Welcome, everyone, to “I Didn’t Know Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Could Do That!” Thanks so much for joining us today for TechSoup’s webinar. Before we get started with the content at hand, I’d like to make sure everyone is comfortable using ReadyTalk, the webinar platform we’re using today. You can chat in to us at any time if you need help, if you experience technical difficulties, or if you have questions for me or our presenter, using the box in the lower left side of your screen. We will keep all lines muted, so we get a nice clear recording for you today. You can refer to it later, share it with your friends and colleagues or watch it again.
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Within a few days, you will get that email that has the full recording, the links that we discuss today, and the PowerPoint presentation. If you’ve just registered, you also can find the PowerPoint slides on the right side of your email under the downloadable files. For those of you who got a reminder an hour ago, you also should be able to access those slides in that downloadable files link.
Just know that today’s webinar will include a portion that’s live demonstration, so those slides won’t encompass everything we’re covering today. But they are a good resource for you to refer to and look at, take notes from, and click on the links since you’re not able to do that from Live on ReadyTalk. If you’d like to tweet about today’s event, you can do so @TechSoup or using the hashtag #tswebinars. My name is Becky Wiegand, and I am the Webinar Program Manager here at Techsoup, and I am happy to be your host for today’s event. I am joined by Jim Babbage who is the Senior – Oh, sorry. I got his title wrong already. Sorry about that – Who is an Adobe Senior Solutions Consultant for the education team out of Canada. His passion to share the knowledge and take photos, manipulate images, led him to a long-lasting career in those areas as a college professor and as a creative professional. He’s the author of several books and videos and training around Adobe Fireworks.
He has written hundreds of articles on Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Lightroom. So he is a real Adobe pro. He has spoken at Adobe MAX, Appaloosa and D2WC. He is a Senior Solutions Consultant for Adobe, supporting the Canadian and American Educational Sales Team. He primarily focuses on supporting these tools for educators, which I know that’s slightly different from our nonprofit and library audience, but he really is an expert on these technologies. So we are happy to have him joining us today. On the back end you’ll see Terry McGrath joining us from Adobe. You’ll see Wes White and Susan Hope Bard, both joining us from TechSoup. They’ll be on hand to help answer your questions throughout the webinar. Looking at our objectives today, I have just a couple here that we’re hoping that you’ll come away at the end of this webinar being able to distinguish at least two new things that you did not know already that Adobe Acrobat Pro DC could do.
We also hope that you’ll understand the donated and discounted membership options for accessing Adobe Acrobat. We want you to know what your options are. Before we begin with the content at hand, a little bit about TechSoup. We are everywhere on this map that is blue, where we are working to build a dynamic bridge to help connect civil society organizations to the resources they need to create a more equitable planet. Go ahead and chat in to let us know from where you are joining us on the map.
We have around almost 300 people in the room right now. I know you are coming from all over the place. If you are joining us from outside the United States, like I just saw somebody who typed in New Zealand. Thanks for joining us in the middle of the night. We recommend you visiting TechSoup.Global and select your country from the dropdown so that you are getting donations for your region or country. The donation programs we’ll talk about later on in the program are specifically through the TechSoup.org website which is targeting US-based organizations, nonprofits, and libraries. So if you are not from the US, we recommend, again, checking out what’s available through the donation program in your country. I’ll do a little bit about this at the end, but I just want to show quickly, so those of you who have questions about Adobe Acrobat can see the different options available. And then we’ll get into the details and the nuts and bolts of what Adobe Acrobat Pro can do.
But through TechSoup’s program with Adobe, there are a variety of options. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC one year membership. That’s for individual license. Access to discounted rates. You pay a $5 Admin Fee, and $12.99 is the discounted monthly fee to access that. There is also Adobe Acrobat XI Pro for Windows which is an installed desktop product. And there is the Mac version of that same product. This is a one-time fee that you would pay to TechSoup. That’s the Admin Fee for that. There’s also Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps which gets you access to everything from Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to your Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Illustrator. I can’t even list off all of the products that are included in it.
A huge bundle of products that you can access for the $19.99 monthly fee for the first year. That’s about a 60% discount, I believe, for the first year and that goes to a 40% discount for subsequent years. We will talk more about that later on, but I wanted to make sure that people knew where they could look for more information on that for the different Adobe donation program options. Also, this great resource that we have on our site, learning how to choose the right app for what you are trying to create.
Because I just mentioned all of those products, we know people have a hard time distinguishing should I be creating this with Dreamweaver, or is this something I should create with Illustrator, or do I just use Photoshop for it, or do I need a combination of a bunch of different things? This little choose-your-own-adventure-tool here lets you click on what you’re trying to create and then gives you advice through answering some questions quickly on what the right tool is. It’s a great resource for you. All right. Adobe Acrobat – We want to know what you’re using currently, if you’re using it at all. We want to know if you are currently using the Document Cloud or DC version of Acrobat.
If you’re using XI which is that installed version that I just mentioned. If you’re using version X or maybe something like IX or lower. Or perhaps you are not using it at all, and you’re considering trying to use Acrobat. This is just to help give us an idea of where you are at with this product. If you already have experience using it, or if you are coming to it brand-new. I will give just a few more seconds to let everybody have a moment to participate.
