Planet PDF Weblog
A daily chronicle of Acrobat/PDF-oriented newsbits

For week beginning 18 November 2002
By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday


'Adobe Everywhere' ... at PDF Conference: One of Adobe Systems' recent corporate mantras says "Adobe Everywhere," a reference to the ubiquity of the company's software products. It could apply equally well here at the PDF Conference ( in Las Vegas, which begins today and runs through the weekend. There are reportedly 20 or more Adobe employees affiliated with Acrobat on site -- some leading Acrobat-oriented sessions and giving product demos, a few leading special training sessions, others staffing the company's trade show booth and perhaps a few primarily mingling with and gathering feedback from attendees on Adobe's latest product announcements and future directions.

There are a number of other companies here also showing and discussing their wares, but the Adobe turnout is deserving of special mention for one particular reason. At the very first PDF Conference produced and hosted by DigiPub Solutions -- held just a couple years ago -- Adobe was a no-show. In fact, there were more people from Redmond, WA (Microsoft) than San Jose, CA in attendance at the inaugural event.

It's great to see this kind of attendance and attention from Adobe for this twice-a-year event, which has become firmly established as an excellent Acrobat/PDF educational resource. And while no firm dates have been announced, it seems a safe prediction that the next incarnation of this DigiPub Solutions' gathering in the mid-2003 timeframe in the Washington, DC area will be a bona fide red-letter event for Acrobat/PDF enthusiasts -- for several reasons.

First, Seybold Seminars has announced that it will not host a spring conference on the east coast in 2003, with its next U.S. show -- including the next Seybold PDF Conference -- slated for San Francisco next September. Second, barring some sort of major setback, all indications point to a release of Acrobat 6 during the first half of 2003, so the next DigiPub Solutions' conference could be the first showcase event exclusively focused on PDF. Third, not only should there be a new version to investigate, but 2003 will mark the 10th anniversary of Adobe's launch of Acrobat/PDF.

With 'Adobe Everywhere' in Las Vegas with an Acrobat 5 product that's getting long in the tooth at this stage, you'd expect a real Acrobat Family Reunion at the next event. Watch for further details in the not-too-distant future. As founding co-sponsors and participants, Planet PDF will of course be there.

In the meantime, watch for our coverage from Las Vegas over the next few days. And Yes, in case you're wordering, there have been a couple Elvis sightings on site. More on author Ted "Jailhouse" Padova's antics to come .. and on more serious topics, too!


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No Post Today: Travel day for PDF Conference


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NOTE: Previous Weblogs will be archived at the end of each week, and start fresh here. You can also catch up on last week's Weblog.


PDF Gets Labelled: If you ever find yourself in a pinch -- need to whip up a quick batch of mailing labels, nametags, business cards or documentation, but short on time and/or design skills -- a handy solution may be just a PDF away.

That is, if the PDF file was produced at the Web site for Avery Dennison, the company known for a variety of home office products, including labels of all shapes, sizes and colors. In addition to providing information about the company's wares, it offers a free, interactive service called "Avery Print from the Web."

You simply follow one of a series of predefined steps that take you through the process of creating any of a range of personalized printables. Avery Labels in PDFYou select from pre-existing templates that match specific Avery labels or related products, then modify with your own details, choose your preferred fonts (which get embedded), font colors and, where appropriate, from among the site's limited gallery of graphics -- or you can load your own. Once you've finished your creation, the service generates a PDF file containing the right number of matching elements for the product and format selected. Setting up some quick-and-dirty nametags (shown above) took all of a minute from start to finished PDF.

The catch is that if you want the expected results, you'll need to use the same Avery product when printing as you chose in designing your particular item. If you opt for a non-Avery label, your mileage -- and your careful formatting -- may vary.


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Yes, You *Can* Download Acrobat: On more than one occasion we've chided Web sites that should have known better for displaying links suggesting that users could "Download Adobe Acrobat" when they really meant "Download Adobe Acrobat Reader." The primary difference, of course, is that the first alludes to the full-featured, commercial Adobe Systems' software product, while the latter is a freely available Adobe application with limited functionality.

A second distinction, although less often cited, is that while the free Reader is indeed available online for download, single-user copies of Adobe Acrobat could only be ordered online but then delivered the old-fashioned way -- in a cardboard box. If you think about it, that's ironic for a product offering digital salvation from the slow-moving world of paper-based communication.

Lest we make too much of an issue over the latter matter, it's worth noting that this secondary way of differentiating between Reader and Acrobat is no longer valid -- at least at present. Both products are now listed as being available for electronic download from, with the caveat that Acrobat first requires a financial transaction: an outlay of $249, to be exact.

Acrobat 5 ESD

According to the site: "ESD customers will be automatically registered and will receive their keys following the software license download." The download requires the use of Adobe's Download Manager tool.

Adobe also is running a special offer -- if you buy Acrobat 5 and register the product online you receive two weeks of free online training ("Introduction to Acrobat 5") from Adobe's online training center. It would appear -- but don't hold us to this -- that an ESD purchase also qualifies for the perks, even though technically the registration occurs automatically. And of course, read all the fine print for eligibility terms, dates, etc.


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Where Crime *is* a Laughing Matter: It's no small challenge coming up with something more laughable than the defense used by actress Winona Ryder in her recently concluded shoplifting trial. Among the implausible explanations floated by her legal team was that she has been rehearsing for a future movie role, a lame justification that in turn made the case (and the actress) the butt of many out-of-court jokes. The opportunity to make light of the begging-to-be-made-fun-of courtroom sitcom -- and the alleged pre-trial behavior that led to felony charges being filed -- was tailor-made for The Onion in its current (Nov. 13) issue.

In case you're not familiar with The Onion's style of humor, practically nothing is sacred or safe from its sharp-witted lashings. Case in point for its typical news satire: the fictional cover story for the issue with the Ryder ridicule is "'Beltway Sniper' Video-Game Release Delayed Out Of Respect For Victims."

Ryder's recently played out trial provided ample fodder for the weekly InfoGraphic feature, which is also available in PDF, in which the staff offers a sort of Letterman-like list on a newsworthy theme, but with a heavy dose of The Onion's own satirical special sauce. The theme for the Nov. 13 issue's graphic:

"Winona Ryder's Probation: Last week Winona Ryder was convicted of shoplifting $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. What are the terms of her probation?"

In reality, the terms of her probation have not yet been decided, but it appears she will avoid any jail time, according to news coverage of the trial. One news account recently summarized the ramifications of the guilty finding:

"The prosecutor said she would not try to put the 31-year-old, two-time Academy Award nominee behind bars, saying she would seek probation, community service and restitution at Ryder's sentencing on Dec. 6."


And thus the comedic contemplation by The Onion on appropriately light-weight probationary terms, including:

  • "May not date rock star for one full year"
  • "Restricted to no more than four new hairstyles per year for identification purposes"
  • "May no longer walk into stores and just take things."

They might even make her put back the pilfered goods.


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