2020 was a year in which interest in “remote work” (telework) increased socially in Japan due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. In the first place, the telework concept of “creating an environment where employees can work with high productivity without being tied to time or place” has long been required to be put into practice in companies as part of “work style reform”. Thing. In the era of with corona and after-corona, it became a company to make telework “one of the usual work styles” while making use of the experience of corona sickness and improving the problems found during actual teleworking. It will lead to the realization of the required “new way of working”.

It seems that there are many cases in which teleworking has been carried out for a relatively long period of time, and the so-called “analog” business processes that require paper and seals have become obstacles to the smooth execution of teleworking. is. According to a questionnaire survey conducted by Adobe, 64.2% of the respondents said that they had no choice but to come to work by checking or stamping paper documents during teleworking. “Digitalization of business-related information and procedures” is a major issue in making telework one of the standard work styles.

  • Analog data and business processes are obstacles to telework

In this series, we will utilize “PDF”, an international standard electronic document format that does not depend on applications and platforms (OS and devices), and the “Adobe Acrobat” family of PDF tools provided by Adobe, the developer of PDF. Then, I will introduce tips for promoting telework and “digitization of business” more smoothly and increasing productivity.

“PDF” that can be used in any environment is the key to improving productivity

I think that there are many people who have done work such as browsing electronic documents in PDF format and creating PDF from office applications in their daily work. Originally, PDF is an electronic document format developed by Adobe based on a technology called “PostScript”. The company has opened the PDF specifications from the beginning of development, allowing companies other than Adobe to develop software for viewing and creating PDFs. PDF as an electronic document specification was standardized by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, in 2008, and is now used worldwide as a world standard electronic document format in both name and reality.

Nowadays, you can view and create PDFs with various software such as Web browsers and office software, but Adobe, which invented PDF, will continue to enhance the functions of PDF itself and view and create PDFs accordingly. We have been working on enhancing the functionality of the tool.

Currently, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, a PDF viewing tool distributed free of charge, and the paid version of Adobe Acrobat DC, which allows you to create, edit, and protect PDFs as well as electronic contracts in addition to viewing them. Is its latest version. A cloud service called “Document Cloud” is integrated into these, enabling efficient viewing, sharing, and collaboration of PDFs via the cloud. The major differences between the functions available in the free “Acrobat Reader DC” and the paid “Acrobat DC” are shown in the figure below.

  • There are “Acrobat Reader DC” for viewing and “Acrobat DC” with advanced PDF creation / editing functions.

If you are a user who has registered an “Adobe ID”, Document Cloud can use up to 2GB with a free license and up to 100GB with a paid license. In addition, the Acrobat Reader DC mobile app allows you to perform some functions (PDF editing page organization, file compression, password setting, text editing, etc.) just like a PC by logging in with a paid account. ..

In order to smoothly carry out work involving multiple people by teleworking, it is necessary to be able to create and share documents in an electronic format that can be referenced and worked in the same way regardless of the device or OS used by each. It is a point. The first step would be to make internal rules regarding the use of “PDF” when sharing and storing business-related documents.

Free application “Adobe Scan” that is convenient for converting analog information to PDF

So how do you work when you “create a PDF”? When converting a document created with office software to PDF, in general, I think that there are many cases where you use the “Export in PDF format” function in the save menu. However, what if you want to convert materials that have already been printed as paper to PDF, or if you want to save the contents of the whiteboard used at the meeting or handwritten notes as PDF? In some cases, it may take time and effort to create an image using the camera function of a smartphone or the scanner function of a multifunction device, paste it into an office document, and then convert it to PDF.

If you use the free application “Adobe Scan” provided by Adobe for iOS / Android, you can perform all the processes from “shooting”, “correction”, “OCR”, and “saving as PDF” with this application alone. It can be completed. In addition, you will be required to register your e-mail address as an “Adobe ID” before using it. If you already have an Adobe ID with a paid Acrobat license, use it to log in. If not, create a new Adobe ID or log in using an email address such as Google or Apple ID. You can use Adobe Scan even with a free license.

  • “Adobe Scan” can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play

  • With Adobe Scan, information on whiteboards and paper documents can be converted to PDF with a camera.

