The “Combine Files” Tool
Previous Acrobat and Acrobat Pro versions allowed multiple PDF files to be combined into one PDF file or a PDF Portfolio, on both OSX and Windows. The upgrades Adobe made to the “Combine files” feature in Acrobat XI are mind blowing.
Users can now add almost any sort of an office-environment document to a PDF or a PDF Portfolio. Spreadsheets, text documents, presentations, and audio and video files can now be "dragged" into the “Combine files” pane.
Files with multiple pages, sheets, or keyframes can be “opened up”, users can select these segments and add them to the PDF individually without the having to edit the source file. For example, one can add two Excel documents; both containing multiple sheets, and select which sheets should make it into the export document and on what page. Sadly, specific layers from files like PSD Photoshop Document cannot be manipulated in this way. Documents can be added from alternative sources like the clipboard, scanner, Office 365, or SharePoint cloud services. Whole folders can be added if one wishes so, and only Acrobat-compatible files from them will be added.COMBINE FILES: The HTML import needs working on.
There are still two ways to combine files in Acrobat, one being a “single PDF” and the other a “PDF Portfolio”. If Single PDF is selected, Acrobat will combine all the files into a single PDF document with multiple pages, each page representing one page, sheet, video, etc. A “PDF Portfolio” will also create a single PDF document and will still convert all added files to PDF, but acts as a container and keeps individually-added files separate within it. It has a built-in user interface that can be either chosen from templates or created using Adobe ActionScript and files within it can be browsed, tagged, previewed, and downloaded individually.
Sadly, in the Pre-release version of Acrobat XI, the “Combine files” tool is terribly unstable and we were unable to thoroughly test it. Various issues and bugs plague both OSX and Windows versions making it unusable. Sill, as this is one of the core features of Acrobat XI, we are sure “Combine files” will be fixed before release.COMBINE FILES: Import audio pop-out box. A similar window, but with more details, appears when importing video.
Many applications like Microsoft Word can already "save into PDF". Those that do not can use the PDF virtual printer that has been available for an embarrassing number of years. Yet, the ability to add various file formats directly into Acrobat saves time, completely eliminating one step in a sometimes tedious process. What we would like to see is better support for Adobe's own products, for example, the ability to handle multiple page Adobe Illustrator documents.The “Edit PDF” Tool
Dear managers, if we would be forced to name only two reasons as to why your assistants want your job so badly, one would be money, and the other editing PDF documents.
Well, fear not, as Acrobat XI takes away that "other" reason. There is a big, friendly, Edit PDF
button now. Thankfully, it does what it says.
Any document that contains text and images can be opened up in Acrobat XI, and both texts and images within it can be edited, replaced, moved, or deleted. That’s right, no more “release clipping mask” action in Adobe Illustrator.
Text boxes are recognized, as are the font settings within them. Adding or removing parts of the text will reflow paragraphs, although Adobe will have to work on this one. Sometimes the editor does not recognize that some texts are a part of the same text box, but this will only happen in rare circumstances. The Edit tool does not support “type on path” text flows and will tag each letter within them as a separate entity.EDIT PDF: Successfully deleted a shadow below a cut-out image. Neat!
Image handling is extremely robust. Transparencies and clipping masks are detected and preserved. Shadows or other effects added in InDesign are detected and are properly separated from the rest of the image. Images in the background are not broken, distorted, or cut-out by overlapping texts or images. Adding or replacing images is as easy as moving them, and all features that images might have, except PSD layers, are preserved once embedded into the PDF.
The "Edit text and images" tool is a brilliant feature, it is apparent that a lot of effort was put into it. For example, all images and texts have nice boxes around them that can be used, along with brand new guides, for realigning content. Images, texts, and containers can be copy-pasted from one page to another, et cetera. However, numerous bugs ruin the experience and we are sure fixing these will be the number one priority for the Acrobat development team in near future.EDIT PDF: Object handles and guides allow for precise placement.
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