The new PDFMaker
The world's Acrobat users are about to be rewarded with an all new version.
One of the significant features of Adobe® Acrobat® 4.0 is the new PDFMaker. We are
lucky enough to be speaking with Anna Kjos, manager of the PDFMaker project at Adobe Systems
for Acrobat 4.0
Anna, can you give us a little more background about your role with Adobe
I am a Senior Product Manager for the Adobe Acrobat team. I'm excited for the opportunity to
tell you about the excellent new advancements in PDFMaker for Acrobat 4.0.
Well, thanks for giving us your time! PDFMaker really makes life easy for users making PDFs from Word. In fact, I remember the pre-PDFMaker days where bookmarks were done by hand as part of post processing, or battling with Visual Basic and Words pdfmark commands. Either way, PDFMaker wins hands down. I guess you can see I'm pretty keen on the automatic bookmarks and hyperlinks, what's your favourite feature in this much used tool.
I really appreciate how PDFMaker gives you a clear, one step method for creating rich PDF
documents from Word. The "Create Adobe PDF" menu item under File just couldn't be easier.
You probably get feature requests sent to you all the time. What's the craziest feature
that anyone has ever asked for?
One type of feature request that I find a bit amusing is when customers ask us to make
PDFMaker, annotations, and other highly useful features in Acrobat, available with the free
What's new in PDFMaker for Acrobat 4.0?
Acrobat 4.0 includes PDFMaker, a macro for Microsoft Word 97 and PowerPoint 97 which lets
you easily convert documents and presentations into Adobe PDF. PDFMaker includes powerful
features which optimize the PDF creation process from these applications, like the ability
to convert headings and styles from a Word document into bookmarks in a PDF, links in a Word
document into links in a PDF, and Summary information in a Word document to Document
Information in a PDF.
During the development of PDFMaker for Acrobat 4.0, we focused on three key areas:
A number of key changes were made to PDFMaker which make it easier to use. PDFMaker now
gives you more feedback when Acrobat Distiller is processing a document, like percentage
complete, because it takes advantage of Distiller's new COM interface. This lets you keep
track of exactly where your document is in the conversion process. PDFMaker now uses the
joboption settings in Acrobat Distiller, which means the user can control PDFMaker and
Distiller at the same time using one user interface. This eliminated from PDFMaker three
entire tabs of settings which duplicated settings in Distiller, but only affected the
behavior of PDFMaker. And finally, the Bookmarks tab in PDFMaker, where you configure how
headings in Word documents get converted to PDF bookmarks and the magnification of
destination PDF links, has been streamlined making it much easier to use.
Improving the user interface
Supporting new features in Acrobat 4.0
Taking advantage of the new structure elements of Adobe PDF 1.3
One key new feature of Acrobat 4.0 is support for custom page numbers. PDFMaker now maps
page numbering styles in Word, such as Roman numerals for an introductory section or
combination numbers, like 1.1.2, for an outline section, to corresponding numbers in the PDF
document. In step with Adobe's focus on increasing Acrobat's functionality worldwide,
PDFMaker is now localized for shipping with French and German languages of Acrobat.
With Acrobat 4.0, the Adobe PDF language has been updated to version 1.3. This new version
of PDF has been enhanced to support structure elements. In the past, a PDF file has only
contained information about the appearance of a PDF page. With Adobe PDF 1.3, a PDF file can
contain not only information about how a PDF file should look, but also information about
invisible structure elements, such as which items on a page PDF are headers, footers,
paragraphs or tabs. By taking the information about these structure elements from Word and
maintaining them in the PDF file, PDFMaker lets you create rich PDF files which may in the
future, find numerous new uses. For example, making use of the new structure information in
a PDF file, you can now develop an Acrobat plug-in which exports XML or other formats. Now
that document markup is encoded in PDF files, a search plug-in could be written that would
allow you to search only on content that is in headings or particular document sections.