University of Wisconsin–Madison

Stuff You Didn't Know You Could / Should Do With PDFs

In the last few months on the Law Library's blog, WisBlawg, I've written a number of posts about the use of PDF documents in Adobe Acrobat & Adobe Acrobat Reader. Several of them are duplicated below. - Fill-in-the-Blank with Acrobat Reader's New Typewriter Tool (1/3/2006) Although the Law Library hasn't had any typewriters for a number of years, we still get occasional requests for them. Why? Because of fill-in-the-blank-forms. Luckily for our law students, our career services office still keeps a few around which they dust off when the need arises. But I suspect that those workhorses-of-old will become even more obsolete now that Adobe has added the handy Typewriter tool to the latest version the free Acrobat Reader (ver. 7.05 - Windows & Mac). "The Typewriter tool is the existing Text Box tool with a different set of default properties, which allows you to type text anywhere on a PDF document. This tool provides a simple solution for filling out forms that do not contain interactive form fields." -- Adobe Support Knowledgebase (see also for more features & instructions) Source: PDF for Lawyers - Create a PDF of a Website (12/13/2005) Dave Fishel over at PDF for Lawyers has shared a useful tip on how to create a PDF of an entire Website or selected portions of it. Why would you want to do this?, he asks: "You may be doing research on a company for a takeover bid. The work requires you to spend many hours studying the company, but you don't want their network logs showing your IP address snooping around at all hours of the day and night. Or perhaps you want to preserve a website as evidence of how things looked on a certain day and time. Or to archive your own firm's website as a backup or "wayback machine." Perhaps you've found a site with lots of amazing material that you would like to keep available for quick reference, but you're not always online, the site doesn't have search capability, and you want to have it available and make notes on it." Head on over to PDF for Lawyers for instructions complete with screen shots (post dated 12/12/2005). As Dave warns, be judicious about how much of the site to PDF since some sites are extremely large. - Guide to Removing Sensitive Metadata from PDF Documents (1/23/2006) Several times, I've posted stories about folks being burned by the release of overly revealing PDF documents. By not properly saving or converting documents, sensitive metadata can inadvertently be accessible. But there is a difference between recognizing a potential problem and knowing how to avoid it. If you use MS Word, take a look at this guide by the NSA entitled, Redacting with Confidence: How to Safely Publish Sanitized Reports Converted From Word to PDF. It covers the different types of exposure and gives step-by-step instructions in MS Word and Adobe Acrobat for removing data. Source: The ever useful, PDF for Lawyers

Submitted by Bonnie Shucha on January 31, 2006

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