Software Spotlight: Adobe Acrobat Pro

Creative Experience has the software you need for your next creative project, whether it’s producing a podcast, designing an album cover, or dipping your toes into video game development. But one program we offer that doesn’t quite fall into the “creative project” category is Adobe Acrobat Pro. Creative project or not, Acrobat Pro is available to all library customers!

Every public computer in the St. Louis Public LIbrary system has the standard version of Acrobat, but the Pro version is only offered in Creative Experience and has loads of features the standard version lacks. Frankly, there are too many to focus on in one blog post, but two features that might be particularly useful to SLPL customers are text recognition and the PDF editing.

Text Recognition 

Imagine you have a long document—an essay, a scanned book, legal forms, etc.—and you want to search the document for a specific word or phrase. This is easy in a Microsoft Word document, but not always in a PDF, which often treats documents more like images than text.

With the Recognize Text tool, Acrobat Pro will scan the document for text so that it is searchable, highlight-able, and easily editable. (For those interested in the more technical side of text recognition, this process is called Optical Character Recognition, or OCR. Look it up!)

Keep in mind: text recognition isn’t a perfect process and you can run into errors. The cleaner and brighter the scan, the better results you’ll have. Also, it does not work well with handwriting. 

Editing PDFs

PDFs are one of the most common file formats you are likely to run into, rivaled perhaps only by Microsoft Word. Word usually allows for easy editing, but PDFs are the absolute opposite. They are locked in place. 

But with Acrobat Pro, that changes. By using the Edit tools, you can rotate, rearrange, and alter to your heart’s content. Perhaps you need to update your resume and the only version you can find is a PDF. With Acrobat Pro, you can do it! (You can also export it as a Word document, so you can easily edit it next time you need to make a change!)

Keep in mind: it’s always a good idea to consider copyright before editing another person’s work!

Learn more: Acrobat DC Essential Training (Lynda.com)

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