Final winners named for "Adobe Acrobat 7 PDF Bible" book

August 10, 2005

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In collaboration with Wiley Publishing, we have hosted a promotional contest to give away eight copies of the "Adobe Acrobat 7 PDF Bible" book by Ted Padova during the past month. Our judges have put their thinking caps on and come up with what they think were the 8 most innovative uses of PDF. This contest is now closed.

You can still download an excerpt from the book -- Chapter 1, on "Getting to Know Adobe Acrobat." [PDF: 2,248kb]

QUALIFYING QUESTION

  • Briefly (1-2 paragraphs at most) describe the "coolest" or most interesting way in which you have used PDF. We're interested in the use of forms, interactivity, multimedia and functionality. Basically, if you think it's cool and innovative, chances are, we will too. (Finalists may be asked to supply sample files for posting on Planet PDF at the close of the competition.)

Adobe Acrobat 7 BibleThe final list of winners, and their responses to the contest's Qualifying Question, are:

  • Shawn S. Altorio
    Product Developer
    SSA-X2

    A: My SSA-X2 D&D Character Sheet has taken a PDF and turned it into a mini-application. Using PDF forms, I have created a character sheet for the game: Dungeons & Dragons, which not only allows manual data entry, but calculates derivative values using a set of custom javascripts (instead of using Acrobat's built-in field calculation engine) to better manage the speed of the document with it's nearly ten-thousand fields.

    With over 30,000 lines of code, extensive use of JavaScript doesn't end there, though. The document uses buttons and pop-up menus to allow the user to manage their form data, moving table entries around, sort lists, and even set which of the 27 pages are visible (adjusting the look of bookmarks accordingly). And the sheet includes ADM-based javascript dialogs for both data entry as well as to provide feedback to the user.

  • Tim Murphy
    Operations Manager
    Lease Consultants Corporation

    A: In the equipment finance industry, the contract is at the center of the transaction. For a long time we created our contract in Word at our location, then just used PDF as the container to send it, until recently.

    To speed the process, I packed all the business logic (including rates, variable document content and other rules) into the PDF using JavaScript and AcroForms. Each vendor's specific criteria and terms are then imported from our database into the form. Then the PDF (called the Lease Generator) is distributed to our vendors so they can utilize our financing products to sell their equipment. We send it out on an autorun CD that copies it to the desktop. It works just like a small piece of software but no installation is needed, they just open it. Now our vendors can create a Lease Application, Proposal and the actual Equipment Lease contract for their customers on the fly at their location using the free Reader. And since an internet connection is not required, many take it on the road via laptop, right to the customer location. No waiting, very dynamic, prestine formatting and 100 percent accuracy, all the while providing the required content security. The LeaseGenerator.PDF has saved us a tremendous amount of time, yielded more sales and strengthened our vendor relationships. The next step will be XML and possibly submission back to our database.

  • Bill Healy
    CEO
    Kilbaha Multimedia Publishing

    A: My company has used Adobe Acrobat with interactive forms, javascript programming and animations in QuickTime to teach all concepts about 2D and 3D geometrical shapes to primary school children.The CD-ROM called "Flying with Shapes" tracks the activity of the children on each page and gives the teacher a complete summary of how well they are understanding their work.The audio files and QuickTime movies are also available in Japanese The CD-ROM is being used in Australia, United Kingdom and Japan.

  • Alberto Bianchet
    Multimedia developer
    Primastudio srl

    A: I developed a PDF document based on a printed catalog or price list in which prices and informations (texts, values, etc.) can be edited and updated by the document administrator (this function is limited by password) and data can be sent by email so that each customer, reseller, point of sale can have the same document but with different information (prices for example).

    The same document can be distributed with some information hidden or some functions disabled and this can be "activated" with password. The document can be used to compile order forms directly with a click on the product image and can drive the user during "configuration" of complex products. Everything using Acrobat Reader, and the internet connection only to send data and orders.

  • Tom Gosse
    Vice-President
    SMART Management Inc.

    A: Our company is in the project management training and mentoring business. We use interactive PDF's to distribute our knowledge capital to our customers. Our customers then place these PDF's in their internal environment and allow access to this knowledge capital via their intranet. So what's so interesting about this?

    The copying and printing of our knowledge capital can be managed throughthe security fuctionality of Adobe but we want our customers to be able to print but not necessarily all of the context of the documents. Our documents include a variety of diagrams/graphics and so we have made them as rollovers. You read the document on the screen, there is a button indicating a diagram, it rollsover the text, but if they print they don't get the diagrams - not full proof but reasonable protection for our intellectual property.

  • Bob Thorne
    IT Project Development
    SS&G Financial Services, Inc.

    A: Our Tax Department is using the Enable Commenting in Reader feature. As part of the old workflow from Preparer to Final Reviewer, the employees would use different color highlighters, paperclips, and post-it notes to indicate changes to be made, corrected changes, who made the changes, etc. Now, using the Commenting feature found in Acrobat Pro 7, the Preparers produce a tax return for a client and convert it to PDF. As the return goes through the approval process, Managers and Reviewers can mark up areas to correct on the return using the tools in Reader, including being able to attach an audio file with instructions! There is also a place to update the status of the correction, and each comment is hyperlinked, so there is no delay in getting to a particular area.

