Six Steps To Going Paperless With Adobe Acrobat

The myth of the paperless office has been around since the dawn of the computer era. The idea that paper could be removed entirely from the every day workflow of most organisations is still somewhat fanciful and yet the concept continues to entrance technology companies and productivity geeks  alike. Whether an entirely digital workflow is actually achievable is debatable, however the technology now exists to create a seamless and efficient digital workflow which could dramatically reduce the need to print or store paper, offering  considerable potential cost saving and efficiency increases to most organisations.

The good news is, the technology is available in a set of low cost, desktop applications you may already be using: Adobe Acrobat DC, Acrobat Reader and the iOS and Android apps Adobe Scan and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Here are six way you can go about going paperless in your own workplace.

1. Convert paper documents to PDF.

SCreen shot of Acrobat DC document scanning settings
Acrobat DC document scanning settings

If you don’t have electronic originals or receive lots of paper documents, you can use any scanner to create electronic versions. Bulk document scanners are helpful here as they will simultaneously scan both sides of multiple sheets and combine them into single PDFs. You can also scan and save as PDF from right inSide Acrobat DC using the Enhance Scans function. For people on the go, you can try the Adobe Scan app which will scan documents from your mobile device and synchronise with your Creative Cloud account.

Screen shot of Adobe Scan app
Adobe Scan app

2. Convert scans to editable text.

Having scanned your paper copies, use Acrobat DC’s Enhance Scans feature to convert the content into searchable text. You can then export to plain text or Word documents if you need to do more work.

Screen shot of Acrobat DC Recognise Text function
Acrobat DC Recognise Text function

3. Store and share PDFs in the cloud.

Store your PDFs online through your DC storage account or add on additional cloud services such as DropBox and MS Box. You can then share them with the rest of your team.

Screen shot of Acrobat DC storage options
Acrobat DC storage options

4. Collaborate and comment.

Collaborate with colleagues by using Acrobat’s commenting tools to add comments, drawings, images and even audio. You can use Acrobat Pro, Acrobat Reader or the Adobe Acrobat Reader app as part of this process.

Screen shot of Acrobat DC commenting tools
Acrobat DC commenting tools

5. Create electronic forms.

Convert your paper forms to electronically fillable forms using Acrobat DC’s form wizard. Use it to add text fields, multiple choice options, check boxes, radio buttons and more to PDFs which can then be completed and returned using Acrobat Reader for free.

Screen shot of Acrobat DC form creation tools
Acrobat DC form creation tools

6. Control how PDFs are used.

Limit unnecessary printing within your organisation by restricting or preventing printing of your PDFs . You can customise how PDFs will be used using Acrobat Pro’s document security options.

Screen shot of Acrobat DC document restrictions options
Acrobat DC document restrictions options

If you’d like more information on going paperless with Adobe Acrobat DC, please contact us or find out more about our services at our web site.

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Accessible PDFs in Acrobat DC: Tagging Content as an Artifact

Creating accessible PDF’s can be a tricky business especially when it comes to understanding how to handle non text or image elements. In this article, Adobe’s Rob Haverty explains how to use Artifacts in your accessible PDF workflow.

 

Source: Accessible PDFs in Acrobat DC: Tagging Content as an Artifact | Adobe Document Cloud

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InDesign HTML Import Script

If you’ve ever needed to import HTML code into an InDesign document, you’ll have discovered it’s not that easy. Luckily Ariel Walden over at IDExtras has come up with a nifty script to do it for you. It’s not meant to import a fully formatted, complex HTML page (use Acrobat if you need that) but will “provide the main text and images on any given web page, and import those into InDesign. The idea is that the text should come in with same paragraph and character styles, in a clean and simple manner, ready for use in a design or publication.”

IDExtras is full of other InDesign and Acrobat scripts to make your life easier. Well worth checking out.

Source: An InDesign HTML Import Script | Id-Extras.com

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When should I convert images to CMYK?

This is a question we’re asked regularly and it causes some confusion. Images are generally captured using the RGB colour mode but, for printing, they need to be defined as CMYK mode. Think of it as the difference between screen viewing and printing.

Image of screen and printer icons

The initials RGB represent the primary colours of the screen mode – Red, Green and Blue, CMYK represents the primary colours of printing – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (Black being represented as K or the Key colour).

