This tutorial shows you how to work with the Combine Files features in Acrobat 9. See what the all-new Acrobat DC can do for you.
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Acrobat continues to offer new and interesting ways of incorporating features into PDFMakers, the menu items and toolbars installed into common Office products. Acrobat 9 is certainly no exception, and offers more customizations and multimedia features than ever. Check out what’s new.
If you have both Microsoft Office products and Acrobat (Standard or Professional) installed on the same Windows computer, Acrobat inserts commands on the Adobe PDF menu and the Acrobat PDF toolbar as part of the program’s installation process.
Note: Since many of the PDFMaker features can’t be programmed for use on Mac, the PDFMaker menu and toolbar is included only for Windows products in Acrobat 9. For Mac users, the Adobe PDF Printer is available, as is the built-in Apple Save as PDF feature.
A PDFMaker is a clever bit of programming that allows you to specify conversion settings and other features from within an Office document prior to creating a PDF file. The PDFMaker offers the same conversion settings as those used for generating PDF output from Acrobat Distiller, Adobe PDF Printer, or from within Acrobat itself. Acrobat 9 PDFMaker technology works with Office XP, 2003 and 2007 (Windows).
Tip: If you use Office 2007, you’ll notice a decrease in the time Acrobat takes to process the file and generate your PDF output.
For those new to Acrobat and PDFMaker, here’s a quick rundown of the process and features:
1. Open the source file and prepare it for conversion. For example, you can convert comments from an Excel spreadsheet to display in the resulting PDF fileif you want to view the comments open in Acrobat or Adobe Reader, set their characteristics in Excel first and specify the settings in the Acrobat PDFMaker dialog box.
2. From the program menu, choose Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings to open the Acrobat PDFMaker dialog box. Choose settings for the conversion and resulting PDF file (Figure 1). All programs offer general and security settings. Any additional options depend on the program you are working in.
Figure 1: Choose program and PDFMaker settings for desired outcome.
3. From the program menu, choose Adobe PDF > Convert to Adobe PDF to process the file and create the PDF version. If you prefer, click Convert to Adobe PDF from the Acrobat PDF toolbar (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Use toolbar or menu commands for conversion
Note: For in-depth information and instruction on creating PDF files using PDFMaker, choosing settings, and other conversion issues, check out the tutorial, article, and forum sources available at acrobatusers.com.
Some of the new PDFMaker features are available throughout the Office suite PDFMaker products, while others are included in only certain products. Here’s a quick roundup of new PDFMaker features.
All Office PDFMakers now offer an option to create a PDF from subsets of the file, as well as the entire document. Say you want feedback from a colleague on a particular image or paragraph in a Word document. Instead of sending the whole file, select the content on the page and then follow these steps:
Figure 3: Make conversion selections before saving
In Excel, the options include a selection, one or more sheets, and the entire workbook (Figure 4). In order to access the options, first choose Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings and select the Prompt for selecting Excel Sheets on the Adobe PDFMaker dialog box.
Figure 4: Specify and order content
Caution: PDFMaker can’t create a tagged PDF if there are print areas set in the worksheet.
In PowerPoint, follow the same process as for converting a Word selection, and choose the selected slides, a slide range or the entire presentation.
Acrobat 9 Professional lets you embed video content in Word or PowerPoint documents, and converts them to FLV (Flash Video) format. Follow these steps:
Figure 5: Select features for the embedded video
Figure 6: Select features for the embedded video
Download a PDF file containing the movie.
Download PDF file [PDF: 1.32 Mb]
NOTE: Acrobat 9 or Reader 9 is required for viewing this file.
If you convert your document with the embedded 3D model, the PDFMaker converts the document using your specified settings, and converts the model to 3D PDF (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Models embedded in Office files are converted to 3D PDF
In the past, you could create a PDF file from an image or content copied to the system clipboard from your open PDF files. With Acrobat 9 (Windows), you aren’t restricted to using content within Acrobat. Instead, copy any content to the clipboardfrom an Illustrator drawing to a Photoshop layer or text from an InDesign layoutand create a new page in Acrobat automatically.
Suppose you are working on a letterhead design in InDesign, and decide to have a colleague check on the layout. Just select the objects on the page and copy them; then in Acrobat, choose Create > PDF from Clipboard to instantly generate a new PDF file (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Produce a PDF file from clipboard content
The Outlook PDFMaker offers a number of enhancements as well. One of the biggest is the ability to convert e-mail to PDF in the background so you can keep working. Other improvements include:
Acrobat has offered a PDFMaker for Internet Explorer for the last few versions of the software. In Acrobat 9, along with the previous functions that allowed you to convert a web page or portion of a page, preserve links, and so on, you can now select specific areas from a web page to include in a single PDF file.
Here’s an example: I want some input from a colleague on changing logo colors. I open Internet Explorer and the page displaying the images, click Select to activate the selection tool, and click to select the items for conversion on the page. The selections made, I choose an option from the Convert menu to generate the file, and it’s ready to go (Figure 9).
Figure 9: Combine selected content from a web page into a single PDF file.
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