With Adobe Scan, you can shoot whiteboards, handwritten documents on paper, and printed documents with the camera of your smart device, adjust the angle of view, erase unnecessary parts (clean up), and save as PDF. .. It is also possible to convert images already saved on the device to PDF. You can specify the save destination on the device, Document Cloud, or cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

  • It is also possible to perform image correction and erase unnecessary stains after scanning. You can also specify Google Drive or Dropbox as the save destination for the created PDF (right figure).

The data converted to PDF by Adobe Scan also includes OCR-processed text data. For documents printed in print, OCR processing is performed with considerable accuracy even in Japanese. Therefore, it is also possible to search within documents with Acrobat Reader and file searches using external PDF search software. It is very easy to convert “analog” data such as printed materials and handwritten memos to PDF, so please take advantage of it.

  • PDFs created with Adobe Scan can be shared with others through the cloud

How to combine files created by different apps into one PDF

Often you want to combine data such as word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and images related to a particular project or project into a single PDF file. Basically, when you create a PDF using each application, you can only export it as a “one file for each application” PDF. If you want to combine files created by multiple applications into one PDF, the “Combine files” function in “Acrobat DC” is convenient.

Launch the paid license version of Acrobat DC and click the Tools tab at the top of the window to see the “Combine Files” icon in “Create and Edit”. If you click this, the following screen will be displayed.

  • You can use Acrobat DC’s “Combine Files” to convert multiple types of files into PDF at once.

Drag and drop the document file of the application you want to convert to PDF on this screen, and click the “Combine” button displayed in the upper right to convert it into one PDF file at once.

Depending on the type of file to be combined (office document, etc.), the application that can open the file must be installed in that environment.

  • When combining Word and Excel files, the original application is required

In addition to PDF, office documents such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, images such as BMP / GIF / JPG / PNG, HTML, PostScript, AutoCAD, etc. can be combined into PDF with this “Combine files” function. There is. It is also possible to include audio and video data such as mov / mp3 / mp4. If you convert a multimedia file that is too large into a PDF, it may be difficult to handle it, so be careful, but it is also possible to include a few seconds of audio and video notes in the PDF and play it on Acrobat Reader. Remember, there may be useful occasions.

  • Types of files that can be converted to PDF at once with “Combine files”.Also supports multimedia files

The surprisingly unknown fact that “PDF can be edited directly”

You can edit the PDF directly by clicking “Edit PDF” with the PDF open.

One of the common misconceptions about PDF is that “PDF is a viewing format and cannot be edited.” Therefore, if a minor typographical error or omission is found in a document that has been converted to PDF for storage, there are cases where the original document file is searched for, corrected, and then saved again as PDF. There is.

Actually, “Acrobat DC” has a function that allows you to directly modify, edit, and save the characters on the PDF as they are in the PDF. If the “Uneditable” attribute is not added in the PDF file security settings, click the “Edit PDF” icon with the PDF open to switch to edit mode. In edit mode, you can modify characters as if you were using a word processor or presentation software.

  • If it is a simple character correction or partial replacement, you can work only with Acrobat

In addition to modifying characters, you can also change the order of pages, delete specific pages, and so on. In that case, click the Page Thumbnails icon on the left side of Acrobat DC. The order of the pages displayed as thumbnails can be changed by dragging. You can also edit “Insert”, “Delete”, “Replace”, “Crop page”, “Rotate page” from the menu displayed by right-clicking on the thumbnail.

  • In Acrobat DC’s “Page Thumbnails”, you can replace or delete pages on a page-by-page basis.

After editing, you can save the modified file by “Save” or “Rename and save”. With Acrobat DC, minor modifications and edits can be made “as is a PDF file”. Of course, when it comes to major modifications or changes to the content itself, it may be more efficient to work with the original office application. In that case, even if you don’t have the original document file, you can convert the PDF to a file for another application from “Export Format” in Acrobat DC’s “File” menu. Word processing documents and spreadsheets that do not have a special layout can be converted with considerable accuracy. You can use PDF more efficiently by properly using the editing functions of Acrobat DC and other applications.

  • Convert PDF to file formats such as office applications if major modifications or changes are needed

From the next time onward, I will introduce tips for more efficient “information sharing” and “workflow” in work using PDF.

Tachikawa Taro

Campaign Marketing Manager, Marketing Headquarters, Adobe Corporation

Responsible for marketing document cloud products at Adobe. Seminars are held inside and outside the company to teach how to use Adobe products and tricks.