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Publishing Your PDFs on the World Wide Web
In This Chapter
- Understanding the four ways to view PDFs on the Web
- Publishing your PDFs on the Web
As the Information Age plunges headlong onto the Internet, software companies are clamoring for ways to make their software (and the documents their software packages produce) exploit this exciting and vastly enticing technology. The Acrobat PDFs are poised to take advantage of this technology.
What the Internet and the World Wide Web in particular need is a way to deliver documents to end users in a quick and efficient manner. And, as you've seen if you've read much of this book, PDFs fit the bill. They are compact, quick, and highly portable across platforms. In Acrobat 3, a new Internet technology for delivering documents (called streaming) makes PDFs even more adaptable to the Web.
The possibilities for publishing PDFs on the Web are immense. You can use PDFs for everything from simple applications, such as document distribution, to sophisticated database updates and forms submission applications. The latter, however, requires a person strong not only in PDF design but also in CGI scripting, a form of programming that goes far beyond the scope of this book. You can find information about CGI scripts for posting PDF forms at
Four Ways Your Users Can View PDFs on the Web
If you haven't read Chapter 3, perhaps you should before checking out this discussion of viewing PDFs on the Web. That way, the information here will be a lot more understandable.
When designing PDFs for the Web, you have four possible viewing scenarios. The option you choose should depend primarily on the type of users (actually, the type of Web browser) you anticipate accessing your PDFs, as well as the type of Internet server the PDFs will reside on.
Now I'm getting highly technical and way beyond the scope of this book. The good news is that Adobe provides a bunch of help on the topics of Web browsers and Internet servers on its Web site (
http://www.adobe.com). As you wind your way through this technical stuff, I'll tell you where to get more information on the Web.
The four types of scenarios for viewing PDFs on the World Wide Web are as follows:
- Page-at-a-time downloading (also known as byte-serving or streaming)
- Non-page-at-a-time inline viewing
- Reader as a helper application
- Embedded PDFs
The next sections look at each type of viewing in some detail.
The page-at-a-time scenario is the fastest, most efficient way to present PDFs on the Web. To take advantage of it, the user's browser must support PDF viewing, the PDF file must be optimized (as I discuss in the next chapter), and the Web server must support byte-serving. If all these conditions are met, the PDF file downloads a page at a time. The download begins with the first page and view set in the document's Open Info fields (as I discuss in Chapter 6) and displays in the Web browser window, as shown in Figure 15-1.
Notice in the figure that the Acrobat controls are part of the Netscape Navigator window. This type of document viewing in a browser is known as inline viewing. The user can browse the PDF as though the document resided on his or her system or network drive. With this approach, the Internet server sends only the page or pages the user requests.
This page-at-a-time stuff is great for speed, but it does not download and save the entire PDF for you, in case you wanted to read more of it (or print it) later. You can, however, capture the entire file to your hard disk by turning on the Allow Background Downloading of Entire File. To do so, follow these steps:
- From your Web browser, choose File-->Preferences.
- Select General.
- Select the Allow Background Downloading of Entire File option to turn it on.
- Click OK.
The page-at-a-time process is possible only when users have Acrobat Reader (or Exchange) 3, their browser supports the Acrobat 3 browser plug-in, and the PDF has been optimized in Exchange 3. (You see how to optimize the PDF in Chapter 16.) Also, the server on which the PDF resides must be running an Internet server that supports byte-serving. For a list of current browsers and servers compatible with this byte-serving application, point your Web browser to
When you install Reader (or Exchange), the installation application usually finds your browser and installs the proper configuration. If you move or reinstall your browser, however, you may need to install the plug-in again. In these cases, you can install the browser plug-in from the Acrobat installation disks or CD-ROM by copying the plug-in into your browser's Plug-ins folder. In Windows, copy the NPPDF32.dll (Windows 95) or NPPDF16.dll (Windows 3.1) file into your browser's Plug-ins folder. On a Mac, copy the PDFViewer plug-in to your browser's Plug-ins folder. On both platforms, your browser must be Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer compatible.
Non-byte-serving inline viewing
With the non-byte-serving inline viewing option, the PDF still displays as an inline document, as shown in Figure 15-1, but you don't get the benefit of page-at-a-time downloading. Users must wait for the entire file to download before they can start viewing the PDF. In this scenario, the browser supports PDF viewing, but the PDF file is not optimized or the server does not byte-serve files. If this is your situation, remember that the PDFs should be relatively small -- users don't like to wait on the Web.
