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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.
I wanted to sneak in a little video tutorial on using acrobat.com, I suppose because it has the same name as the product that this video is all about. There aren't that many ties though between Acrobat and acrobat.com. Still, it's a free service, and there are some ties--especially between Reader and acrobat.com--that you should be aware of, especially when you go to Preferences. It's going to ask, what is your online name? And it means this one. What is your Adobe ID? And it's asking for this e-mail address and password.
So I suggest that you go to acrobat.com and click Sign Up. All you need is an e-mail address and password, as it says. You don't even need to confirm your e-mail right away to start using the service; they give you three days to confirm. But I've already set up an account, and I'm going to go ahead to sign in. I am going to give you a quick tour. It's actually a pretty interesting program. When you log in, it brings you immediately to your File section. This is kind of like a little Windows Explorer or Macintosh Find/Replace to store Buzzword documents.
And Buzzword is the collaborative word processor that is offered as part of Acrobat.com. If you've ever used Google docs, it's a competitor to Google docs. So if you want to create a new file, you just click New, over here on the left, and I'm going to create a new Buzzword document. You can also try creating a new presentation or a table. These are sort of in the testing phase. Presentation is supposed to be like a PowerPoint sort of program that you can actually show people online, rather than having to carry around a file on your computer.
And then it also has a table program, kind of like a spreadsheet program. But let's just go to Buzzword, so you can see how that works. A new blank document opens up, "And you can immediately start typing." The interface takes a little bit of getting used to, but as you can see, it's actually quite elegant. "Quite elegant." Why would you ever want to type online? Well, first of all it's free, and second of all, you can have multiple people access the same document.
You can share the file. See down here? Share File. And you can go ahead--and let's save this first. So I'll call this "testing buzzword." And now I want to share it with individuals. I can enter a whole bunch of e-mail addresses. And those people can be co-authors-- meaning they can edit it-- or they can be reviewers--meaning they can't edit it, but they can add comments, because there's comments built in-- or they can simply be Readers. So if you and a couple of other people are working on copy for your web site, your brochure, or something like that, this would be one option for you to do is everybody share access to this document.
I am not actually going to share at this point. But if you do share it and you have other people who are looking at it with you, their little avatars would appear below here. They would be saying like, editing or reviewing. You could be in a phone conference, while everybody is working on the same document at the same time. Another thing I like about Buzzword is this little History panel is that it keeps track of every version. Every time that you click Save or you quit out of your browser program, it saves a version, from the very first time that you created the document.
It shows a little timeline, with little dots showing that when you saved it, and you can easily go back and forth in the timeline to retrieve a previous version of the document. I will close that. This little download down here, tells if you're connected, and it also shows if you haven't gotten any saved changes. And now to actually format the text in Buzzword, you use this strip going across the top. Right now, we are looking at text formatting controls, so we have some typefaces and sizes and bold, and italic, color for text-- it's beautiful--and for the background, and then paragraph alignments, line spacing, and indents.
You can do automatic bulleted and numbered lists, and you can place images. You can create tables. And if you do create a table--if I say insert a table-- then you have a lot of commands for adding columns and rows. I actually like how it works. And you can easily select rows and color them as well. And then here's how you'd add a comment. So if I say I kind of want to add a comment, Olivia says, "enough with the exclamation points." Olivia is not a fan of exclamation points.
And it can show comments and hide comments as well. So when you're done working on this document, you have menu commands at the top, so you can actually import documents and convert them into Buzzword files. You can Save As. You can export files, and then also there is a full Undo and Copy, Paste, and all those kinds of things. There is a great help site as well. So if you want more information, if you really get into it, they even have their own blog and discussion form, and that is Buzzword. So when we go back to Acrobat.com, these were all your Buzzword documents.
You'll also see here, these are some PDFs from when I was teaching this course, because whenever you do things like use acrobat.com to a distributed form or a shared review, those documents get uploaded to your Acrobat.com account. There are various ways to organize all your files and folders and workspaces, but that goes a little bit beyond the purview what we were talking about. Then up over here we have all these fun icons. So this is to organize stuff that you're looking at all the files here. So list them alphabetically or by the author or chronologically and so on.
If we go back to the MEETINGS--so instead of files if we look at MEETINGS--this in the other big part of acrobat.com is that you can have like a little mini WebEx kind of file sharing meeting, directly in acrobat.com for free. The free service is two people plus yourself. Or you can actually subscribe to acrobat.com every month and get more services and have larger meetings, if you would like. But this is actually really cool, because if you're looking at something in your document and you want your client or your colleague to take a look what you see onscreen, you can just go right to acrobat.com and click here and start a meeting.
I am not actually going to start it right now, but it lets you send an e-mail invitation to the people that want to come, with a link to the same URL. And then they see your screen, and you can share your screen directly from here. You don't have to share your Acrobat screen, of course. You don't have to share your browser screen. As soon you start screen sharing, anything that you see on your monitor, they all can see. Everybody can look over your InDesign file or your Excel file and so on. It's really neat. It's great to be able to have that available to you, should you ever need it.
There are a couple other features of Acrobat.com. You can upload documents and have them convert them to pdf. That might be useful to you if you use Reader. There is an Outlook plug-in. You can expect that Adobe is going to try to integrate acrobat.com more and more into both Reader and Acrobat as time goes on, because that's basically where a lot of the exciting things are happening with software these days is offering software as a service online, and that's what acrobat.com is all about.
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