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BellaOnline's Digital Art and Design Editor

Adobe Acrobat 9 - Whatís New

Compare PDFs
BellaOnline has a quarterly literary magazine called Mused. As Art Director, one of my tasks is to design the layout for each issue. I can tell you that after sending several PDF comps to the publisher and receiving feedback on each, it can get a bit confusing. However, now that I have Acrobatís new compare feature, I can compare these PDFs, word for word or pixel by pixel. Perhaps I should have said that Acrobat can compare them for me and give me a visual representation of the differences between the versions. These differences are color coded by type, which allows me to categorize the changes to be made. The compare feature has several views. You can use the report view, which lists the differences in table format, or the side-by-side view to visually compare two PDFs. From these views, you can jump directly to each problem area within the PDF itself by clicking on a link. When viewing a single PDF, the differences are not only highlighted for you but, as you pass your mouse over the highlighted area, a pop-up displays both old and new versions of the problem area. You also have control over the range of comparisons. You can compare the PDFs in their entirety or limit the comparison by number of pages and/or type of discrepancies.

Document Sharing
One of the most common tasks that PDFs are used for is document sharing. Whether itís sharing a PDF during an online chat between design team members or sending a design comp to a customer for feedback, Acrobat 9 has moved into the 21st century with real-time document sharing. After uploading your PDF to your free Acrobat.com account area, you can have a group chat and make changes to the PDF. These changes can be viewed by all in real-time.

Sharing video with others is so much easier. Now that Acrobat has support for FlashR technology, you can add a video file to a PDF and it will be converted to the cross-platform FLV format. You no longer need an intermediate step or a separate media player application.

Form Creation
Creating forms in Acrobat is not a new feature but this new version has some great upgrades. You have more control when building your interactive forms. You have several options when starting a form. You can open several type of documents into the Form Wizard as a starting point for your form including a spreadsheet, a PDF file or word document. You can also scan a paper form into Acrobat and start from that. For a time saver, you can start with one of the many predesigned form templates. Of course, you can start with a blank form. The LiveCycle Designerís drag and drop Form Object Library is packed with any form element you might need and the preview feature gives you an instant preview as you build your form. Also, itís much easier to distribute your forms via email and the Form Tracker automates tracking of the responses as they are returned and summarizes feedback.

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