You can click on the radio button on your screen. I see people commenting in the chat that they’re not using it. Some people are saying that they are using Acrobat CC which is the DC version of that. It is the Document Cloud as a part of Creative Cloud. I’m going to go ahead and skip to the results because most people have had the chance to vote. And show that it looks like almost 36% of our audience is using Acrobat XI which is the last of the desktop versions. So that’s great. You’re using what is – Before the Creative Cloud started, that is the most recent version. So that’s great, especially for budget-strapped nonprofits and libraries. Almost 30% of you are already using the Document Cloud too which is really great. One other question for you: What do you use Acrobat for? And feel free to choose all that apply to you.
Do you use it primarily just for making PDFs? Are you using it to create forms that can be filled out and completed online? Are you using it to create editable, searchable documents? Are you using it to edit your documents? Combining files? I use it to combine receipts a lot so that I can just scan them all and hand them off to finance to get reimbursed, get my monies back. Are you using it to organize your documents or files? Are you using the e-signature features to be able to sign your documents? Or are you using some of those security features to help protect your documents? If there is something else you’re using it for, feel free to chat in the window and let me know. And I will give, again, just a couple of seconds. I have Jean commenting in the chat that this is her wish list.
That she’s not using it now, but that she’d love to be able to do these things with it. Hopefully we’ll point you to the resources to get you started. I’m going to go ahead and skip to the results and then we will get into hearing from Jim, our expert for today. Again, the great majority of us are using Acrobat for making PDFs. No big surprise there. But then 64% are using it to combine multiple files. Sixty percent are using it to create forms that are fillable. So great! Then there’s some features that are not being used as much. Hopefully we’ll have time to talk about some of the things that maybe you didn’t know it can do and get you on your way to using it. With that, I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Jim Babbage, our Senior Solutions Consultant for the Education Program from Adobe who is going to walk us through what are those things that Adobe Document Cloud can do for us.
Adobe Pro DC – What can it do for us that we may not be aware of? Thanks for joining us today, Jim. Jim: Thank you, and thanks for the introduction. And thank you, everyone, for joining today. It’s really exciting to have a chance to talk to you about Acrobat. One of the things I always think about with Acrobat is sometimes it’s hard to put together a presentation for Acrobat. Not because of the reasons you might think, but because there are just so many different things it does that often people don’t realize it’s capable of doing.
We’re hopefully going to give you an example of some of those things in today’s webinar. I’m just going to go – I have a slide deck that you’ll have access to as well. I may not go through each individual slide because I want to show you stuff. But this is sort of a general agenda of what we’re going to be looking at. I have resources at the end of the slide deck, so links to learn more about the various aspects of Acrobat. And we’ll do a demo, as I mentioned. Acrobat and Acrobat Document Cloud are part of Adobe’s three-pronged approach to communications and document management. Acrobat Document Cloud is one we’ll focus on today, but there’s also Creative Cloud which Becky has mentioned, and also Adobe Marketing Cloud which is more in terms of web optimization, search engines, campaigning, all those kind of things that you want to do to make a more intelligent, more responsive, more personalized experience online.
Now with our focus today, we’re talking about, really, the benefits of Acrobat DC. There’s a lot of different things. Hopefully you’ll see some of this today in my presentation. But these are just some of the bullet points around Acrobat. The ability to increase productivity and improve collaboration among people. Streamlining workflow processes, especially from a document management perspective. And also, having improved document security and control over those documents.
I’ll give you an example here. Does any of this look familiar? We’ve got all sorts of paper-based processes here. We’ve got a form that was filled out. Maybe it was emailed to someone, then it had to be printed, then it had to be filled out, then it had to be scanned and emailed. Just that, all those steps, are a part of a process where a lot of things can break down. People forget to sign a document. They forget to send it. So that could be a challenge in itself. Being able to work with documents intelligently. Taking, for example, a photograph of something, a piece of paper, a page from a textbook, for example, and then being able to generate that into an intelligent document, where you can actually edit the text, where you can collaborate with other people to improve on the content that’s inside of that document.
And also from a standpoint of increasing accessibility which is really important in education as well as governmental institutions and so on. A couple little bits of statistics to share with you guys. I mean, Acrobat and PDF has exploded over years. Adobe is the original creator of the PDF format, and these are just some of the numbers I can share with you. There’s over 400,000 mobile installs per day of Adobe Reader. I saw a few people in the comments mentioning that they were working with Adobe Reader primarily. Over 100 million documents are electronically signed and processed. And over 50 billion PDFs are opened in Adobe products alone, just in this past year. Well, say 2016. Not 2017 just yet. But despite all this, there is this challenge with documents and workflows we call a document disconnect. Eighty percent of document-based processes are still at least partly based on paper which can lead to inefficiencies, to tracking problems, to [indistinct] issues.
And just getting content back or getting information back in a timely manner. Sixty-three percent of document processes negatively impact customer satisfaction. And I run into this every time I have to sign something that gets sent to me for my business, where I have to fill in some information and sign my name, and it’s a static document that I eventually – I might normally have had to print out, fill out, and as I mentioned earlier, scan and fax back. I can really speed up that process using Acrobat.
Another interesting statistic here: over 60% of people would change their jobs if it meant reducing administrative tasks. Right? Because it’s that drudge-work. It needs to get done, but it’s not exciting, and it really gets in the way of your processes. Now, some of these slides are a little more focused on education, but you can think broader in terms of a general business use. The fact that we still haven’t got that paperless office yet, but we can incorporate tools like Acrobat to create onboarding packages or agreements, working with vendors, things along those lines. Right now, a lot of that information, HR forms, is all paper-based. It’s in a filing cabinet somewhere. Just think about having to find a document that’s a paper document that was filed a year ago. Can you find the right filing cabinet? Is it in the right place? And so on. One last, little bit of information here about this whole document disconnect. This little statistic: Every day 200 million pieces of paper are filed away in filing cabinets. That sort of falls back on my last statement. Some of the areas where this really reduces productivity and efficiency: paper-based workflows tend to be significantly slower.