I find that the PDF file size for non-byte-serving applications can be rather large, taking as long as 10 minutes to download (between 2 and 4MB over a 28.8 bps modem). You can get away with this as long as the user considers the information in the document important enough to wait that long. Maybe that's not much help. My advice is to keep your PDFs as small as possible. Break large information into small chunks and resample graphics downward, as I discuss in Chapter 16.
An Acrobat viewer as a helper application
In the third scenario, Exchange or Reader is configured as a helper application for the browser. In this case, either the users don't have a browser that supports viewer plug-ins or they are using a version of Reader or Exchange before 3.0. The entire PDF file downloads to the user's machine, and the Acrobat viewer launches (or spawns) as a separate application, as shown in Figure 15-2.
If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, there's no need to configure readers and viewers. Internet Explorer uses the Windows registry and OLE to determine how to treat PDFs. Version 3 of Internet Explorer, with its support of ActiveX technology, provides a more sophisticated approach to viewing PDFs, as you see a little later in this chapter. If you are the ultimate authority on your organization's computer system application (or even if they respect your opinion), you might want to have Exchange installed on your network. You get much better results by configuring all your users with Internet Explorer, which Microsoft provides free at
Installing Reader or Exchange as a helper application in Netscape Navigator
When you install Reader or the Acrobat package, the installation program usually finds Netscape Navigator, determines the version, and installs the viewer in the optimal form for your version of the software. This doesn't always work, though. Or perhaps you installed Netscape Navigator after you installed Acrobat.
In any case, you can install Reader as a helper application at any time by following these steps:
The Preferences dialog box appears.
The Helpers sheet shown in the figure appears. You set up your Helper applications from this sheet.
The Configure New Mime Type dialog box appears.
The Click Appropriate Viewer dialog box appears.
Now you're ready to use Reader or Exchange as a helper application. Netscape Navigator and Acrobat will do the rest.
Embedded PDFs are certainly the most impressive PDF-in-browser application. An embedded PDF is also the most difficult to achieve, requiring some basic HTML programming savvy. With this scenario, the PDF shows up as an object on the Web page, as shown in Figure 15-3. To take advantage of this application, the user's browser must support PDF viewing, and PDF documents must be embedded in an HTML page, allowing the PDF file to display in part of the browser window rather than in a full window.
With an ActiveX browser, such as Internet Explorer, that supports navigating through the document in the partial window, users can navigate PDFs in place, right on the page, using either the toolbar or navigational links built into the PDF (as I discuss in Chapter 6). Netscape Navigator-compatible browsers can display the PDF document within an HTML page but require a link to a full-window view (in Reader or Exchange) for navigation. If users attempt to navigate the PDF, they are automatically switched to the viewer application. An exception is a link to a URL (Web location), which you can include in the HTML code for embedding. Clicking on hypertext links in the PDF sends the browser to the new World Wide Web location. (You can find information on this type of linking on page 266 of the Exchange Online Guide.)
Publishing PDFs on the World Wide Web
As a World Wide Web designer, I realize that for people who don't have an understanding of the Internet, it seems a lot like black magic. The reality is that Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) publishing, which is the type of document displayed in browsers on the Web, has an easy layout procedure, especially now that so many HTML page layout packages are available.
In the preceding section, you found out about the four viewing scenarios for PDFs on the Web. You'll be happy to know that the first three are all achieved in the same way. How they are treated in the browser depends solely on the browser your users use for accessing the Web. The fourth application, embedding the PDF directly on the HTML page, is a bit more difficult, requiring you to add coding directly to the HTML source, or page.
The two methods for making PDFs navigable on a Web page are creating a URL link and embedding. The following sections look at each procedure in detail.
Creating an HTML link to a PDF
If you have experience laying out Web pages, this discussion will make perfect sense to you. If not, you should find out about HTML pages before reading on. Otherwise, you might suffer from techno-overload.
To create a link to a PDF on the Web, you make calls (create codes) to a PDF the same way you make calls to a URL, or location: with the
HREF code. To link to IDG Books Worldwide, for example, your code would look like this:
<A HREF="http://www.idgbooks.com">Click Here to Go to IDG Books Worldwide
All the users see is the bold text, displayed as a hyperlink. The same call to a PDF looks like this:
<A HREF="http://www.dock.net/pdfs/userhelp.pdf"> Help Manual</A>
All the users see in the Web page is the clickable link, Help Manual. When they click on the link, the PDF begins downloading and, depending on their browser and configuration, is displayed in their browser or in a helper application window.
