Launch multiple instances of Acrobat Professional

You are running some complex work flow or Action on a large PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Professional and it hangs preventing you from working on another PDF document, in parallel.

Your Acrobat process crashes (feel lucky for being an audience to a rare phenomena 🙂 ), taking down unsaved work and you wish you could ‘sandbox’ the critical work from the regular work.

Because of a troublesome PDF document, you have to end the Acrobat.exe process using the Windows Task Manager. You wish other open PDF documents remain open and unaffected.

You are commenting in and annotating one PDF, while referring to another and do not want your comment to auto-close.

If  you relate to such instances, launch multiple instances of Acrobat, as different processes using acrobat /n command.

Command to launch multiple instances of AcrobatAnd if you are wondering if these really are different instances/processes and not just different windows, see the following screenshots.

Acrobat multiple windows

Acrobat multiple windows

Multiple Acrobat processes in Task Manager

Multiple Acrobat processes in Task Manager

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Expand or collapse PDF bookmarks and retain that state

So you like PDF bookmarks?

And you like to expand and collapse them to your liking?

And you’d also like the PDF file to save and retain this state of bookmarks?!

Hmm… you sound pretty finicky about your settings, just like I am 😀

Every time you open a PDF file, the bookmarks as displayed as set by the author/generating-application. The changes you make, while reading it, do not show up the next time! This is what I do to make the PDF file retain my changes to the bookmarks.

  1. In Acrobat Professional expand and collapse the bookmarks as you want. This is a change in the PDF, but not yet recorded thus by Acrobat. Hence Acrobat will not prompt you to save it.
  2. Click File > Save As, and save the PDF as a PDF again. The changes to bookmarks are saved!
  3. (Optional) Thank the community, for sharing such great tips with us all.

Tip: Keyboard shortcut to quickly collapse all your bookmarks to top-level bookmarks: Select any bookmark and press Shift + / on number pad. Use the forward slash on the number pad.

Update: Embedding my video on the same topic in the post.

Browser usability fail – trusted website poses a risk

A facepalm moment!

Why, O my browser, why?! You know it is a trusted site!

PS: Wondering about the quality engineer who tested this scenario and the writer who wrote these strings! They must literally be heads down in their work 😉

Create custom menus to personlize FrameMaker

I blogged on my team blog here about how to create menus in FrameMaker.

FrameMaker lets you do the following with no coding involved!

  • Create new menus.
  • Add tags as menus.
  • Modify existing menu commands.

How does it help you?

  • Remove options to edit template components, from an author’s FrameMaker installation.
  • Personalize the existing FrameMaker menus by rearranging commands on menus or moving out a sub-menu command that you use frequently.
  • Shorten FrameMaker menus by removing distracting (for you) options.

Let me know how and why you use FrameMaker menu customization, in the comments section.

Suppress FrameMaker alerts

Your document uses unavailable fonts.

FrameMaker alert for missing fonts

missing fonts

Your document was created using a previous FM version.

FrameMaker alert about old release document

old release document

Your document has unresolved cross-references.

FrameMaker alert about unresolved cross reference

unresolved cross reference

Helpful when we want them, but irritating when we know about the issues, right?

Don’t sigh anymore. FrameMaker 10 has options to turn them off! Continue reading

View and use FrameMaker files in Notepad++

FrameMaker 10 has this great new feature called ‘View in Notepad’. I was recently reading some threads on framers list which asked for help with changing some regular patterns of text in their documents. The changes were many, hence a manual process is next to impossible. This is where the feature comes in handy. I know you wouldn’t view an XML in Notepad. For any real use, Microsoft’s Notepad utility is… well, the less we say the better 🙂

You can customize FrameMaker’s settings to launch the editor of your choice. Watch the demo to know more.

Note that this works for XML documents. I am using Notepad++ as my preferred editor. Notepad++ can handle regular expression and do XML validation, besides doing a gazillion other tasks. For unstructured FM file, we can always use the good old MIF format. I have rarely seen a software that allows users to customize it any which way they want. More on FM customizations later.

Tom Aldous, a power user of FrameMaker, has covered the very same feature here.

Further reading:
Working with XML files in FrameMaker.

Insert Adobe FrameMaker elements using keyboard

While using  structured FrameMaker we normally insert elements, and wrap and unwrap elements around text using the UI–the catalogs and the menu items. This takes a few clicks to insert an element. It is slow, involves using both, the keyboard and the mouse, and requires us to focus on what’s happening in the UI. So how does one get rid of all these nuisances?

There are a ton of keyboard shortcuts in Adobe FrameMaker which help us authors accomplish almost all the tasks. Watch the Captivate demo below to know how to quickly handle elements, with the help of these shortcuts.

Continue reading