Legal and compliance risks are also a risk because, really, when you have a signed document, unless it’s been witnessed by somebody and you know exactly who signed it, there’s no real guarantee that you know that that is that person’s signature. Poor data integrity – Paper fades. Ink signatures fade. Documents aren’t searchable. Right? Short of trying to find it in a filing cabinet. An actual document itself, you can’t find specific elements in it without reading through the whole thing. They’re not accessible. In terms of the fact that if you’re working with vision impairments or anything along those lines, a paper-based document is not going to be of much use to you.
And cost – Just the sheer cost of paper alone is significant if you think about ink, storage, the cabinets you actually have to put these documents into; it all adds up. And what all it really comes down to is essentially a productivity drain. You are having to shuffle paper, literally – that’s pretty much a colloquial term these days – to get your job done. Now, when we talk about Acrobat and Acrobat Document Cloud, we’ve got a lot of capabilities here, and some of them are listed right here: creation, editing, and reusing the document, signing and approvals, protecting documents, publishing documents, sharing that information as well. Whether that’s using the Acrobat Reader or Acrobat itself, the desktop tool, or Acrobat Mobile or web browser, we’re all sort of tied in there.
And we’ve also got an enterprise-level solution for this as well, and also APIs that tie into enterprise solutions like Salesforce, Ariba, and so on. That’s really what we’re coming down to. The focus of what we’re doing is we really kind of reimagined Acrobat DC to make it a tool that’s more user-friendly, to make an experience that’s very similar across devices. And that’s the other key thing here is that one of the big things that changed between Acrobat XI and Acrobat DC is that mobile has exploded. People are using their phones and their tablets far more often to get things done. Acrobat DC provides that similar experience, whether you’re on the laptop, whether you’re on your phone, whether you’re on your tablet. We’ll see some of that today as well. Just a bit more detail there about the Mobile App itself.
We’ll get a taste of this today, but it’s very similar to the Desktop App. You can do a significant amount of editing. You can actually use your camera to turn it into a portable scanner. So there’s quite a few different things that are capable within the app itself. It’s not just an app to read a PDF file anymore, and we’ll see some of that today. Okay. So, we’re going to move into the demo. I’m going to go ahead and share my screen. Let’s see. There we go. Becky: Let us know in the chat if it doesn’t show up well, or if things are not rendering for you, just so we can slow things down if we need to. But we’ll be watching the chat. Jim won’t be able to see it while he’s sharing his desktop.
So let us know, so we can let him know. Okay? Thanks. Jim: That’s great. We’re in Acrobat Pro DC right now. I’ve got a few documents opened, but before I get into the documents themselves, I just want to show a couple elements, sort of the interface. Because there have been significant changes to the way Acrobat DC works, and I believe they’re changes for the better. Starting out right from the Home screen, the ability to access your files quickly and not just from your desktop.
This is that content I mentioned earlier about working with Mobile, working with Cloud. I have access to my documents that may be on my computer. They may be shared in Document Cloud. They may be shared in Creative Cloud or even Dropbox or possibly even SharePoint, if I have access to a SharePoint account. You’ll see actually over here on the main interface some of these files actually have a little cloud icon beside them; that means these files have been saved to Document Cloud. And the beauty of this is that as soon as I do this, that file is available on any of my devices, my phone, my tablet.
As long as I’m signed in to Document Cloud through the Adobe Reader, I also have access to these same files. So I don’t have to worry about, did I remember to print it? Do I have to crack open my laptop to work on my file? I don’t have to do that; it’s there. Now, the other big change is the tools, not so much in what they do in many cases, but in the discoverability of them. One of the things we learned with Acrobats XI and X and so on prior to that, was that while Acrobat could do a lot, a lot of people didn’t realize what it could do because a lot of the functionality was buried inside of menus or panels. So we tried to work really hard to expose all of those tools, all of that functionality, and make it really easy to find those tools. I have, basically, in the Tools section all the different things that Acrobat can do. And over on the right-hand side, I have, essentially, a Task Bar with all the most common things that most people will do.
They may not be the most common things that you do, but that’s okay. Because I can go into this Tool section, and if I find something that I know I’m going to use a lot, let’s say optimizing a PDF for reading on the screen, I can take that action, and I can drag it over and drop it. And I can even reposition it somewhere else in the hierarchy, if it’s something I do all the time, for example. Not only can I do that from the Tools section, but if I’m working with a document that’s open – in this case this PowerPoint file, or it was a PowerPoint file; it’s now a PDF file – and I want to do something with this specifically, I’m not really sure what I want to do, I can go ahead and search.
All right? I can just type in “edit,” and I’ll be given all the different options where editing is available, from editing the PDF itself, preparing a form, recognizing text, and so on. So I can get at what I want to do much more quickly without having to think about, how many menus do I have to click through to get to what I want? And where was that again? I can’t seem to remember. So the search functionality, here, for actually working with Acrobat is significantly more improved. It makes it a lot easier to work with. As I mentioned, in this case I’ve got a PDF that’s open. It’s completely editable, and this is something a lot of people don’t realize you can do, is I can actually go and select an option to edit this PDF, and I can realize, you know what? Actually, if I go back to the top there, this gentleman’s name is not “Anderson,” it’s “Andersan.” And I can make quick edits like that.
