Join Claudia McCue for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Tool panels, part of Learning Acrobat XI.
In addition to the tool icons that you might see up here in your taskbar and toolbar, you also have sets of tool panels on the right. When you choose Tools, you're going to see these panels wake up. And in the default set, which is what we're seeing now, you have options for content editing, you have the option to OCR some text that's been scanned in, and so forth. This little icon at the upper-right lets you awaken other tool panels, such as the Print Production tools, if you're in graphic arts; or the Accessibility tools, if you have to deal with Section 508 Compliance. All you have to do is choose it, it will wake up, and then you'll see a check mark by it.
There is another little set that ships with Acrobat called Common tools. And again, it's trying to give you a head start and sort of simplify the interface so that you don't have to look at a bunch of stuff that you're not normally using. But notice this. There is the option to create a new tool set. So in my case, I have some editors that are always marking up PDFs for text corrections, and they don't really use Acrobat for a lot of other things, so I am going to try to make it simpler for them to find the tools that they need to do that. So when I choose Create New tool Set, the Create New tool Set dialog comes up, and here's a list on the left of everything I could add to a custom panel.
So I am going to start by naming my panel and I'll just call this Text markup tools and click Save. But it doesn't have anything in it yet, so now I have to populate it. On the left, under Annotations, here are my text markup tools. And by the way, these don't actually change text; they just indicate that corrections need to be made. So I can choose Insert Text at Cursor and then click the Add to Custom Tools Pane icon. Or the far easier way is to just double-click. So I double-click, double-click, double- click, and now I've added all these items.
You can put in things like little separators, so I am going to put a little bar here and then I am going to add some instructional text. So when I click Add Instruction, a little field comes up. I can type some text. And I just want to give the editors some guidance, so I am just going to tell them, "Use these tools to indicate text corrections to be made." And when I click Save, now that's added. So when I click Save--again, I keep clicking Save I know, but this named the little pane itself. Now I am adding a name to the tool set. So I'm just going to call this Text Tools For Editors and click Save, and now that becomes my active set.
See, there's my little instruction at the bottom. That little divider, I think, sort of calls their attention to that text. So let's test it. If I go back to Default tools, back to Customize, there is my new set of tools, Text tools For Editors, and there we go. Now, under Manage Tool Sets, Customize and Manage Tool Sets, there are a couple of other things I can do. I've created this tool set, but right now it's just for me. I want to share it with the editors. So all I do is create it and then select it under the Manage tool Sets option, and then I would choose Export, and it creates a little freestanding file that I would send to them and then they would click Import to add that tool set to their copy of Acrobat.
So this is a great way to standardize across a work group, especially when you have some components in the work group that only use certain parts of Acrobat. Make it easy for them to find those tools that are sort of hidden, and make it easy for them to access and do the right thing. In this case I am actually going to remove them, so if you don't need a tool set anymore, you can just click Remove. Acrobat is very polite and says, "Are you sure?" Click Yes and then Close. So you've seen that initially Acrobat starts out with a very clean interface that might seem a little bit empty, but there are lots of tools for doing many of these common functions that you want to perform. They're just a little hidden. And don't forget that you can customize your tool set and make it your own.
It makes it easier for you and you could make it easier for other users.
- Understanding the Portable Document Format (PDF)
- Inserting, replacing, and extracting pages
- Combining PDFs
- Creating PDFs from Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Converting web pages to PDF
- Scanning hard copies of documents
- Printing to PDF
- Exporting to other formats from Acrobat (such as the Excel .xls)
- Adding hyperlinks and bookmarks
- Marking up a PDF with annotations and drawings
- Using shared reviews