In the early days of desktop publishing, images were converted to CMYK using Photoshop before they were placed into a design application like Illustrator, QuarkXPress or InDesign. This process can be time consuming and creates a variety of inconvenient side-effects. The CMYK colour mode is adapted for specific printing processes and machinery and has a reduced colour range compared to RGB so CMYK images so are not suitable for reuse in many other media. A further benefit from leaving images as RGB is that much of Photoshop only works in RGB mode so, if you convert an image you’ll find a substantial amount of Photoshop’s editing capabilities are disabled.

The good news is, this process is no longer necessary, as long as you are exporting your  document to a PDF using a preset which includes a colour conversion.

Screenshot of Photoshop Convert to CMYK mode

 

Let’s explain that further. The typical way to change colour modes in Photoshop is to manually select Image>Mode>CMYK Color, however,  as all Adobe applications use the same colour engine, you can perform an RGB to CYMK conversion at any point in your workflow using any Adobe application. If you are sending print-ready PDF’s to your print provider, you can automate the conversion by placing RGB images into InDesign or Illustrator and creating a PDF using choosing a preset such as PDF/X-1a2001 or Press Quality. These presets contain a built-in conversion which will convert any images to CMYK automatically. The original pictures will remain untouched, leaving you free to reuse them for output in other media without making duplicates.

Screenshot of InDesign Export to PDF

SCreenshot of second step of InDesign export to PDF process

This does not automate creative processes such as colour correction, retouching or sharpening and these should be carried out in Photoshop in conjunction the various soft proofing tools such as Proof Colours and Gamut Warning.

In cases where you intend to send open InDesign files and links to your print provider this approach is not suitable (unless you’ve agreed that your print provider will perform the conversion). For most people, however,  converting on export to PDF offers a much quicker and more efficient way to ensure images are correctly adjusted for print.

To learn more about working with colour with Creative Cloud, contact us.

 

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Got Adobe Creative Cloud? Got questions?

Everyone finds things out online but have you ever measured how long you spend looking for answers to Adobe or design and print related questions? and did you get exactly the answers you needed? The web is a black hole for time and attention and it can be difficult to find the answer you’re looking for. That’s why it still pays to use an expert. Creativelab has been Adobe certified since 2006 and  has decades of experience in the design, print and publishing industry. We can troubleshoot problems, provide answers to your specific questions, we can also train you in getting the best from your applications and, best of all, we’re there if you have follow-up questions or need more advice.

We like to think of ourselves as your extra pair of hands, your creative collaborator and your technical helpdesk.

If you need help with Adobe Creative Cloud, training, design or publishing, please do get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

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New Year, New Skills: Colour Management

New year new skills, colour management illustration

 

Do your images print too dark? Does your logo look the wrong colour? If you’re baffled and frustrated by colour issues, creativelab offers training and troubleshooting in colour management. Most people are unfamiliar with the complexities of colour and the rules their software packages use to describe it, this can create unpredictable and expensive results.

Image of calibration sheet and loupe magnifying glass

creativelab can show you how to set your software up to manage colour correctly, make sure your colour output is predictable across your design workflow and make sure your colours work predictably in all media.

Image of print swatch book

We’ll explain:
Colour profiles
Colour conversions
Monitor and printer calibration
Soft proofing
Measuring colour output

We can also carry out a colour health-check on your systems, identifying potential problems and recommending solutions.

To find out more, email us or call 07834 237 133

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What’s new in Adobe Acrobat DC-July 2016

Acrobat DC gets another update this month with some modifications and refinements to recent new features – say goodbye to restarting to get the interface theme to change, yay!

Screenshot of Acrobat DC interface

All-new Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud is here. It’s totally reimagined, with elegant new tool experiences that work consistently across desktop, web, and mobile – including touch-enabled devices.

Source: What’s new in Adobe Acrobat DC

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Adobe Acrobat DC update

Stand by for a new version of Acrobat DC, coming in May. New features include integration with Box and MS OneDrive, improved commenting tools, improved scanning and accessibility improvements. More details in the links below. Adobe Document Cloud – insights, trends, news and more.

Source: Adobe Clouds Join Forces to Accelerate Digital Transformation | Adobe Document Cloud

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