I can even add in additional information. I’ll type in “Associate Dean” here. And I’ll learn to spell better as I go. And I can reflow that text inside that area. And notice, it’s retaining the fonts file. It’s retaining the integrity of the design. If I go down a little lower here, for example, into an area that’s maybe bullet points like this, I can decide, you know what? There’s another bit of information I need to add in here.
I can just go ahead and type. And notice that the bullet point actually shows up as well. So I’m sort of structuring that kind of content and giving myself the ability to edit the document further while I’m actually working inside of it. Interestingly enough – I think it’s interesting anyway – is that not only can I do this here on the desktop, where you might probably expect to be able to do this kind of thing – If I go to my tablet, for example, here’s the same document that you might have remembered that this particular file had a little cloud icon beside it, when I was in the Home area for Acrobat. That means that this item is also available on my tablet or on my phone.
And you’re right now seeing my iPad. So I’m just going to go in and view this a little bit differently. I’ll just – Like that. Show full screen. There we go. There’s my tablet. I’m just going to scroll through here. You can see I can move through this. And very much like I can inside of Acrobat on the desktop, that same kind of experience is inside of Acrobat Reader. Same kind of icons. The same kind of functionality is here. So there’s my option for Edit PDF. I just tap that. I get the same look and feel, and I can go ahead and go into, say, Objectives, here for example. I can edit that.
I can go down to any of the other elements or part of this document and make additional changes, whether that’s moving it, whether that’s changing the text and so on. And when I save this back, it’ll end up being updated inside of Acrobat Document Cloud, which means I’ll have the most current version also on my desktop when I reopen the file. So it gives me a lot of flexibility in terms of what I want to do. Okay. We’ll just hop back over to Acrobat here. The interface itself, like I said, has been changed; it’s been streamlined; it’s been made a little more, I think, user-friendly to discover information and discover functionality you may not have realized was there in the first place. But there’s a lot of other elements to working with Acrobat that people don’t realize. Some of those, actually, some people did in the survey. I noticed that. But I want to mention a couple of these different ones.
One of them is the ability to combine files. Now, I think the strength here is that what you want to recognize – And when I talk about combining files, I’m not talking about just combining other PDFs into one PDF. If I go to File, choose Create, and I choose Combine Files Into a Single PDF, I’m going to choose to Add Files. I could also drag and drop in if I wanted to. And I’m going to grab this Word document. I’ll grab this syllabus, and I’ll grab this PowerPoint presentation, and I’ll add those files. So there they are. And when I click on Combine – Actually, you can see Microsoft Office working in the background talking back and forth to Acrobat. It’s actually converting all those files over. And there are the three different files. Right now, I’m still in my decision stage. I may decide I want to reorder these files and change the structure of them.
So I can grab, say, the syllabus, and I can just take it and reposition it and move what was the PowerPoint presentation a little further into the package. I can also organize the content inside each of these documents, which is really quite impressive. I just double tap, and there’s all the information that’s part of that syllabus. And if I know there’s something in there I don’t need to work with anymore, I can select that page, and you can see I can zoom in on it just to double check.
Or I can go ahead and delete it. So I’ve got a lot of control here over the content that I’m bringing in. And like I said, two of these were not even PDF files to begin with. That kind of control is quite handy. And when I choose Combine, it’s going to take all three of those different files, combine them into one PDF, and here we go. And there it is. I can rename this. The default names are Binder, so I can resave this with a different file name, and I can share this back to Document Cloud or send it by email or whatever I want. But the benefit of this is that I’ve taken multiple documents, maybe part of a project, a fundraiser for example, and put them all in one package. So when I send this out to a potential sponsor, for example, I’m not worried about missing a document, not opening a file. One of the things I often forget when I receive an email from someone who sent me attachments, is sometimes there’s maybe three or four or five attachments there, and I forget the other ones are there because they’re not quite visible.
So if I combined all this into one file, I can send the one file off; I know that my sponsor or my potential new hire has got all the information they need in that one file, and they can read through it. I think that’s really important and really powerful. As a teacher, this was also really beneficial because when I was supplying information to students about assignments and projects, same kind of thing. Without fail, if I supplied multiple documents for a student for an assignment, the one document they never read was the one that told them when the assignment was due. So if I put it all together, then they had all the information they need to succeed, and I can be confident that they will, if they want to, complete the assignment in the appropriate amount of time.
So lots of capability there to be able to do that kind of thing. While we’re in this file, I mentioned a little earlier about editing. And editing is not just about editing text. You see this image. This particular file here has imagery in it. There’s a photograph of the moon. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to choose Edit PDF again. I’m going to select the moon. If you take a look over on the right-hand side, you’ll see lots of options here for editing. And one of the ones in the Objects area gives me the ability to replace one image with another. So I can go ahead and select that option and grab a different image that may be more suitable and drop it into place just like that. And if it’s the same width dimensions so it doesn’t break up the layout or anything like that. That in itself is pretty cool. I’ve got a fair amount of control over working with the document even after the fact. All right. I’m going to hop back over to the brain here for one more thing.
We’ve seen how I can bring documents, Word documents, PowerPoint files, into Acrobat and convert them into a PDF file, but the other thing to keep in mind is you can also go the other direction. This is something not everybody realizes you can do. So I’ve got this file here, again, this dissertation on the brain. And what I can do with this as well as convert it to a PDF, I can take that final PDF, maybe, that needs more massaging, more editing than I can do inside of Acrobat, and I can go and choose to export this out as a Microsoft Word document, as a spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, or even an image. So if I choose PowerPoint, it’ll give me the option here to save this out. I’m just going to call this BrainIntro2, so don’t overwrite anything that I’ve already got. And what I might do is, I might just throw this in my desktop, so it’s easy to find. And I’ll save that.
