Sample of the Week:
As I mentioned in my previous post, Adobe Acrobat DC was released last week. It’s got a snappy new interface that makes using more advanced functionality of Acrobat more discoverable and easier to use. Another important aspect of Acrobat DC is having the experience on mobile be more similar to the desktop experience and with forms and commenting, they’ve absolutely accomplished this.
Unfortunately, PDF Portfolio with interactive Flash-Based user interfaces are pretty much dead. As long as the Flash Player is installed, Acrobat DC on the desktop can play a PDF Portfolio created in Acrobat X or XI but users can no longer create PDF Portfolios using select one of those interactive layouts. While disappointing, this is understandable given the fact that Flash isn’t available on iOS. Adobe had to make some difficult choices with Acrobat DC and making PDF Portfolios work consistently across platforms, devices, and removing their dependency on Flash is a decision I highly support.
The good news is that the new PDF Portfolios look a lot like the PDF Packages from the Acrobat 8 days. That means tools that were meant to create or manipulate PDF Packages will also allow developers to work with Acrobat DC’s Portfolios… including the Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit.
- Create a new blank Cover Sheet which is the container PDF that the files in the Collection are attached to. You probably want to create your own custom cover sheet with your own branding. In that case, you simply open your cover sheet and add files to it rather than creating a new page as the sample does. This is the page that appears when the PDF viewer doesn’t understand Portfolios.
- Embed some files in the Collection and assign metadata to make it easier for the user to find the files they are interested in.
- Create the Schema. The schema specifies the columns in the Collection interface, shown in table form in Adobe Acrobat when you view the Collection.
- Set up what columns should be used to sort the rows in the Collection.
The current version of the sample shows how to pass the metadata that you want to associate with the Collection item along with the item itself because you can attach any file type to a Collection and not all file types make it easy to get to their metadata. However, if you know that you are only going to be adding PDF files or images to the Collection, the sample can be easily modified to pull the metadata from the PDF or image files themselves and Acrobat DC respects all of the metadata fields added to the Collection schema. This means that developers can use the Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit to create PDF Portfolios that contain as many custom metadata fields as they need. These custom fields can then be displayed and used for sorting properly in Acrobat DC even though Acrobat DC isn’t capable of creating them.