Creating URL links inside PDFs
In addition to creating links in HTML pages to PDFs, you can create links inside PDFs to Web pages and other PDFs on the Web. You do not achieve this with HTML coding on a Web page. Instead, this magic is performed in Exchange.
To create a link to any Web page or PDF living on the Web, follow these steps:
I discuss creating links in Chapter 6.
This displays the Create Link dialog box.
I discuss changing link rectangles in Chapter 6.
The Weblink Edit URL dialog box appears.
The Weblink Edit URL dialog box closes and the Create Link dialog box appears.
That's it. Now, whenever users click the link, their browser will hop over to the URL you defined in the link. Too easy, huh?
As in PDFs, links can be made from either text or graphics. Believe it or not, we used to do all of this coding by hand, in text documents, as shown in Figure 15-4. Nowadays, these kinds of links are usually set up in an HTML layout program, such as Claris Home Page, Adobe PageMill, or Microsoft Front Page. In Figure 15-5, I'm creating a link to a PDF in Claris Home Page.
Easy enough, right? No? If you're finding this discussion way over your head, check out a good book on HTML, such as HTML For Dummies®, 2nd Edition, by Steve James and Ed Tittel (published by IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.).
Embedding PDFs in Web pages
To embed PDFs in Web pages, you use the HTML code
<EMBED>. In Internet Explorer, you can also use
<OBJECT>. The results you get depend on the browser. Netscape Navigator 3, for example, displays the first page of the PDF, without the toolbar and other navigation tools. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, uses the settings you set in the Open Info dialog box when creating the PDF. (I discuss the Open Info dialog box in Chapter 7.) It displays the page, view, and interface settings saved with the PDF.
In addition, you cannot navigate the PDF on the Netscape Navigator page, but you can in Internet Explorer. (When you click an embedded PDF in Netscape, the viewer application -- Reader or Exchange -- comes to the forefront and allows you to navigate the PDF.)
In the HTML source document, the
<EMBED> code looks like this:
<EMBED SRC="http://www.rsi-save.com/save.pdf" WIDTH=75% HEIGHT=75%></EMBED>
The Height and Width variables allow you to control the size of the PDF in the Web page. In this example, I designate the size using percentages, but you can also use pixels (HEIGHT=300, WIDTH=200). I prefer percentages because the size of the PDF on the page is determined by the size of the browser window. If your users resize the window (or if they are using different monitor resolutions), the embedded PDFs resize accordingly. This method also ensures that Internet Explorer displays the entire toolbar and all the controls.
In addition to adding the codes to the source file with a text editor, you can also embed them in your HTML pages with some Web page layout programs, as shown in Figure 15-6, as long as you know how to use the layout software. This method can be easier than coding the PDF object by hand.
The discussion on publishing PDFs on the Web may seem short, sweet, and too simple. But this really is all you need to know to get you PDFs to work on the Internet. You can find supporting information, such as design issues and form application programming, on Adobe's Web site. Try this: While connected to the Internet, from inside Exchange, choose Help-->Adobe on The Web-->Tips and Tricks. You find a bunch of valuable stuff on these Web pages.
Table of Contents
- About This Book
- How to Use This Book
- How This Book Is Organized
- Part I: Getting to Know Acrobat
- Part II: Enhancing PDFs in Exchange
- Part III: Bringing PDFs to Life
- Part IV: Distributing PDFs on the Internet and Other Networks
- Part V: The Part of Tens
- Icons Used in This Book
- Where to Go from Here
Part I: Getting to Know Acrobat
- Chapter 1: Publishing without Paper
- What Is an Electronic Document?
- What is a portable document?
- Common PDF applications
- PDFs as sales material
- Network document libraries
- Acrobat multimedia titles
- Point-of-sale kiosks
- Business presentations
- Viewer-interactive presentations
- Self-running presentations
- Electronic sales and marketing demos
- Okay, I'm Convinced. So What Is Acrobat?
- Acrobat Reader
- Acrobat Distiller
- Acrobat Exchange
- Adobe Catalog
- Adobe Capture
- Why Do I Need Acrobat?
- Leaping documents across platforms
- Tumbling documents from computer to computer
- Juggling documents from application to application
- What Do I Need to Run Acrobat?
