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Litmus Test Review


  1. Detach Yourself from Paper

  2. Click Photos Without Film.

  3. The VCR for Web Browsing

  4. Small is Siemens

  5. Magic in Your Hands


  6. For other columns in Hindustan Times, click here.

Detach Yourself from Paper

Adobe Acrobat 5.0 Review




3 May 2001


Detach yourself. From the touch of this newspaper in your fingers. From the rustling sound of the sheets. From its smell of fresh print. In fact, detach yourself of these from all types of paper. Pretend these sensations do not exist. Can paper still be paper? Without a physical form, can paper exist as some spirited thing?


Never Born, Never to Disintegrate

According to Adobe Systems it can, but only in a digital incarnation. Invoked with far more powers, ?e-Paper?, as Adobe would like to call it, would never need a felled tree to communicate your message. It could travel across the world without postage stamps and delivery boys. Nobody could open pages unintended for them, either accidentally or deliberately. You could easily scribble and make notes in the margins; smudge it with highlighter pens; stamp it with official seals; and yes, even sign it with a flourish. Endowed with extraordinary intelligence and memory, e-Paper could also remember all the people who share and collaborate on a document, and point out all changes and additions made by them. Finally, never born in the physical world, e-Paper is blessed never to disintegrate or die. It lives forever, disembodied, in a digital world. Sounds revolutionary? There?s more. Attach any printer to any PC on the planet, and issue a print command to create a printed-on-paper version of your e-Paper. Do you have whole tomes of crumbling books, documents, forms, and other important records, lying in a heap? Attach a scanner to a PC and scan everything in, even subtle wrinkles and textures on the paper. Convert to e-Paper, since it also understands scanned words. Underlying e-Paper technology, is awesome software called Adobe Acrobat, currently at version 5, and recently launched in India at Rs 15,000. With its ability to read scanned pages, years of manual keying-in can be done in weeks of scanning, and it avoids human errors as well. Fascinatingly, you can then ask Acrobat to search for a phrase or a word across even millions of sheets of e-Paper. Within no time, Acrobat can pull out all the resultant pieces of e-Paper. Furthermore, you can even embed your own voice into an e-Paper document. People reading the document could then hear your comments, or even hear you recite the text. e-Paper also embraces the internet. With one click, you could upload an e-Paper document on the web that millions around the world could instantly and simultaneously view and download. The latest version allows you to work on the same document with co-workers across the web, and people can read ?e-Books? on handheld devices as well.


Panchratna PDF

At the core of all Acrobat technology is a revolutionary file format called PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format. Almost all PC users have come across a PDF file, or ?Acrobat file?, at least once. Some experts unofficially call PDF ?The Mother of All Computer File Formats.? Our review of version 5 reveals dramatic evolutions in Acrobat. Using the ?Open As Adobe PDF? command, you can quickly convert almost any type of text, image, or other file formats dotting your hard disk, into a PDF file. Use the ?Save As? command to convert a PDF file with its text, images, and other elements, into a simple image file. This feature allows you to create images of actual pages, which people could view on the web for example, before deciding on a download. You can also extract images from PDF documents. Alternatively, you can save an entire PDF file as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file. You can then edit an RTF file in MS Word for instance. Digital signatures are now more flexible and allow third-party solutions. Access and security controls offer additional options. Acrobat 5 supports the popular WebDAV technology, so a workgroup may share comments electronically. Small businesses, large enterprises, and even governments can safely migrate paper-based forms to the web, thereby saving enormously on time. IT professionals greatly appreciate its support for XML, Javascript, and powerful batch-processing features. Deploying Acrobat across enterprises has become much easier. No wonder Acrobat is becoming the best way to share documents anywhere on the planet. Without paper.


27 July 2002 © niyam bhushan


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