How to Import and Export in Acrobat - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Although you sometimes import and export files to and from Adobe Acrobat, it is primarily a tool for sharing completed documents — you’ll complete most document construction and editing in other programs, such as InDesign or Illustrator.

Import into Acrobat

You can import several kinds of data into PDF documents, and you can do some creative things when you place data into PDF files as well:

  • Comments: The most useful and common items to import into an Adobe PDF file are comments made using the review and markup tools provided by Adobe Acrobat. By importing comments into a PDF file, you can consolidate suggestions and input from several reviewers (people editing a document) into a single document. This feature helps consolidate the reviewing process when many people are working on a single document.

    To import someone’s comments into a PDF, choose Comments→Import Comments. If you’re reviewing a document, you can also export only the comments rather than send the document owner the entire PDF file.

  • Form data: You can import form data into a PDF document by choosing Forms→Manage Form Data→Import Data. The data you import can be generated by exporting the form data from another PDF form, or it can come from a delimited text file. You can then share form data between forms or from a database.

  • Trusted identities: If you share digitally signed files or secured files with another Acrobat user, you can import the public version of that person’s signature file into your list of trusted users with whom you share files. To import the identity of a user, choose Advanced→Manage Trusted Identities, and in the Manage Trusted Identities dialog box that appears, click the Add Contacts button.

  • Multimedia files: If you’ve ever had the urge to add a movie or sound file to your PDF documents, you’re in luck.

    By using the Sound tool or Movie tool, you can identify the location on the page where you want the file to appear and then choose whether to embed the multimedia file (compatible with Acrobat 6 or later) or create a link to the file (compatible with Acrobat 5 and earlier).

  • Buttons: Creating buttons to turn pages, print a document, or go to a website makes your PDF files easier to use. Adding custom button images, such as pictures of arrows or a printer icon, makes your document unique.

    Use the Button tool to create the location of the button and then select the graphic file to be used as the image on the button. The image file you use must first be converted to a PDF graphic.

  • Preflight information: If you’re creating a PDF file to be sent to a commercial printer for reproduction, you may want to preflight the file to ensure that it meets the specifications and needs of the printer and has all the necessary assets (such as fonts and images) that it needs to print correctly.

    If your printer has supplied a preflight profile for Acrobat, you can import the profile to ensure that Acrobat checks for the elements your printer has requested, such as certain font types or color specifications.

    Import a preflight profile by choosing Advanced→Print Production→Preflight, and in the Preflight window that opens, choose Options→Import Preflight Profile.

Export Acrobat content

Acrobat lets you export certain parts of a PDF document you’re working on. For example, you may use form data — data that’s filled into a form made of text fields and so on — in one of your files.

You can export this data from Acrobat and send it online, which is helpful because PDF documents tend to be rather large for the web. Therefore, only a small amount of formatted data is sent online, not a huge PDF file.

You can also export parts of an Acrobat document to use in other programs. You can export comments in a PDF to a Microsoft Word file that was used to create the PDF by choosing Comments→Export Comments to Word.

You can also export comments to an AutoCAD file (assuming that it was used to create the PDF). In both cases, you need the original document that was used to generate the PDF file in order to successfully import the comments.

Similarly, you can export all comments from a PDF file by choosing Comments→Export Comments to Data File and then import them into another version of the same document. You can use this option to consolidate comments from multiple reviewers or overlay comments from a draft with a final version to confirm that all edits were completed.