Adobe is a software provider that creates such popular provides as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat.

Posts

Fixing Out of Sync iPad and iPhone Videos for Import into Adobe Premiere

Today I tried to record some video using my iPad and import it into Adobe Premiere.  What I quickly discovered was that, almost without exception, the audio and video eventually got out of sync.  Towards the end of a two-minute segment I looked to be the star of a dubbed-over Shaw Brothers kung fu flick.

Some blame Apple. Some blame Adobe.  But the fact that the videos play just fine in every other player I’ve tried tells me that the problem lies in the way Premiere is handling the QuickTime file format.  Specifically, it’s choking on the variable frame rate.

Trying to solve the problem through Premiere is a real hassle, so nip the problem in the butt by converting your files to a constant frame rate using HandBrake before importing them into Adobe Premiere.  Watch the video above for the details.

Editing Adobe PDF Documents

It happens all the time:  you create a document in Word, Publisher, InDesign or some other program.  You save it as a PDF so it can be read by folks without your fancy software, but you neglect to save it into your application’s native format.  It may be tomorrow. It might be next year.  But inevitably you need to make changes. This is when you realize you are completely screwed.

Do not despair! There is hope! Here are just a couple of ways you can edit PDF documents.

Method 1: Don’t Make it a PDF in the First Place

Right now you’re probably clicking you’re back button because you came here for a solution, not to be scolded for not using the right file format in the first place. This point is important enough to say it first:  Save your document in it’s native format, and save a COPY as a PDF. PDF is meant to be a digital, searchable copy of a printed document, and that’s pretty much it. If you save your document in a native format (Word, Excel, etc.) you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to make changes to it later.

Method 2: Acrobat Professional

If you’re lucky enough to have the professional version of Acrobat, the Export feature provides you with numerous options for exporting your PDF to an editable format, like Word, or Rich Text.  Be warned that if your page contains anything other than text, Acrobat does a magnificently poor job of recognizing the text. To give it a shot, go to File > Export in Acrobat Professional. Acrobat also has a Tools > Advanced Editing > Text Touchup tool that can be used for simple changes to a document’s text.  Remember, these features are only available in Acrobat Professional.

You can download a free trial of Acrobat Professional.   (Thanks to woodsman707 for the suggestion.)

[ad name=”rc_article_content”]

Method 3: Photoshop

If you are lucky enough to have Photoshop, it will happily open PDF documents and is an excellent tool for making edits. Photoshop is also available as a trial download from Adobe.

Method 4: GIMP

GIMP, which stands for the Gnu Image Manipulation Project, is a free open source image editing application with features similar to Photoshop. It will open and allow you to make modifications to PDF documents. And did I mention it’s free?  No trial. No expiration.  Real free software. Just be sure to hit “decline” to all of the free offers it asks about during the install.

Method 5: Convert it using Zamzar.com

Zamzar is a free service that will convert your PDF’s to a variety of editable document formats.  Initially I had mentioned zamzar.com under the heading of “Other Suggestions” below because I hadn’t received my converted documents, but shortly after publishing this article my samples arrived.  I’ve got to say, zamzar did a much better job converting my samples to Word format than Acrobat’s export feature.  It’s a little slow, but I highly recommend giving zamzar a shot. (Thanks to Pass_The_Soma for the suggestion.)

Other Suggestions

A couple of users made some suggestions in a reddit tech support post that I participated in. One user suggested using Foxit Reader’s editing capabilities.  While Foxit Reader is great for viewing PDF’s, its editing capabilities are no better than Acrobat’s own and they’re only available on a trial basis.  I tried editing a campus map for a local university.  I could add new content over the document, but I couldn’t change or remove what was already there.

Summary

The PDF file format is not meant for extensive editing.  Think of PDF as a digital representation of a printed page.  You can annotate around the text and in the margins, but you can’t erase and make changes to what’s already there.  Luckily you can get around this limitation using GIMP, Photoshop, or Acrobat Professional, but the extent to which you can make changes will still be limited.  Text will not flow with the page the way you expect.  If you have small changes to make, you can probably get away with one of these programs.  But if you need to make extensive changes, do yourself a favor and recreate the document in program that was original used to create it, save it in the program’s native format, then save a copy as a PDF. In the future you’ll always be able to make changes to the original without the need to work around the limitations of PDF.

