Recently, we partnered with callas and 4 Pees to organize an event called PDF Camp: Chicago 2017. The two-day PDF focused workshop offered a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with our customers, learn more about what they are working on, and address any immediate questions they had regarding PDF workflows, PDF functionality, or anomalies they were experiencing with our respective products. Our senior-level software developers and technical support staff were on site to provide their expertise to customers to help them through their PDF challenges.
Customers gained valuable insight and relevant product information from the presentations given by the product and engineering teams. I, too, gave a presentation covering topics related to changes and updates to the Adobe PDF Library over the past year. We shared information about our new online sample repository (which was set up to provide our customers with easy, ready-to-use samples for their specific needs), and provided details on the new PDF optimization technology that is now available within the Adobe PDF Library. Patrick Gallot, our Enterprise Software Engineer, provided insight into the tools we have developed internally to help analyze PDF documents.
One of the most valuable parts of this event was the attendee participation. Customers shared their questions with us, and some even brought their actual files for us to troubleshoot. Many customers dealt with abnormally large PDF files on a daily basis – where the file sizes were too large compared with what they needed to do with the files. Our working sessions provided a great opportunity to dissect, analyze, and diagnose the file size and content discrepancies. A big focus was how to address file size optimization. Our engineers walked the customers through a hands-on analysis of the problem and showed the group how to use Adobe Acrobat to see what space different structures inside of a PDF file looked like. After identifying the primary source of the issue, our engineers were able to utilize the optimization tools in the PDF Library to successfully reduce the document file size by 50%.
Another prominent topic of interest for all attendees was fonts. The key questions were related to:
- When to embed fonts in a document
- File size and compatibility decisions that needed to be made
- Various font inconsistencies in PDF
To dive further into this issue, callas shared a short presentation about this topic, followed by an interactive question and answer session. While many high-level potential font issues were addressed during the event, we realize that fonts as a whole is a pretty vast topic. So, we’ve decided to address this by creating additional educational resources on PDF-related topics specifically around fonts.
The two-day event provided us with a unique opportunity to better understand specific areas of interest, as well as our customer’s needs related to how they were using our products in their organizational workflow. This valuable insight has helped us identify key areas we need to focus on. As a result, we plan to ramp up our educational efforts, and will work to develop additional educational content like white papers and webinars. This way, we will be able to address the needs of less experienced users who are getting started with PDF, and also those experienced users who may have more advanced requirements.
I can truly say that the Datalogics, callas, and 4 Pees teams, as well as our customers, received a lot of value from participating in PDF Camp: Chicago 2017. From our post event survey, the attendees rated the event 4.75 out of 5, and one of the recurring recommendations was that we hold this, and similar events, more frequently. We greatly appreciate all of those who participated in the event, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone at PDF Camp: Chicago 2018.