Tuesday, December 18, 2007

View spreads in Acrobat 8

Acrobat 8 displays side-by-side pages differently than previous versions of Acrobat. When you choose View>Page Display>Two-Up, Acrobat 8 displays two pages side by side, but with odd pages (including the cover) on the left and even pages on the right. This prevents two-page spreads from displaying as they appear in a print document. To change this, choose View>Page Display>Show Cover Page During Two-Up.

Of course, if you are creating a PDF to distribute to others, you can control the initial view of the document. Choose File > Properties. Click on the Initial View tab, and choose Two-Up (Cover Page) for the Page Layout. Click the OK button, and save the PDF.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An alternative to Live Trace

The Live Trace feature introduced in Adobe Illustrator CS2 works great in many situations for converting bitmap images to editable vector artwork. But when Live Trace doesn't give you good results, or you have difficult-to-trace artwork, here is an alternative.

VectorMagic, a Web site produced as a result of a Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory research project, allows you to upload a bitmap image to the site in JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP or TIFF format. Next, you answer a few questions about the file, the file is traced, and a vector EPS file is returned to you. In many cases, the results are superior to Live Trace, especially when tracing small, low-res images.

(Thanks to Chuck Green's excellent blog for the head's up on this amazing resource.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Convert ANYTHING to InDesign

Now you can convert almost any type of page layout file to InDesign format. Here's how:

1. Out of the box, InDesign can convert QuarkXPress 4 or older files, as well as Adobe PageMaker 6 or 7 files.

2. The Q2ID plug-in from Markzware does a great job of converting Quark 7.2 or older files to InDesign.

3. The just-released PUB2ID plug-in from Markzware will convert Microsoft Publisher 2002-2007 files to InDesign.

4. The brand-new MIF Filter for InDesign from DTP Tools promises to convert FrameMaker MIF files to InDesign.

5. PDF2ID from RecoSoft is a tool for converting PDF files to InDesign format.

Your mileage may vary with these tools, depending on the complexity of your documents and how they are constructed. But even if the conversion only gets you halfway there, it can still save you some significant time.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ads for Adobe PDF

Here is some interesting technology you should be aware of: Adobe has announced Ads for Adobe PDF. With this technology, currently in beta, publishers can elect to allow Yahoo to place context-sensitive ads next to PDF files as they are viewed. This provides essentially the same technology to PDF content as is already available for HTML web pages via Google Adsense and others. It provides a way for publishers to "monetize" PDF content. Here is a quick breakdown of how it works:

1. Create your PDF content the same way you've always done it.

2. Upload your PDF to an Adobe server, where the content is analyzed and the PDF is "enabled" for ads. The ad-enabled PDF is then returned to you.

3. Post the PDF on your Web site, or distribute it via email.

4. When someone opens the PDF with Adobe Reader 8.1 or later, they will see content-sensitive ads displayed in a separate column to the right of each page of the PDF. (Click here for a screen shot). If the PDF is opened with an older version of Reader, the user is given the option to upgrade to Reader 8.1. If they do not upgrade, the PDF still opens, and they will not see the ads.

Again, this is technology that is currently in Beta. But start learning about this now, and think about if it makes sense with your business model to try to obtain revenue from your content in this manner.