If I hop back over, it’s doing all the work. I didn’t even have to go over to PowerPoint; it was already open. And there is that what was a PowerPoint presentation – Sorry – a PDF file converted to a PowerPoint presentation. And if I go in, all the content is editable. That in itself is also a really handy way to deal with files.
PDFs are great. Sometimes people want the content in a different format because they’re using it in their own presentation. So very, very handy from that perspective. We looked at a few different things that help with the productivity in that sense, but I also want to touch on some of the other functional elements. Again, thinking about mobile and how people are doing things these days, maybe I’m working with a colleague, and we’re putting together, revamping an article we’re using. Maybe it’s a critic piece. Maybe it’s going to become a blog post. Maybe we’re sharing it with donors because it’s an update to a fundraising campaign.
Whatever it happens to be. For whatever reason, I’m joining my colleague at the coffee shop. I don’t have an electronic version of the content, but they’ve got the printed piece right there in front of them. This is an example here. I took this photo with my phone, and it looks like I took it with my phone. You can see the lighting is not all that great. And it’s just a file right now. It started off as a jpeg image on my smartphone. I’ve opened it up in Acrobat, so it’s now a PDF, but it’s still kind of a dumb PDF. It’s just a file, essentially a picture. What I want to do is I want to enhance this. I want to make this more useful, more intelligent. So I need to start by going over to my Tool Bar here, and I can look down, and I can see, there’s Enhance Scans. If I tap that, I get all the controls I need and just the controls I need focused on enhancing an image or enhancing a scan. And that’s the other nice thing about the interface: it really focuses you on your task rather than giving you so many options, you’re not sure where to begin.
In my case here, I’m going to choose Enhance, and this is a camera image. And I’m just going to let Acrobat start its work. And you can see it automatically recognizes part of a document, and I can control this. Because you notice, I didn’t take this image at the perfect angle. And the other thing is it’s paper, so it’s not very straight. Right? It’s all part of a magazine in this case. I’m going to go ahead and drag these control handles. And I can do this, by the way, on my mobile device as well. So it’s kind of exciting. We’ve got the capability there as well. Once I get the look and feel that I want, I just go ahead and choose Enhance Page, and it’s going to go ahead and recognize that information and make it a much more readable document. I can further tweak that by adjusting the enhancement level. You can see acrobat working in the background here.
I’m really cleaning that up, so it’s very easy to read from a visual perspective. That makes that much more handy, definitely. But the other thing too is that even though it’s cleaned up, it’s still basically just a document. So the other thing I might could do with this is recognize the text. So I can choose Recognize Text > In This File, and just go ahead and choose Recognize. And it’ll take a minute as it goes through all the content. And while it doesn’t seem to have changed very much, now that I have this, if I choose to find something – I’m going to go in and look for “genetic.” Oops.
I need to spell it right too. That would be helpful. There we go. I’ll just hit the return key. And you can see it starts to pull up the first instance where “genetic” shows up. I click on Next. So we’re not just looking at a flat document anymore or a jpeg file or a photograph; we’re looking at a document with some intelligence behind it. We can actually find a text inside that document. Even text inside, for example, these figures. If I go ahead and change my search to “combination,” it’s going to start looking for that as well. So I can continue through that process. Very, very handy from that perspective. Tying into that, we talked a little bit about accessibility. I just want to bring this up as well. I’m just going to go over to my View options, and you see I’ve got options here to Read Out Loud, so I can activate this, and I can actually read out loud content from the document itself. You’re not going to hear it too well at the moment, but basically, I’ve got that capability to essentially read content out.
And that makes it that much more of a powerful document, that much more of a useful document. And this information, this content, once I save the file, it travels with the file. So I don’t have to do this all over again if I’ve received the PDF file. All that information is ready and there for me to use. On top of that, on top of the fact that I’ve made this an easier to read document, a more accessible document, I maybe want to use this as a starting point for our discussion with my colleague about the blog post. What I might also want to do – I’m just going to close off my enhance options here – is I may want to add some comments.
So you can see here; there’s my commenting features. I can just choose that, and again, all my controls come up along the top. I can highlight text. So I just tap the highlighter bar, and I can go ahead and highlight information. I can go ahead and add comment boxes or sticky notes, and I can contextually place these where it’s important. A lot of times when you get feedback from a document, you still have to read through the document to find out what they were talking about. Well, with a sticky note, I can stick this right wherever I need it to go and fill in my information. “Let’s consider other terms for this.” And you can see that not only am I putting that content in there even when I close that – There’s the little icon right there.
I’ll zoom in a bit so you can see it a bit better – But it’s also showing up in my comments area. Again, when I save this PDF, and I send it off to someone else to review, they will have access to all these comments, and they can respond to them in kind. So it can be very, very useful from that perspective. Another option that is kind of handy, and we talked a little bit about this in the initial slide deck, was working with forms. This is, in many cases, the bane of many people’s existence, working with paper-based forms, or almost as bad are digital forms that have no intelligence behind them, that are just a form you have to print out because you can’t fill it out on your computer or on your mobile device. So very much like that, I’ve got an example here. This is a pretty good example of a typical form, the kind of thing you’ll get from insurance companies or health professionals or real estate companies, things like that.