Unattended Install of Shockwave Player

Though Adobe keeps the easily automated installers for their players hidden from our view, they do exist and they are available to download.  Over at PackageDeploy someone wrote a how-to on silently installing Adobe Shockwave Player using the executable available for download by Adobe’s Enterprise Software Distribution partners (I have yet to receive a response back about my eligibility for that service). Just follow PackageDeploy’s tutorial if that installation method works for you.

But what if you want to do an MSI deployment? I use ScriptLogic to automate software installations, which requires an MSI file, as do most software deployment utilities. Again, Adobe doesn’t make the existence known, but they do have an MSI installation of Shockwave Player, and you can download it here. After downloading the MSI file, you can install it silently using the following command:

sw_lic_full_installer.msi /qb

Converting My Business to Linux, Part 3: Adobe Acrobat

(Back to Converting My Business to Linux, Part 2: Installation)

If tonight’s experience is any indication, my goal of 100% transformation from Windows to Linux is probably not going to happen.

Tonight I was asked my one of my clients to change a single page of a PDF document hosted on their website. No problem in the pay-to-play land of Windows, right?  You fire up your ridiculously-priced copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional and use the Replace Page menu option.  Dead simple.  On Linux? Not so much.

Editing PDFs on Linux

If all you need to do with PDF on Linux is view and print, your options are numerous and quite stable.  If you don’t like Ubuntu’s built-in PDF viewing support you can opt to download and install Adobe Reader from the Canonical Software Repository. Of course, that’s only if you miss all of the bloated and unnecessary features that make Adobe Reader what it is today.

If you have to create or edit existing PDF documents, you’re options are few and finicky.  I tried two methods: the first was to install PDF Edit from the Ubuntu Software Center.  PDF Edit has lots of features, but it couldn’t open the document that I needed to modify.  Upon further research I found that OpenOffice.org has a PDF Import extension.  I installed the extension, and it too had problems opening my document. Perhaps something was wrong with my docuement?

The Problem

I installed Adobe Reader as described above so I could verify that my PDF file would open using an Adobe product and so I could view it’s metadata.  Reader opened the document without any problems, but within the document metadata I noticed that the document had been created using the HP scanning software at my client’s office.  I tried opening other documents created with that software and verified that they opened in Adobe Reader, but not in PDF Edit or in OpenOffice.

The Solution

This isn’t so much a solution considering I still had to have Windows and Acrobat Professional available to solve the problem.  I opened the documents in Acrobat Professional and performed a “Save As.”  The new documents were now editable under both PDF Edit and OpenOffice.org’s PDF Import extension.

PDF Edit was able to quickly and easily replace the page that had changed within the document.  If it is able to open my documents in the future, this is what I’ll use to make changes to PDF documents on Linux.  The OpenOffice.org plug-in still has a long way to go.  It does exactly what I expected and what Microsoft Word import utilities have done for years: butchers your document.  But at least it opened!

Summary

I may find myself updating this post in the future as I have more experience editing PDF’s on Linux.  My initial impression is that “it’s close, but no cigar. PDF Edit almost worked, and if it is able to open and edit my PDF’s in the future I’ll consider this a success.  OpenOffice.org’s plug-in works just as good as other PDF Conversion utilities:  it will import your document and keep most of your text intact, but any graphics or stray marks in your PDF document will make your converted document almost completely unusable.

(Continue to Converting my Business to Linux, Part 4: Updating my IPhone)

Converting My Business to Linux, Part 1

Call it frugality.  Call it insanity.  Call it what you will, but I’m converting my computers that I use for my consulting business to Linux.  That’s right, I’m a Microsoft Certified computer consultant whose going to switch to Linux.  Actually, I’ll go one step further: I’m going to try to switch completely to Free Software. This means:

  1. I will install and use Ubuntu Linux as my operating system.
  2. I will use OpenOffice.org as my office suite.
  3. I will use Evolution for email, calendars, and contact management.
  4. I will try to find and use a Free Software alternative to QuickBooks to manage my business accounts.
  5. I will try to find and use Free Software alternatives to Adobe Creative Suite.
  6. I will try to find and use a Free Software alternative to Virtual PC, so I can install Windows 7 and Server 2008 into virtual machines for my Microsoft training.

I’m pretty darn goods with computers, but this will be a daunting, quite possibly annoying, and maybe even futile task even for me.  So I invite you to come along and gawk at the train wreck I’m about to embark upon…

Proceed to Converting My Business to Linux, Part 2: Installation.