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In Acrobat X Essential Training, author Anne-Marie Concepción demonstrates how to create, modify, review, and share PDFs in Adobe Acrobat X Standard or Pro. Starting with a tour of the new panels-based interface, the course covers the basics of the software, such as creating and customizing PDFs, searching, editing text and graphics, and extracting PDF content to use in other programs. Also included are tutorials on creating forms, inserting interactivity and rich media, using the prepress tools, combining PDFs with other types of files to create customized portfolios, and ensuring document security. Exercise files accompany the course.
So PDF portfolios are wonderful. They are lovely. There is one gripe that I have with them now, and that is their compatibility with other versions. If you create a PDF portfolio in version 10, as I've done here, it looks fantastic in Reader 10. So if you can be assured that everybody else is using Reader 10, you have no problems. But there will be some glitches if you send this out and you don't know which version of Reader or Acrobat your recipients will have. For example, if this PDF is opened in Reader or Acrobat version 9--I took a screenshot of it being open in Macintosh, though it makes no difference if it's Mac or Windows.
I wish I could show it to you right here what it would look like in Reader 9 and Reader 8, but you can't install more than one version of Reader and Acrobat on Windows at least. I took a screenshot and then I saved it as a PDF. So let's go to it. You get this little alert, not this huge, okay. But this alert appears on top of the portfolio when it's opened in version 9. The person can just click OK, and then they'll be returned to their portfolio and the can go ahead and flip through it. Some aspects of the design might not make it through, only because in version 10 they use a different version of flex, to create those layouts and things, than they do in previous versions.
The good news is that in Acrobat and Reader 11 and 12 and so on, those themes and layouts should make the version switch without a problem. That was a big change they did from version 9 version to version 10 was they sort of broke apart what they called the user interface from the underlying engine that makes the themes and the layouts. So they are more independent in version 10. It just means still though, in version 9 this is what's going to happen. And it's somewhat worse in version 8. If you open up a portfolio in Reader or Acrobat 8, this is a screenshot of the entire window.
Now the files are still intact, and because Reader and Acrobat 8 had no conception of what a portfolio was, they can't show you the portfolio. Instead, they use the closest thing to it that was available in version 8, which is called a Package. It's still one PDF, TwoTrees_portfolio.pdf, but all the files are included in this list here. In addition, they get the big alert that says, "Hey, you're probably using the wrong version," and then also you get this, what I consider to be this horrible, huge page that says, "For the best experience you should upgrade to Acrobat X or Adobe Reader X," with the link there.
In my experience when I've sent out a portfolio to people who open it up in Reader or Acrobat 8 or earlier and they see this, they think that they have to install something later. They often don't even see this stuff up here, and then they get all nervous about it. And plus, you know not everybody is comfortable with installing Reader, especially if they've never needed to install an upgrade for anything else. So if this is open in Reader or Acrobat 7, because I don't have that installed, I can show you how it degrades to--gracefully-- it degrades to one PDF with attachments.
However, they don't see this file. They see that very large warning, that red and white cover page. But you can't select which file that's included in your PDF portfolio should be the default home or cover page in earlier versions of Reader or Acrobat. The files still exist, and they can still open those files. So here is my suggestion for making the PDF portfolios that you create in Acrobat X a little friendlier to older versions. Let's go back to the actual portfolio.
To me, the problem is that red and white page, this thing here. This is called the Cover page. I would like there to be a different page that appears by default if somebody opens it in an older version. So what you need to do is create another PDF, a cover page for yourself. If you want to match the size, that's fine. It's immaterial. I've already done that, and I've created a cover page. I will go ahead and open it. So it's just a little page-- let me zoom out a bit-- with our logo for Two Trees, and it says, "Hey, all the files that you need to read are in this PDF." Double-click the ones from the list of attached files, so they're either going to appear in a package at the top or in the list of attached files in the left.
I add a paragraph about, hey, if you want to go ahead and upgrade to Reader or Acrobat X, you will be able to see this file as designed, and assuming that this is a new employee packet, so they can all contact their IT helpdesk for assistance. But you know, if the person doesn't have to, this reassures them that you don't have to install any kind of software; all the files that are in this PDF are exactly the same. So feel free to contact me with any question. So that's my new cover page. So what you do with your portfolio is you go to this buried view, go down to View > Portfolio, where you can actually see the cover sheet.
And then you want to replace this cover sheet with the one that you created. Do you remember how to replace a page? Yes, that's right, you choose Replace. I want to up my little Page Thumbnail panel. Right-click here. Choose Replace Pages. I am going to find my cover page. Click Select. Replace pages 1 To 1 with this page. Yes, please. Are you sure? Yes, please. And that's all. So I can close this cover sheet, and now I know that when somebody with an earlier version, say Acrobat or Reader 8 or prior, opens up this portfolio they, will see that much more friendly cover page, along with the list of attached files.
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