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There is a great feature in Adobe Acrobat X that lets you to string together various commands from menus and panels, letting you automate and standardize really tedious kinds of things that you do every day. You'll find those Actions in the Tools panel. Look for Action Wizard. You'll see that there are seven default Actions, but you can create your own Actions, and you can save those Actions and share them with others in your workgroup. You could sell them on eBay or Craigslist-- all sorts of fun stuff. Now, before we get into this any further, I want to make sure that you understand this has nothing really to do with the other kind of actions that I talked about in various videos which add interactivity to content on the page.
For example, if I open up the Page Thumbnail panel and right-click and choose Page Properties, we've talked about these kind of actions for buttons and for bookmarks and things like that. This adds interactivity to content on the actual page in the PDF. These Actions are actually for you to do production work. So that doesn't add anything to the content. I don't know why Adobe decided to call these Actions as well. C'est la vie. Let's take a look at each of these Actions, and see what it is they do.
So you just need to click them once. I am going to click this one, and you'll always get this little descriptive dialog box. If you get tired of looking at it, you can turn on Don't show again for this Action. An Action always includes a description, written by whoever created the Action, and three sections: One is what kind of file do you start with? The second one is what are the things that it's going to do to that file or files? And third, what should it do when it's done? Should it save the file? Should it save it with a new name? Should it prompt you for a save location? So these three things are part of every Action.
Let's look at Archive Paper Documents. The description tells us that it lets us automate taking paper documents, converting them to digital format, and then saving them in an Archive PDF format so that they can't be changed, which is a wonderful process, but could be a very tedious process if you are trying to convert all your paper stuff to digital PDFs. That's why the Action is so useful. Prepare for Distribution is something that some people do quite a bit in Adobe Acrobat. They take a document and they need to distribute it to a bunch of different people, and here are series of Actions that they may need to take to every single document before they distribute it.
Create Accessible PDFs, if part of your job is making sure that your PDF documents are accessible to people with visual disabilities, this Action is just for you. It goes through all of the many steps that are required to make a PDF accessible. Prepare for Review, if you're about to send your PDF out to a client or a group of people for their comments, this helps prepare a PDF for review. And Publish Sensitive Documents such as documents that contain confidential information, you need to go through and redact them and remove hidden information.
This steps you through all the different things that you need to do to strip a document of that sensitive information before you distribute it. So let's actually run one of these Actions. Like let's run the Prepare for Web Publishing on our current catalog page here. So we'll just say, Next, and first it's going to remove hidden information. You'll see a little Progress bar down here that tells you which step of the tasks it's on. So right now, we're on Remove Hidden Information.
In the case of this step, we have a dialog box where we can customize exactly which hidden information is deleted. So not every step gives you a dialog box, but this one does. So if I wanted to, I could say, I don't want you to remove the file attachments. If there's any file attachments here, leave them. And I'll click OK. Then the next one is Reduce File Size. Again, I am given the option to choose a compatibility. I'll just retain existing. Then it goes through Preflight, but notice it didn't give me the Preflight dialog box.
So the type of preflight that it went through was already part of the Action. Now, it's asking me where to save the document. I'll say, let's just save it in the same folder. I'll call it "forweb," and click Save, and it's done. Here is the document right here. It's ready for web publishing. So these default Actions, they are really useful. You may want to edit them to make them fit your particular workflow, or you may want to create your own because you have other things that you do all the time that aren't covered by these Actions.
In any of those cases--using the existing ones, editing the existing ones, or creating new ones--Acrobat can take care of you. So I think you can see that having some default Actions and also the ability to create your own Actions can save you a ton of time when you are working with Adobe Acrobat.
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