Unleash the Editorial Power of Adobe Acrobat

October 18, 2005
Presented by Stephanie Baartz-Bowman and Alan Reade
Organized by Bonnie Britt and Christine Freeman
Notes by Rick Coykendall

Our presenters were Stephanie Baartz-Bowman, an Adobe senior marketing manager who is focused on the Acrobat product line; and Alan Reade, an experienced editor who has worked for Adobe.

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 comes in four flavors:

  • Reader (the ubiquitous free download)
  • Elements (for volume licensing only)
  • Standard (the easy way to share PDF files)
  • Professional (with all the bells and whistles)

Stephanie and Alan focused on Acrobat Professional. Mac users should note that some of the additional features in the Professional version are available only in Windows. Make a careful comparison with the Standard version before purchasing.

With Acrobat Professional 7.0, you can enable anyone who has the free version (Reader 7.0) to add electronic comments directly to a PDF file with the Comments feature. All comments, including note comments, can be listed according to page number.

Stephanie demonstrated the Digital Signature feature, which some states and industries now recognize as a legal signature.

Editing with Acrobat: Tips for Document-Review Editors:
(courtesy of Alan Reade)

  • Have each reviewer download the most recent version of Acrobat Reader that his or her computer will accommodate.
  • Acrobat versions 4.0 and 5.0 both work well with version 6.0 and later, but reviewers should make few drawn-in marks (circling, etc.), because those marks can sometimes drop out when going from version 4.0 or 5.0 to version 6.0 and later.
  • Version control is critical with PDF file reviews. Once you send out a document for review, do not change it until comments return. Make sure that everyone's marks are made on the same version of the document.
  • Have each reviewer choose a different color or a different icon shape for comments.
  • If you are not using the Review Tracker feature, be sure to rename each commented PDF file with the reviewer's initials so that you don't overwrite the master PDF file with a commented file of the same name.

Tips for Document Reviewers

  • Use the features as intended in the product so that comments from all reviewers will be easier to read side by side. Don't substitute one tool for another (for example, drawing rectangles with text in them instead of inserting comments).
  • Don't overdo your marks (for example, highlighting plus making a comment), unless you have very few marks on the page and need to "flag" them. When versions of documents with comments are printed out, those extra marks can double the amount of text on each page.

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