And right now, this is not a fillable form at all. This is strictly just a static form. Again, we’ve got options over here on the right-hand side, in this case, Prepare Form. I want you to pay attention to what happens here because this happens very quickly once I start this process. I’m just going to tap the Start button. And in less time than I can say it, Acrobat has recognized all the relevant form fields in this document and basically made them live and editable form fields right down to, by the way, a signature field. How long did that take? It’s incredibly fast. So from here, I can save this document, and I can fill it out myself and then send it back to the organization by email without having to have printed it out, filled it in, printed another copy because I made a mistake, if that happens, and then printed another copy because my penmanship is so terrible, and I had to begin to actually make it readable. Then finally, scan it and send it back to the company involved. I’ve actually done this for myself and created a very easy way to make this a fillable form.
Now, the company who created the form could do this as well and make it much easier on the end user and their experience of filling out that form and saving them time and essentially speeding up the process. One of the big challenges with forms is that because you have this latency of steps of printing, filling out, scanning, emailing, other stuff gets in the way, something called life, usually. And you forget to do something. You forget to print it out, or you’ve printed it out, and you forget to fill it out because it’s under a bunch of other paper in your office. Because this is actually part of that document, I speed up that process and significantly improve the response time, and in many cases, the accuracy of the document because it’s much more legible because I’m typing in the information. And it’s much easier for the end user to fill out because they don’t have to do all those other steps. Really, really handy from that perspective. Another option for this is something that I find really useful as well, and I refer to it as “fill-and-find.” I’m just going to pull up another document here.
In this case it’s a high school fieldtrip waiver kind of thing. But it could be anything where a document has been sent, again, a static document like this. And I rushed out the door. It’s in my email. I haven’t had a chance to fill it out, had a chance to print it out, never mind. And what I want to do is actually get this thing taken care of very quickly. So we saw that option there, where as a company, I might want to create a fillable form to make it easier for my end user.
Another option here is from the standpoint of an individual, myself, who’s received the form. I’ve got options to actually fill out the form myself, whether it’s in terms of being on my desktop or – and I’ll just switch back over to my iPad here. Bear with me for a second. There we go. Let’s go back out here. And you can see, by the way, I can find very much the same kind of content. This is all the different files I can access. There’s that form again, that permission slip. I’ve opened it up here inside Acrobat, and if I tap on my options here, you’ll see an option called Fill &Sign. If I tap that, it actually opens up another dedicated mobile app we’ve created called Fill & Sign.
And what this does for me is it gives me the ability to actually start filling out information. I can do this in a couple different ways. Notice, as soon as I tap inside the document, I get a text field. I can reposition that to where I want. Or if I had the foresight to do it, I’ve actually got all my profile information right here. For example, there’s Jim Babbage, my full name. I can just take that and drag that and pop it where it needs to go.
I can even change the color of the font, the size, and so on, and I can keep going. Or if I don’t have that information in my profile, for example in this case a parent or guardian, I’ll just go in here, and I’ll type in. And I can continue on that process, filling out the form. I’ll get rid of my keyboard there. And eventually, once I’m done, I can even go ahead and choose to sign that form. There’s my signature. I’ve already scribbled that in as a signature and I can just go ahead and place that. And again, I can put it wherever I want. I can scale down the size of it, so it’s a little more suitable. And let’s just drop that right there. And when I’m ready to go, I’ve got options to send this off by email.
I can send it off a variety of ways right from my tablet, so I don’t even have to be at home at my computer to get this kind of content filled out and submitted back to a company, school, fundraiser, whatever it happens to be. It’s really quite ingenious how they’ve made this work so easily. Okay. Let me see.
What else have I got going on here? I’m going to hop back over to Acrobat. We’ve looked at our medical forms. We looked at the textbook. Let’s just take a quick peek at my timing. Actually, I am in pretty good shape here. It looks like I am almost ready to come to the end of my demo piece. I want to hop back over to my slide deck. I want to just follow up on a couple of things. Let me just stop sharing. There we go. That gives you some ideas. And that’s just scratching the surface of what Acrobat is capable of. And just to sort of give you a recap on this. These are some of the things we looked at. Adobe to be anywhere, and I think that’s key. These days everybody’s life is moving far too fast. We’re always busy.
We’re always doing something. We’re always on the go. We’re not always at a desk. So being able to work, to do these productivity things wherever you are and whatever device you have handy is really, really important. Being able to edit and customize existing documents. Standardizing those processes so that you can streamline that flow, like the forms that we saw. Being able to sign documents or send them. Another really, really beneficial advantage. And then just managing some of those workflows, being able to track. We didn’t quite get into that, but I have some resources for you on those kinds of things. But if I send a document out whether it’s a form or a file, I can track that document, so I know that it was sent out and whether that person has received it. I get notifications that the file has been received. I did that with Becky yesterday, actually, when I sent this PowerPoint demonstration to her.
That’s how I knew that she got it. Just a couple wrap-up things here, again, sort of following along. We tried to pick up Acrobat and really re-tool it to make it far more user-friendly, make it as seamless as possible. You’ve got the best of everything from the people who made the PDF format to begin with. And the ability to control your digital document workflows efficiently, securely, and essentially from anywhere, I think are the key things to think about. I mentioned as well, you’ll get this PowerPoint presentation. Here are some links. There’s so much to learn about Acrobat. And these are some of the links that I found really helpful from just general FAQs to our community driven areas like the Acrobat Library.
