How to edit a pdf (animation)

This summer, I asked Adobe Digital Media intern Aron Bothman to create an animated tutorial on how to edit pdfs. Aron is a Character Animation major at Cal Arts. He decided to make a stop-motion animation using drawings he created on his white board. Believe it or not, this topic is the most requested “how to” search on Adobe.com. I think he did a beautiful job. It is simple, clean, and easy to follow. Please check out the result:

Learn Creative Cloud by playing a game

blogpost01Here’s something interesting! Looks like these folks are trying to make a learning game for Creative Cloud. Click here if you want to learn more.

How to create an interactive pdf form using InDesign CS6

Need to design an interactive form that contains check boxes, text fields, radio buttons, lists, etc? This tutorial is for you! Michael Jarrott, a digital media intern here at Adobe, has created a very cool tutorial that teaches how to make interactive pdf forms using InDesign CS6. This clever tutorial is actually an InDesign document that walks you through the process of creating these basic items for your form:

  • Text form fields
  • Radio buttons
  • Check boxes
  • Combo boxes
  • List boxes
  • Signature fields
  • Submit buttons

You’ll find the tutorial here: Creating an Interactive Document with InDesign CS6. If you don’t have InDesign CS6, you can download a trial version here.

Tutorial list for Adobe products

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of Adobe tutorials that you could scan through quickly? Wish you didn’t have to wade through search results full of irrelevant content? What you need is a comprehensive tutorial list! Adobe has created just the list for you. They’ve got lists of all the tutorials (both video and text) that live on Adobe.com for 11 different products. The lists contain tutorials for multiple versions of the products, with the most recent tutorials on the top. You can sign up for an RSS feed to find out when new tutorials are added to the list.

Check out these lists for some really great tutorials (including CS5):

New Acrobat 9 video tutorials

This blog is really all about learning how to use Adobe’s digital imaging products so you might be wondering why I would write about Acrobat here. Well, if you’re a photographer, designer, or illustrator you might need to use Acrobat to present your work for review. Some of Acrobat 9′s new features are geared for just that. If you want to learn more about how to use the new Acrobat 9 software, there are more than 30 excellent video tutorials in the Adobe Video Workshop. (When you choose the product in the product selector, be sure to select Acrobat 9 family—not Acrobat 8). You’ll find tutorials on creating portfolios, forms, managing comments, conducting shared reviews, and much more.

Photoshop shortcuts and PDF advice

Photoshop Shortcuts
Did you know that there are more than 100 keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop? I’m not sure what the exact count is but it is an overwhelming amount. This fact has inspired my friend Deke McClelland to produce a short video called, “101 Photoshop Tips in 5 minutes.” He plays fast and loose with the math—he shows more than 101 shortcuts and the video is actually 8:33 minutes long—but who cares? It’s fun and funny, even if the music is truly awful (sorry Deke). I’ll bet you learn at least one new keyboard shortcut when you watch this.

Stupid PDFs
For more learning fun from some other funny guys, check out, “Stop Stupid PDF Syndrome.” Tim Cole and Rufus Deuchler, both InDesign experts and evangelists at Adobe, have created a “public service announcement” style video to teach people how NOT to create pdfs. It’s an excellent and entertaining way to teach people how to avoid creating pdf files that are device-dependent. These files result in lower quality output and can create serious color management problems. For more InDesign insight and tips, check out Tim’s InDesign blog.

PDF forms: more tutorials

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My previous post about creating Acrobat forms was very, very popular so I’ve decided to add another set of excellent tutorials for you to try. For starters, learn how to create forms automatically with Lori DiFurio’s, “Automating Form Field Creation.” To create a form from a Microsoft Word document, Lori shows you how in her tutorial, “Creating Basic Fillable Forms.” If you have created a form that requires calculations, look at Lori’s tutorial, “Adding Formatting and Calculations to PDF forms.” In this video tutorial she has created an order form that automatically calculates the price of whatever the user selects.

Designing forms with Acrobat

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Many designers need to create forms for their clients—not that exciting, but it pays the bills! The Adobe Design Center gets lots of requests for information on how to do this. There are some good tutorials on Design Center that teach you different aspects of making forms. To learn about using buttons in your form, check out “Add function to PDF forms with buttons”. Figure out how to add security to your form by watching Brian Wood’s video, “Adding security to forms.” For a more in-depth lesson on creating forms, I recommend spending about an hour watching the OnDemand seminar called, “Adobe Acrobat Forms for the Legal Community.” Don’t get put off by the word “legal” in the title. This e-seminar goes into detail on basic form creation. If you are designing an order form, an application, any type of business form, you can learn a lot from this tutorial. It’s an e-seminar which means it was an online lesson recorded live in Acrobat Connect. You get sound, visuals, video, and you get to see the questions that other students typed into the Chat module. There are other seminars for designers and photographers on Adobe’s OnDemand list that are worth checking out. Be aware that they typically take about an hour or so to watch. Finally, if you want a good overall tutorial on creating forms in Acrobat 8 Professional, look at Donna Baker’s tutorial on the Adobe Acrobat User Community site.

Table design workflow with InDesign and Acrobat

In Ted Padova’s Acrobat Community Blog entry called, “Working with tables”, Ted details an effective workflow for those designers who create forms for their clients. Starting in Excel, he moves you to InDesign CS3 and then into Acrobat 8. He discusses how to use some of the great new features in InDesign CS3 to create and modify forms and tables. One of my favorite InDesign features for designing tables is the ability to modify the Excel file data from within InDesign. Just double-click on the xls file in the Links palette and you can edit the data. Once you save the file, it will update in your InDesign table. Very cool! Anne Marie Concepcion has a couple of really nice videos on how to use the table creation features in CS3. Start with “Creating and formatting tables”, then look at “Adding headers and footers to tables”, and “Placing images in tables” and “Using table styles.”