Donna Baker October 7, 2008
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In this tutorial, learn how to use the document review and document collaboration features in Acrobat. The introduction of Acrobat.com takes reviews live and online. See how document reviews integrate real-time and traditional document collaboration workflows in Acrobat 9, and manage document reviews in the Tracker.
Acrobat 9 Pro offers several methods for achieving the same outcome—that is, sharing and collaborating live with colleagues. The choices depend on your workflow. If you need a formal review, and expect to have live collaboration at some point, choose the Send for Shared Review option. On the other hand, if you want immediate input from a colleague or two, or a less formal interaction, choose the Collaborate Live feature.
Get reviews underway from your desktop using a simple wizard-based process. Click the Comment task button and choose Send for Shared Review.
Follow the prompts in the wizard:
Some features of the e-mail invitation are the same as in previous versions of Acrobat, such as addresses and boilerplate text. As identified in Figure 1, Acrobat 9 Pro offers additional features tailored to collaboration:
You’ll find the delivery method at the top of the dialog box (specified in Step 2 in the previous section).
Below the e-mail message, click Access Level to choose whether to allow indiscriminate access to the file for anyone knowing the URL, or restrict the access to the recipient list.
New in Acrobat 9 Pro is the feature allowing for a review deadline—click the link to choose an end date, or leave the default two-week review cycle.
Choose an option to control whether page sharing and chat are enabled for the file.
Recipients receive a link to the file. When clicked, the link opens a window at Acrobat.com containing a download link (Figure 2).
Figure 2: A link in the e-mail offers a download for the file.
As the initiator of a review, you obviously don’t receive a link to open your own file. Instead, Acrobat 9 Pro shows you a document message bar and a link to track the review (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Control the review from the source PDF file.
Click the link on the document message bar, or choose Comments > Track Reviews to open the Tracker (Figure 4).
As indicated in Figure 4, use the features in Tracker to view pertinent reviews. Select a review’s name in the Reviews frame at the left to display information about the review in the right frame. If you are the review initiator, you’ll have options to control the review, such as changing the deadline, ending the review (overriding an initial review-end date), as well as other review and e-mail options.
Use a review online in addition to working through Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Comments are synced with the server even when Acrobat is closed, so anyone in a review who logs in can access current comments.
Once you or your participants have worked on the file, and uploaded the comments for review, the next time the file opens, a Welcome Back to Shared Review dialog box displays. You’ll see updated information about your review, such as the deadline, number of reviewers and comments, the list of participants and the review server in use.
Rather than starting from an e-mail-review invitation and progressing to live interaction, Acrobat Pro and Acrobat Pro Extended allow for direct collaboration using the Send & Collaborate Live function.
There are three levels of live collaboration available:
Note: Use live collaboration when you want to share work quickly or informally. Your collaboration setup doesn’t include a review deadline, and the default file sharing method is via e-mail.
Follow these steps to start the review session:
Figure 5: The Collaborate Live navigation pane shows chat and participant list in Acrobat.
Use Send and Collaborate Live to review a PDF with one or more remote users in an online session.
Several features enhance the collaboration experience using Collaborate Live. For example, collaborators see the participant list, and can actively chat in the document window.
Your screen layout and view are readily shared with your participants. Click Start Page Sharing on the Collaborate Live navigation pane (shown in Figure 5) to have all document viewers display your current location and magnification in the document.
Any changes made on your document are instantly shown on the participants’ screens. Document actions — such as mouse and tool actions, navigation, zoom, and so on — are synchronized during screen sharing, giving all participants instant access.
Click Stop Page Sharing when you’re finished.
Continuing from a live collaboration session in Acrobat, you can move to an online meeting room for greater interaction, such as sharing notes, adding whiteboard features and so on.
To launch a screen-sharing session from within your review document, follow these steps:
Include one or two participants via the Meet Online With Others dialog box (Figure 6). Click Send E-mail Invitation Now to open an e-mail window, where you select and invite different participants
Figure 6: Invite one or two other participants to your meeting room.
See larger image.
However, if you’ve been collaborating live with one or two others, your collaborators receive an invitation, and click View Screen in the message to join the meeting automatically.
Figure 7: Conduct real-time interactive meetings in your meeting room.
Figure 8: Conduct real-time interactive meetings in your meeting room.
Note: If you are the host and sharing your screen, you can access all features. Your guests can participate, but can’t access management features such as changing the pod layout or inviting another guest.
Allowing participants in a ConnectNow session has minimal requirements that include: