Tips & Tricks

Streamlining your review process

May 13, 2004

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Use Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard or Professional to streamline the review process for your Microsoft Word documents. When you email your document as an Adobe PDF file, reviewers can comment without modifying the original. And twenty different types of comments -- from notes to drawings -- give reviewers additional flexibility, so they can communicate their thoughts clearly. If you're using Word 2002 (included in Microsoft Office XP), you can even import the comments directly into Word, incorporating text edits automatically and displaying other comments next to the content they refer to.

  1. Save the Word file as a PDF document
    In Word, click the Convert to Adobe PDF button on the toolbar to create the PDF document. PDFMaker saves the PDF document in the same folder as the original Word document, with the same name and a PDF extension. Alternatively, in Windows, you can right-click the Word document on the desktop or in Windows Explorer, and then choose Convert to Adobe PDF.

  2. Email the PDF document for review
    Open the PDF document in Acrobat 6.0 Standard or Professional. On the toolbar, choose Review & Comment > Send by Email for Review. Enter your email address, if prompted, and click OK. In the Send by Email for Review dialog box, enter the reviewers' email addresses. You can modify the subject and message, if appropriate, and then click OK. You may need to switch to your email application to finish sending the message. Reviewers can open the attached file in Acrobat 6.0 Standard or Professional, add comments, and click Send Comments to return their comments to you. Using this process, reviewers send you a comments-only file, with a file size much smaller than that of the Adobe PDF document you created. Smaller files travel more easily over the Internet, and take up less hard disk space. This is especially valuable if you're working with a very large PDF file or have many reviewers.

  3. Open the comments files in Acrobat
    When reviewers return their comments, double-click the file attachments in the email messages to open the comments-only files in Acrobat. Acrobat opens the original PDF file and imports the comments automatically. To see how many reviewers have responded, choose Review & Comment > Track Reviews from the toolbar. Once the comments have been imported into the PDF file, you can show or hide comments, change their status, browse through them, change their appearance, or reply to individual comments using the Comments List.

  4. Export the comments to the Word 2002 document
    If you created the document in Word 2002, you can export the comments to the original document. First, use the Comments List in Acrobat to delete any comments in the PDF file that you don't want to export. Then, choose Export Comments to Word from the Options menu in the Comments List. Click Yes to add the comments to the Word document. Word opens the Import Comments from Adobe Acrobat dialog box. Make sure that the appropriate Word and PDF documents are selected and that All Comments is selected under Choose Comment Types to Import. Click Continue. Comments appear as Word comment bubbles along the side of the document. Formatting such as bold text does not appear in comments. If the Word document was edited after the PDF document was created, or if the PDF document has been modified (for example, pages have been rearranged or deleted), comments may not import successfully. You can also import a customized set of comments, so that you import only comments by specific authors or with a particular status. You can import comments to a Word document only once. If you want to import comments more than once, make a copy of the Word document before importing.

  5. Integrate the text edits in Word 2002
    To automatically insert or delete text based on any text edit comments you imported, click Integrate Text Edits in the Successful Import dialog box. For each text edit, click Apply to make the change and delete the comment bubble; click Discard to leave the text unchanged and delete the comment bubble; or click Next to move to the next text edit without making the change or deleting the comment bubble. If you know that you want to apply all the changes, click Apply All. Click Undo Last if you don't like the result of a text edit. Text edits include any comments reviewers make using commands from the Text Edits menu in the Commenting toolbar. If extra words, such as "Add the following," are included in the insertion, you'll need to delete them manually from the Word document.

  6. Address other comments, as appropriate
    Make any other changes requested by your reviewers, as appropriate. After you address a comment in Word 2002, you can delete it by right-clicking the comment bubble and choosing Delete Comment. To remove all the comments in the document, choose Acrobat Comments > Delete All Comments in Document.

The following tip is reprinted with permission from Adobe.com

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