- Running Acrobat in Windows
- Running Acrobat on a Mac
- Running Acrobat on a UNIX system
- Which Web browser do I need?
- Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating PDFs on Your Computer
- How Do I Get and Install Acrobat Reader?
- Software application
- Finding Acrobat Reader
- Installing Acrobat Reader
- The World Wide Web
- Becoming Familiar with Acrobat Reader
- Identifying PDF files
- A quick tour of the Acrobat Reader interface
- File menu
- Edit menu
- View menu
- Tools menu
- Window menu
- Help menu
- Getting around in Acrobat Reader
- Moving around with bookmarks and thumbnails
- Moving around with hyperlinks
- Other types of navigational controls
- Multimedia links
- Getting a Better View
- Zooming in and out interactively
- Using the Hand tool to move the page into view
- Printing PDFs
- Getting a Full-Screen View
- Chapter 3: Viewing and Navigating PDFs on the Web
- Acrobat Reader and Your Web Browser
- In the Dark Ages
- Somersaulting into the Middle Ages
- Coming of age with Acrobat 3
- Making Acrobat Reader 3 Work with Your Web Browser
- Navigating PDFs on the World Wide Web
- Chapter 4: Converting Your Documents to PDF
- The Journey from Plain Ol' Computer Document to PDF
- What You Should Know about PostScript
- Printing to a PostScript File
- Printing to a PostScript file in Windows
- Printing to a PostScript file on a Mac
- Walking through printing to a file
- Creating PDFs with PDFWriter
- Creating PDFs with Distiller
- Setting up Distiller
- Changing Distiller job options
- General options
- Compression options
- Font embedding options
- Defining font locations
- Creating PDFs in One Step with Distiller Assistant
- Creating PDFs Using PDF-Savvy Applications
- Using Distiller in Print-on-Demand Settings
Part II: Enhancing PDFs in Exchange
- Chapter 5: Getting to Know Acrobat Exchange
- What Can You Do with Exchange?
- Acrobat Exchange: A Brief Tour
- Opening PDFs in Exchange
- Navigating PDFs in Exchange
- Navigating cataloged PDFs
- Browsing the Web from a PDF
- Changing How Exchange Behaves
- Getting a better view when you open a PDF
- Making Exchange work faster
- Chapter 6: Making Your PDFs Interactive
- Creating Bookmarks
- Editing existing bookmarks
- Editing bookmark text
- Editing bookmark destinations
- Deleting bookmarks
- Creating subordinate bookmarks
- Creating Thumbnails
- Adding Text Hyperlinks
- Creating a link
- Editing a link
- Removing a link
- Making hypertext links distinctive
- Creating Hyperlink Graphics
- Chapter 7: Editing Your PDFs
- Editing Text in Exchange
- Changing words and characters
- Changing typefaces, type attributes, and type sizes
- Changing the typeface
- Changing the type size
- Changing the type color
- Changing character width and character and line spacing
- Changing the character width
- Changing character and word tracking
- Line spacing
- Indents and outdents
- Working with Graphics in Exchange
- Copying graphics to paste into another application
- Importing graphics into PDFs
- Working with Pages in PDFs
- Moving pages in PDFs
- Inserting pages in PDFs
- Extracting and deleting pages
- Extracting pages
- Deleting pages
- Replacing pages in PDFs
- Setting the page action
- Cropping pages
- Making Your PDFs Secure
- Setting password options
- Securing a document from prying eyes
- Securing a document against changing and copying
- Changing security options
- Checking a document's security
- Adding Author and Other General Info
- Creating and Editing Notes
- Creating a note
- Changing a note's properties
- Chapter 8: Using the Scan and Capture Plug-Ins
- Setting Up Your Scanner to Work with Scan
- ISIS scanners
- Twain scanning interfaces
- Choosing a scanner
- Configuring your scanner
- Scanning your documents
- Turning Graphics into Text with Capture
- Changing the Capture preferences
- PDF Output Style option
- Downsample Images option
- Location for Temporary Files option
- Capturing pages
- Correcting words that Capture can't recognize
- Chapter 9: Creating Interactive Tables of Contents and Indexes
- Creating an Interactive List from a Word Processor Document
- Setting up the file in your word processor
- Creating the links in Exchange
- Creating an Interactive List from a Page Layout Program
- Setting up the document in your page layout application
- Setting up the interactive list in Exchange
- Chapter 10: Creating Forms
- The Anatomy of PDF Forms
- Forms to be filled out and printed in Reader
