Tips & Tricks

Round-trip Editing an Image with Acrobat 7

June 16, 2005


What if you have a terrific document and it is ready to send to a client when you realize you should have tweaked an image or added a text layer? Can you still make your deadline in time? You can if you are working in Acrobat, which supports round-trip editing! Roundtrip editing lets you work from Acrobat, make changes to content in another program, and then integrate those changes automatically in the PDF document. You can use the TouchUp Object tool and use a designated source program, such as Photoshop, to make changes that are then returned to the PDF document -- round-trip editing at its finest. You can even select several images and change them all at the same time. Follow these steps to change image content:

  1. Select the TouchUp Object tool and then select the image or images you want to edit.
  2. Right-click or Control-click and choose Edit Image. Photoshop opens, and displays the image or images.
  3. Make your changes. If you have added any layers, choose Layer > Flatten Image to flatten the layers.
  4. Choose File > Save. The image is saved, closed, and replaced in Acrobat (Figure 89).

TouchUp Reading Order Tool

Figure 89. The original image shown at the left has been edited from Acrobat. As seen in the right of the figure, the image has been scaled and recolored, and a text layer has been added.

Watch out for some things that can make your editing experience less than miraculous:

  • A resized image's location will often need tweaking in Acrobat. Use the TouchUp Object tool to reorganize the content if required.
  • Transparency is preserved only for masks specified as index values in an image using indexed color.
  • When you change image modes, such as from RGB to grayscale, your image may not be saved automatically; instead Photoshop opens a save dialog to save the image as a Photoshop PDF separate from your original PDF document.
  • Not every image can be read. If you see a checkerboard instead of your image, you can't edit using the round-trip method. Check your Photoshop configuration.
  • If the image looks a little odd when it opens in Photoshop, check the pixel aspect ratio. Acrobat instructs Photoshop to use pixel aspect ratio correction for previewing.

Choosing an Editing Program

Before you can edit from Acrobat, you need to specify the programs you wish to use for editing images and text. You make your choices in the Preferences dialog. Choose Edit > Preferences > TouchUp (on a Mac, Acrobat > Preferences > TouchUp) to open the dialog.

For both the image and text editor selections, click the appropriate button, either Choose Image Editor or Choose Page/Object Editor, to open a browse dialog. Locate the program you want to use and select it. Click Open to close the dialog and assign the program to the function. Then, click OK to close the dialog and set the preferences.

Keep the Connection

The image connection exists only as long as the object is selected in Acrobat. If you are working with an image in Photoshop and then deselect the object in Acrobat, you have to start over.

Excerpted from "Adobe Acrobat 7 Tips & Tricks: The 150 Best" by Donna Baker. Copyright (C) 2005. Used with the permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Adobe Press.

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