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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.
Whenever we are talking about interactive PDFs, a lot of what we are talking about is adding actions to elements in the PDF that our end user can interact with, whether they're using Reader or Acrobat. So I wanted to devote this movie just to talking about these kinds of actions that you can assign to elements. They're not immediately obvious. They're kind of quiet, but they're very powerful. So let's just go through the different places where you can assign an action and then talk about some of the different actions that you might want to consider. I am looking at a simple two-page PDF and on this PDF I have both a link, which is surrounding the title Taste of California, and I have a button which is this right pointing arrow.
Now if I go to the tools panel to edit some of these things, so I am going to Content > Select Object. Here is my link. If you double-click it, you will see that there is a tab called Actions. So if you select that, you will see that you can add an action to the link. Now the Action will not happen until somebody clicks the link. Which action can happen? Well, right now its set to Execute a menu item, and the menu item is to Open a web link. That means when somebody clicks on this link in Reader or Acrobat, it's going to open up in their browser to this URL.
The Action was added to this link from this dropdown menu up here. The very first choice in the dropdown menu and almost every place that you find an action in Acrobat will be Execute a menu item, which to me is one of the most accessible ways to add some interactivity to a PDF. If you choose Execute a menu item and click Add, you will be presented with a list of just about every menu item possible in the program. So you could select any of these and then when somebody clicks this link, it would be the same thing as if they had gone to the Edit menu and chosen Find.
If you double-click the button, in the Button Properties, it's a little bit more complicated, not too much, the fact that you have a choice about what happens when the action occurs. It's not by default when somebody clicks the button; by the way, when somebody presses down the mouse button and then the mouse button goes up, then the action occurs. But look, you can also have it, Mouse Enter, Mouse Exit or when you are tabbing into that button or tabbing out of it, that's On Focus and On Blur. So you have more control over what triggers the action.
I previously set up this Employee Manual to automatically open with the Bookmarks panel open. Why would I want to do that? Not only just to let people know there are bookmarks, but also to show you a different way to add actions. You can add an action to a bookmark. Now bookmarks normally have an action assigned to them by default, which is that they jump to that page view. That's the action. If I right-clicked on this bookmark and went to Properties, and went to Action, you can see that it's automatically set to Go to a page in this document, Page 2.
But you're not limited to just those. I added a bunch of additional bookmarks at the top called Useful Links, where I showed some examples of other kinds of actions that you might want to sign to bookmarks, like, wouldn't it be nice if you received this Employee Manual that you would be able to automatically do a search? So if I click Search This Document, it opens up the high end search, rather than doing regular find. That you could jump to a web site, that you could read an FAQ. That you could even, like, select this, and let me show you what it looks like behind the scenes before we actually do it.
Properties, the Action for this is to Open up a file. So what is this file? If you click it, it opens up an employee verification form. So the Search This Document is the link that executes a menu item. Advanced search, and visit our web site opens up a URL, and FAQ might jump to a page or open up a different document, and Sign the Employee Form. So sometimes when you're dealing with a PDF, you don't have room to add links or to add buttons, to do things that you think the recipient might want to do. So a great way is to add the Action to a bookmark.
Also, because you can set it up so that the bookmark panel opens up by default. The same is true for the Page Thumbnails panel. The Page Thumbnails panel is a place where you can right-click, go to Page Properties, and choose an Action just for that page. You can set a Trigger, but the default trigger is Page Open. In other words, as soon as somebody opens up this PDF, this action will occur. So did you ever want that to happen, like maybe or as soon somebody opened up a PDF, automatically the Search field opened up? You could do that with Page Properties and adding Actions to pages.
So as you can see, Actions are very powerful ways to add high-level interactivity to all your PDFs, and don't forget that they're available to you in Links, Buttons, Form Fields, Bookmarks, and the Page Thumbnails panel.
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