  • Max Herr
    Owner
    D'Oily Boid Enterprises

    A: In 2004, I was enrolled in a post-graduate secondary education credential program at Cal State Northridge. One of the program requirements is to compile a professional development portfolio with samples from one's classroom teaching experiences. Traditionally, students have been compiling these monstrous, paper-based works in binders with plastic page protectors and the like. A few students would include CDs with PowerPoint presentations of classroom visuals or lessons, and once in a while, a bulky VHS tape of their teaching in the classroom.

    On the other hand, I chose to enlighten students and faculty alike with the wonders of a "paperless" portfolio. All of my written work was converted into PDF format from WordPerfect or other programs using Acrobat 6.0 Pro. Additionally, with the aid of Acrobat's built-in linking features, I was also able to incorporate PowerPoint projects, high-resolution graphics, and audio and video clips edited within my laptop environment. And then to deliver the entire project on a single CD in a slim jewel case weighing just a few grams, compared with some students who brought in multiple binders weighing ten pounds or more.

    But, the piece d' resistance was my portfolio for a "Computers in Instruction" course during the summer of 2004. CSUN has a top-notch Instructional Technology program. But apparently no student to come through that program had ever demonstrated the power of Acrobat. At least not before I took this class. The professor was simply amazed at how simple it was to view my portfolio (136 pages total, and a good 20% larger than most other students' projects) by simply following either the bookmarks embedded in the document or the cursor links on the Table of Contents page. Once again, I incorporated high-res graphics, PowerPoint presentations, audio clips, and more. And all this was delivered for final grading on a Lexar Jump Drive! I even included a grading page with form fields to record the grades and compute the total score (which the instructor could not fully utilize because he only had the use of Adobe Reader). Naturally, the instructor rushed out and bought a copy of Acrobat 6.0 Pro for himself after he witnessed, first hand, the power and convenience of Acrobat PDF!

  • Eduardo F. Cidade, Sr.
    Director, Internal Evaluation and Safety Audit Programs
    US Airways Safety Department

    A: For several years now, US Airways through it's Flight Operations Department and MidAtlantic Airways, a wholly-owned Division, has incorporated operating manuals into an Electronic Library solely based on Adobe's FrameMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat product lines.

    Documentation is produced in FrameMaker, rendered to Acrobat, and printed through the US Airways print shop for quick printing and distribution to pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, etc. The process to get the information to the print shop is also electronic with file transfer accommodated through the use of Acrobat.

    In turn, this paper-based documentation is mimmicked electronically with navigation buttons, searchable index (indices), cross-references to other manuals, tables of contents, all through the use of FrameMaker-to-Acrobat.

    The end result: Paper is still required per FAA regulation but the audience for paper is limited only to those requiring same (flight deck, cabin, etc.). All others? They can use the electronic version through several venues:

    1. It is housed on a company-wide server (search capability works)....
    2. It is launched through a web browser (search capability fails)....
    3. It can be launched through CD-ROM offering portability on any MS Windows-based platform.

    Bonus: By limiting the paper-based audience to those only on a Need-to-Know-Basis and requiring all others to view documentation electronically, US Airways has saved millions of dollars and has cut the use of paper dramatically.

  • Expert Judging Panel

    Lori DeFurio

    Developer Evangelist, Intelligent Documents Business Unit
    Adobe Systems Incorporated

    This is alt text As Developer Evangelist in the Intelligent Documents Business Unit, Lori DeFurio is responsible for evangelizing Adobe to the company's vast developer community, with a specific focus on advancing Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and its use in conjunction with XML to streamline data exchange in the enterprise document workflow. Over her more than 20-year career, DeFurio has focused on the technical document publishing industry, specifically working with document-based workflows and data exchange or conversion.

    DeFurio is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) on Acrobat, Adobe's eForms solutions and FrameMaker, and she speaks frequently at PDF Conferences throughout the world.

    Thom Parker

    President
    Windjack Solutions

    This is alt text Thom Parker is founder and president of WindJack Solutions, Inc. Thom has been developing software for over 20 years and has experience in a broad range of areas and software languages. Today, WindJack Solutions' sole focus is PDF development with an emphasis on Acrobat JavaScript, and Thom is actively involved in all things PDF. His company has developed three innovative tools for PDF developers and users- PDF CanOpener, AcroButtons, and AcroDialogs. He writes articles to help elucidate PDF issues for both novices and PDF pros, speaks at PDF events, and frequently answers questions on various PDF forums.

    Claudia McCue

    Principal
    Practicalia

    This is alt text Claudia McCue has channeled more than 20 years of traditional and digital prepress production experience into her current incarnation as a consultant and trainer for the graphic arts industry. She provides custom onsite training for a national U.S. client base of design firms, printing companies and marketing professionals, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, concentrating on Adobe Acrobat and InDesign.

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