Our learn and Support where we’ve got a whole bunch of videos that we share with the public as well on how to do certain things inside of Acrobat. Lots of great information there that can really round out your experience and get you up and running with Acrobat DC, really quickly, and making that process an experience that much more enjoyable and more productive. Becky: Wow! My mind is actually blown right now. Some of this stuff you showed I was like, how does it make the curved sheet of paper go flat and iron out all the little gray from the text to make it – I was like, what? I was seriously mind-blown. And I’m on an older version, so I’m going to have to go talk to our IT people after this and make them give me an upgrade because wow! Thank you so much.
That was really amazing. We had people in the chat saying the same thing. A lot of great features that I’m really, actually, totally geeking out to behind the scenes. We were like, oh, we want this! So thank you for that. These resources are available to folks on screen. Even though these are not clickable to you right now, you will get them. You may have already received this slide deck. But before we get into the Q&A, which I know we have a lot of questions coming in, we have had a lot of questions throughout the webinar on which of the features are available in Acrobat Pro DC versus which are available in Acrobat XI, which a lot of people have.
You know, it was like, 35% have XI; 30% have Acrobat Pro DC. So we know that our audience is in various versions of this program. Do you know, off-hand, with some of the things that you featured, which are exclusive to Acrobat Pro DC? Or are they all exclusive to that? Or are they just easier to find? Or how does it work? Do you have an answer on that? Jim: Some of them were in Acrobat XI. It’s been so long since I’ve used Acrobat XI, I’d have to actually go through my notes. I could probably find a comparison chart for people. Some of it was there, but even what was in Acrobat XI is now far more discoverable and easy to find in Acrobat DC. And that’s one of the things I often found when I’ve shown Acrobat to a group of staff or faculty or anybody, is that they didn’t realize all that power was there because it was buried so deep in a panel or in a menu that they just never even thought to go looking.
And they ended up using two or three different tools to solve their problems that they could have all solved inside of Acrobat. But a lot of the optimization features with documents and the mobile side of things, very new to Acrobat DC as opposed to Acrobat XI. The experience is significantly richer and better and more seamless. Becky: That is super helpful, and yeah. I have XI, and I didn’t know that some of those things could be done potentially in XI too. So that’s really amazing.
I highlight this link, which is really long. So thank you to Susan for chatting it out to the audience. Because this is a blog post that one of our colleagues here at TechSoup has written that does do some comparison: what features are in common between the two; which things are unique to Acrobat Pro DC; which are available in XI. So you can go through that blog post and really see what the benefits are of each. So if you have specific questions in that regard, that might be the place to start. For those of you looking to get Adobe, and either you don’t have it, or you want to upgrade, or you want to get that subscription to Acrobat Pro DC, you can go to TechSoup.org if you’re here in the United States. You can go to that Get Products and Services tab, click on By Donor or Provider.
So you browse through the catalog and go to Adobe. You can also get there just by going to TechSoup.org/Adobe. Once you’re on this page, you’ll be able to see the variety of products available in the donation program. There are some that are traditional donations, and there are some that are the discounted membership subscriptions for the annual subscription, like I mentioned earlier. And I showed this slide earlier in the program, and you can get to the specific products. If you really think, hey. You really want to access Photoshop and Adobe Premier, and you’re going to do video stuff, and you’re going to design collateral, and you want Acrobat, you really should look at this All Applications bundle.
It is the best deal of the bunch. And if you just want to have access to Acrobat Pro DC, you can get that. If you just want the installed version of the software on your computer to use locally, these are the links for those for PC and Mac. We also have a page where you can learn about the Adobe program in general, and we’ve got lots of resources that highlight the different products available and cute little videos from our coworkers that you can check out. And some additional resources on Adobe Acrobat. So there’s that blog post that I already mentioned. Five uses for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. And then there’s the version comparison on Adobe site and the pricing comparison. Keep in mind that this isn’t reflecting the pricing through TechSoup, but it does give you a chart that checks off the features available in each of the versions. So I would definitely recommend checking those out if you’re trying to decide what’s best for your needs. With that, we have a lot of questions.
One of the questions – We had a whole bunch of people who are excited about the signature feature and how to create the signature and how to do it with the date stamp. Is it possible for you to show us where you did that? Jim: Well, I can go through a bit of it. One thing I want to differentiate, the sample I was showing was a quick and easy way to sign a file. Meaning that I’ve received the email, or I’ve received the document, and I know I’m signing it. Think of it like the equivalent of, say, faxing a signed document. Right? There’s not the same level of security or awareness or proof of identity with that kind of signature.
It still could be valid, but we have a whole other solution called Adobe Sign that is very secure and has full auditing and tracking control for electronic signatures and is a legally binding signature solution. And that’s not really part of Acrobat, per se. It is tied into Acrobat, but it’s not part of the Acrobat DC solution. What I showed you was just what comes with the software. And let me see if I can pull something up here. Let’s go back to QuickTime. Becky: And we aren’t seeing your desktop yet, so you will need to share your screen again.
Jim: Oh that’s right! I forgot to share! Becky: That’s okay. That’s why I wanted to remind you. We had a lot of people who went, ooh! Signatures! And people adding questions on about signatures and whether people need to have a pen, a special pen pad for people to capture signatures in the first place and stuff like that. Jim: Actually, no. The great thing is I can do all this with my finger. Right? So in the case of this example that I’ve got here inside of Fill & Sign – We just go back into that. Go to Fill & Sign. And one of the things I’ve got here – I filled out a lot of this personal information already.
