So what has Acrobat 8 got for us? Well, Acrobat 8 is a mixed bag. It’s the first version of Acrobat that actually cuts out functionality and the number of updates is much lower than in previous releases. The choices for the updated functionality are also a bit curious. However, there are some very powerful additions, as well as useful updates. We’ll cover just the new features in this article.
Example file available
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To be clear, for some operations such as fill and save, Acrobat 8 Rights Enabling is backward compatible with Reader 7. But this example file uses Form Field creation, which is only works on Reader 8.
Acrobat 8.0 has three new power features, page content color conversion, booklet printing and the Net Object. A power feature is one that does a lot with very little code and the first one on the list is a good example. The Doc Object has a new function called colorConvertPage(). This amazing function converts the colorspaces for every element drawn on a PDF page; images, text and paths. For example, say you need to convert to CMYK before sending your document out for printing. With this function you can convert not just to CMYK, but to any of several color profiles available on your system. Acrobat ships with several well-known, industry-wide color profiles. Of course, colorspace conversion can be done with the Preflight Tool and the Touchup Object Tool, but this capability allows color-space conversion to be part of an automation or workflow script.
Booklet printing is a subset of imposition, which is the art of arranging page tiles on a larger sheet (both front and back sides) so the sheet can be folded into sections (or booklets). These booklets can then be placed together to make an entire book. Acrobat only arranges four pages per sheet, two front and two back. Booklet printing is set up through the PrintParams Object with a group of settings. There are a bunch of these settings and they can look confusing, but only one of them needs to be set to use this feature. Like colorspace conversion, this feature is also available in the user interface (new in 8).
But it does contain some very powerful additions. I’m hopeful there are plenty of things already on the table to be released in one of the minor updates. There are probably several already in the current version waiting to be released (i.e. documented). At least I hope so.
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