Tracking Acrobat Revisions without miles of cursor moving

For anyone using an Acrobat markup workflow to take in client alterations, the following scenario may be familiar: Take in one client alteration, tick that it is done, scroll down to the next one, and take in that alteration… or perhaps tick that an alteration is done but not scroll down until all of the alterations that are visible have been done and then scroll down to the next set of untouched alterations.

trackalts1ccombined

For me, this falls into a category of “mildly annoying” when ticking off an alteration, then scrolling a fraction forward to put the next one to the top of the comments list. This escalates to “really annoying” when moving the cursor further to the bottom right of the screen to scroll down further, as instead of scrolling further down, the cursor will:

  • Invoke my Dock to pop up on my mac;
  • Invoke a “hot corner” action on my mac that is set to the bottom right of the screen;
  • Inadvertently open an email alert that pops up via Microsoft Outlook (alerts pop up on the bottom right of the screen).

I could always use the vertical slider to scroll only a fraction downwards, but as I near the end of the corrections, the vertical slider will still be closer to the bottom right hand of the screen.

trackalts1combined

I am unsure whether the comments list can be scrolled through vertically using the click-wheel on a mouse because I am using a stylus, but can say that the pan/scroll button on my stylus will not move vertically through the comments list.

The solution was inspired by an article from Matt Mayerchak and Kelly Vaughn that appeared in Issue 68 of InDesign Magazine titled “PDF Markup Demystified”. It is definitely worth a read if considering Acrobat markups as a workflow, or ways of improving an Acrobat workflow that may already be in use.

The first part of the solution was to do something that I did not think was possible in Adobe Acrobat – undock the comment list.

trackalts2

Doing this allows the list of comments list to appear as a panel that can start and finish at a custom size, and doesn’t limit the list to the bottom right of the screen. In this example, I have moved the comments closer to the left hand side of the artwork.

trackalts3b

The second part of the solution is eluded to in the article but not mentioned directly, and that is the ability to show only comments that are unchecked.

trackalts4 and 5b

It is worth noting that these checked/unchecked options are only available once one comment has been set from unchecked to checked.

trackalts5combined

Once this is done, the moment an alteration marked as checked, the alteration disappears and is replaced by the next unchecked alteration.

trackalts6combined

As a result of undocking the comment list and only showing unchecked alterations, it is now possible to see the current alterations being worked on without having so much cursor “travel time”. It might not seem like much, but for anyone using this workflow who may see 200-400 edits per PDF, that’s a lot of time that can be saved.

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About colmin8r
A prepress operator since 1997 specialising in Adobe InDesign.

One Response to Tracking Acrobat Revisions without miles of cursor moving

  1. Pingback: Now you see it, now you don’t… why? | Colecandoo!

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