This is the kind of thing you can do at your leisure. You don’t have to fill it out, but it just speeds up the process. And you can do this inside of Acrobat, or you can do it inside of the mobile app. So you really have the same kind of control. I can edit this content if I want to and move it around. You can see all the way down, right down to actual phone numbers and email addresses and so on. It’s all there. Now, in the case of the signature, I’m just going to bring that up again. I’m going to go ahead and get rid of that signature. Okay? Maybe I didn’t like that one; it was kind of sketchy. Once I delete that signature, I can go ahead and choose to create a new one, and I can do this literally just with my finger here.
Not with a special stylus or pencil. You could use the stylus if you want, but I’m just going to go ahead and if I like what I’ve got, I just tap Done. And that signature is now there. And as we saw, I can scale it back and forth, and it’s now recorded here as well for quick access. Becky: Now we can all go and forge Jim’s documents. Don’t do that. Jim: There you go. I have a doctor’s signature without a doctor’s salary. It’s that easy to do. And you can even set up – You might have seen there, you can even create initials.
So if you need to just initial something in a contract, you can go ahead and do that. And then I can just drag that anywhere I want beside a certain clause. So very, very easy to do. Now, I do want to mention as well – I did touch on this, but just so we’re clear – I’m inside of Acrobat Reader here right now in Adobe Reader. It’s free. You’ll see the Fill & Sign is actually part of the menu. But don’t forget that I actually ended up opening that file up in a different application, a mobile app called Fill & Sign. So if I try to fill and sign a document inside of Reader, it’s going to prompt me, when I tap on Fill & Sign, to download the Fill & Sign app.
Again, also free from the App Store, from Google Play. Just be aware that they are two different apps at work there. When we’re jumping from just editing and organizing a file or scanning inside of Acrobat Reader, Adobe Reader, to actually filling out the document, that’s where that Fill & Sign application comes into play. Becky: And that’s a great segue, Jim, to a question that we got from a few people just asking, “If I have this software on my computer, and I want somebody else to fill out and return it to me, do they need to have access to this software?” Or are they able to do it with Reader or another free application? Jim: That’s an excellent question. Reader will do most of what people need to do. You can see the power that’s there. Now there are some things, like if I go back into that menu on my mobile app, you’ll see the edit PDF option, that’s something that’s really only available if you have a subscription or a membership to Document Cloud, or you’ve got the license. But all the other things like commenting, organizing, those kind of things are still available.
So there’s quite a bit of power in that app, where you don’t even need to worry about subscribing to anything. But when you want to get that level deeper and do things like edit the document itself and change text, then it becomes something that would be part of an Adobe ID or user subscription. Becky: That’s really helpful. We had some questions about fillable forms, and one was just asking, “Is there a way to force people to save it before they send it back to you?” Because one person mentioned they send a lot of those forms to people, and they get them back blank because people don’t remember to save them before returning them. Any idea on that? Is there a way to force people to train? Jim: That’s a good question. I don’t know if there’s a way to force it. You may be able to put a workflow in place, but it’s not a default setting.
What is interesting to note, though, is that if you do apply a signature to a document, at that point, once that signature is applied, and the document is saved, the document can no longer be altered. It remains a little more secure in that sense. But as far as forcing them to save before they send, I don’t think that’s – I think the only way that might come up is if you try to close Acrobat. It’ll probably prompt you, do you want to save this file with your changes? But yeah. If they have just filled it out, and then they’re just going to Outlook, and they’re sending an email, they’re actually picking up the document that hasn’t been saved.
I don’t think there’s a way, out-of-the-box, to do that. I can look into it, but I don’t know off the top of my head for sure. Becky: No problem. One other quick question about fillable forms: Are the fields expandable, like if somebody is filling out the text, and it goes beyond the space that you had originally put in there? Will it automatically expand, or do they run out of space? Jim: That’s a good question, and the answer is no. We do have more in-depth solutions through our enterprise products that create that kind of logic that will either show and hide fields depending on responses, or allow you to create essentially expandable fields.
But that’s not part of Acrobat, per se. Becky: No problem. Well thank you for that. We are at the top of the hour, so I’m going to go ahead and wrap it up. I know we didn’t have time to get to everyone’s question, but we do hope that we covered enough to peek your interest to go look at those links and additional resources and really discover which would be the best tool for your needs We would appreciate it if those of you on the line still would chat in one thing that you learned during today’s webinar that you’re going to take back and implement or that’s going to impact your decision-making around which tool you’ll use.
We hope that you did learn a number of things that you didn’t know Adobe Acrobat DC could do before. I know I sure did. We’d also like to ask that you share this information with your friends and colleagues who may benefit from it. This is free and open to share with whomever could use it. We’d like to also ask you to take a moment at the end to complete the post-event survey that pops up when we end our webinar. If you’re interested in more webinars and trainings from TechSoup, we have a new course platform. And I say new, but it’s really a few months old, where you can access on-demand trainings at your convenience, 24/7, at this link on the page at techsoup.course.tc/catalog. We’ll show you the full catalog of our courses, and we do have some Adobe Photoshop and InDesign for Beginners courses in there now. So I would recommend, if you’re interested in the Adobe suite, to check those out.
We also have a whole slate of upcoming webinars. Next Thursday we’ll be talking about how to find and cultivate local technology expertise for your nonprofit or library. Then we’ll have a series of webinars on grant writing. The first is to look under the hood, so to speak, of GrantStation, which is a great grant foundation and federal grant directory. And then we’ll talk about Grant Writing 101, how to help you write those successful grants. Then on the first, we will talk specifically to museums and historical sites about ways that TechSoup can help their programs. Then we’ll be talking about how to empower library staff to DIY some of their tech management skills.
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