds of it!

Part 5 of 8: Split Command
Let Acrobat do the work of splitting a PDF into multiple files using the Split command. Learn how to split based on number of pages, size of files or based on established bookmarks. While I often want to split my PDFs myself, in the right situation, this command can save you a lot of time.

Whew! That’s a lot of training for one blog. We’ll cover the remaining menu options on the Pages panel in the next blog. Watch for it next week.

Adobe® Acrobat® Pro has many features that allow you to tremendously enhance your PDFs.

In this video I review the content editing features. To go directly to the video scroll down or click here. The video teaches you how to:

  • Edit text in your PDF. If you tried this in earlier versions, you know that it didn’t work well. Maybe you’d have success if you were just changing a character or two. Current versions not only allow you to significantly change your text, it will also wrap text appropriately, change the size of your text box and more. If you want to jump directly to this section of the tutorial, go to 1:48 on the video.
  • Add new text. Go to 3:24 on the video to learn how to add text.
  • Add images. This begins at the 5 minute point in the video.
  • Export your PDF to other file formats. This is a fantastic time saver when you need data from a PDF or want to update the look of your document but don’t have the original files. Learn more about this at 6:45 on the video.
  • Add links. Adding links begins at 8:25.
  • Add bookmarks. Jump to 12:03 to learn about bookmarks, how they differ from links, and how to create and change them.
  • Attach files. Learn to attach files beginning at 16:10.

It seems that most of the “how can I…?” phone calls we’re getting lately deal with some of the advanced features in Adobe® Acrobat® Pro. I previously blogged about adding headers and footers to your PDFs here. In future videos we’ll review other Acrobat tools that will allow you to provide a better, more informative and useful document to your audience.

Remember that you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of the video to enlarge the video to full screen.

Adding new headers and footers to existing PDF files is just a few clicks away from becoming reality using Acrobat® Pro. This video shows you how.

Wondering what the difference between Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro? The video gives a short explanation to help avoid confusion.

We LOVE the video speed-up program MySpeed™ by Enounce. You can download a free trial here. Read our review of it here.
Want to purchase Acrobat Pro? Click here.
Interested in purchasing a Creative Cloud membership? Click here.

Did you ever wish you could browse a website from a place where you had no Internet access? Here’s a slick way to do it.

If you have Acrobat Pro, you can create a PDF of a website page or all the pages of an entire website with just a few easy clicks. The PDF file can be saved to your computer with all the text, graphics, and links intact. This is a new feature that I’m excited about. New to me, that is. I’m not sure when it was introduced, but I’ve just discovered it. Why, you ask, would you want to create a PDF of a website? I can think of a couple of good reasons.

  • While we we’re in the process of upgrading this website we found it to be much easier to markup or annotate changes on the PDF of the website than trying to describe the changes in an e-mail or Word file.
  • You can read, use, and demo a website anywhere, even if you don’t have Internet access. You can create a PDF of the site and show it on your tablet or laptop (or even your smart phone if you like really small images). The links will even work, so long as they are linked to pages that you have PDF’d.

Here’s how to do it. Looks complicated, but it’s really a piece of cake:

  1. From Adobe Acrobat Pro, click the File menu.
  2. About a quarter of the way down you’ll find the command “Create PDF”. Click it.
  3. One of your menu options is “From Web Page…” Click it.
  4. You’ll be prompted to enter the address (URL) of the web page.
  5. Then click on the button that says “Capture Multiple Levels.” You will be able to enter as many levels of the website that you want to capture. Capturing more levels means that the process will take longer but you will have a more complete PDF of the website. If you want the entire website, click the radio button to capture the entire site.
  6. If you want to explore options, feel free to do so. That’s more detail than we’re going to include here.
  7. Click “Create.”
  8. Wait. Your patience will be rewarded. A file of the website will open in Acrobat. Save it and take it with you anywhere you go.

We were pleased and surprised at how small the file size was. This is a feature we’ll use. Could I have that website to go, please?

Check out our video tip for making complex documents easier to read in Adobe Acrobat. Remember that you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of the video to enlarge the video to full screen.


Create a Single PDF from Multiple Files.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as my mom used to say. (Which in retrospect is a really morbid thing to say. I really don’t think she ever skinned any cats…at least I hope not!)

You can creat a single PDF from multiple files a couple of different ways in Acrobat. It’s just that some ways are easier than others and some offer more options than others.

The “Old Fashioned” Approach — Insert Documents

With your first document open, go to the last page before the new document you want to insert, then

     >Document>Insert (or Ctrl-Shift-I)

        Go to the document you want to insert, select it, and then use the dialog box that appears to identify what pages should be inserted.

The “New Fashioned” Approach — Combine Documents

Combining documents is a bit easier and offers more functionality. Depending on the version of Acrobat you have, you’ll want to think “Create PDF” (Acrobat 7) or “Combine Files” (Acrobat 8). You’ll probably find these buttons on your toolbar, but if not, look in the File menu.

   Select “From Multiple Files” and you’re on your way. A dialog box will open that allows you to browse your system to find the various files you want to combine. Don’t worry if you select them in the wrong order because the dialog box allows you to rearrange them. The beauty of this approach is that you can combine files that are not yet PDF files! You can select Word or Excel files (for example) and combine them with existing PDFs. Acrobat will open a PDF writer and create PDFs from your source documents, combining them together into a single PDF file.

   Pretty nifty! Of course if you’re accustomed to creating your own PDFs, you might feel that this approach doesn’t give you the control you’d like. We’d fall into that category. But the command is still helpful in that it will combine multiple PDFs after you’ve created each one just how you want it.