- Forms to be filled out and submitted electronically
- Forms that add interactivity to your PDFs
- Creating PDF Forms
- Creating form elements
- Defining text fields
- Defining radio buttons
- Defining list boxes
- Defining combo boxes
- Defining check boxes
- Defining buttons
- Creating Forms for Filling Out and Printing
- First, lay out the form's shell in a creator application
- Second, complete the form in Exchange
- Using Forms to Add Interactivity to Your PDFs
- Buttons make more sense
- Buttons make it easier to provide choices
- Buttons can perform multiple actions
Part III: Bringing PDFs to Life
- Chapter 11: Making Your PDFs Alive with Sound
- Getting to Know Computer Sound Technology
- Computer sound hardware
- Sound formats and Acrobat
- How Acrobat uses sound files
- Balancing sound file size and quality
- Obtaining Sound Files
- Clip media
- Sounds recorded with a microphone
- Sound tracks separated from digital movie files
- Enhancing Your PDFs with Sound
- Embedding sounds with the Movie Annotation tool
- Setting sounds to play as actions
- Playing a sound as a page action
- Playing a sound from a bookmark
- Playing a sound from a hyperlink
- Playing a sound with a form object
- Chapter 12: Making Your PDFs More Interesting with Digital Movies
- Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Digital Video
- Digital video formats
- Animation files
- 3-D modeling clips
- Getting digital videos for your PDFs
- Using clip media collections
- Capturing and editing your own clips
- How Acrobat Uses Digital Movies
- Adding Movies to Your PDFs
- Adding a movie with the Movie Annotation tool
- Adding a movie as an action
- Playing a movie as a page action
- Playing a movie from a bookmark
- Playing a movie from a hyperlink
- Playing a movie by clicking a form object
- Chapter 13: Indexing with Acrobat Catalog
- The Importance of Cataloging
- Search uses scores to find PDFs
- Search one or many catalogs
- Performing Your First Search
- Creating Your First Index
- Naming the index
- Setting index options
- Excluding words and numbers from an index
- Defining word options
- Adding and excluding PDFs for indexing
- Building your index
- Preparing Your PDFs for Indexing
- Keeping those PDFs small
- Using and controlling Document Info fields
- Consistency counts
- Fine-tune your file structures
- Maintaining Your Indexes
- Purging Your Indexes
- Chapter 14: Searching Indexed Acrobat Catalogs
- Getting, Installing, and Using Reader with Search
- Performing a Basic Search
- Selecting the indexes to search
- Executing your first search
- Navigating your search results
- Setting Search Preferences
- Searching by Document Info fields
- Changing how results are ordered
- Changing how results are displayed in a document
- Refining Your Searches
- Searching for stemming words
- Searching for words that sound alike
- Searching for words that have the same meaning
- Narrowing and broadening searches with Match Case
- Using wild cards
- Using Boolean searches
- The AND operator
- The OR operator
- The NOT operator
- When is a Boolean not a Boolean?
Part IV: Distributing PDFs on the Internet and Other Networks
- Chapter 15: Publishing Your PDFs on the World Wide Web
- Four Ways Your Users Can View PDFs on the Web
- Page-at-a-time (byte-serving)
- Non-byte-serving inline viewing
- An Acrobat viewer as a helper application
- Embedded PDFs
- Publishing PDFs on the World Wide Web
- Creating an HTML link to a PDF
- Embedding PDFs in Web pages
- Chapter 16: Optimizing Your PDFs for the World Wide Web
- Optimizing PDFs for Page-at-a-Time Downloading
- Optimizing a single PDF
- Optimizing several PDFs at one time
- Controlling Image Size for Fast Downloading
- Downsampling and subsampling
- Resampling your images
- Changing resample settings in Distiller
- Resampling your images in an image editor
- Controlling File Size through Compression
- Chapter 17: Setting Up a PDF Application on Your Company's Network
- Laying Out an Automated PDF Library
- Updating and Maintaining a PDF Library
- Maintaining a PDF library manually
- Using watched folders
- Creating watched folders
- Setting watched folder options
- Indexing your library automatically
- Setting Up a Secure PDF Library
- Setting Up a Form Application on Your Network
- Designing the form
- Filling out the form and exporting the data
Part V: The Part of Tens
- Chapter 18: Ten Applications for Publishing and Distributing PDFs
- Using PDFs to Create Interactive Documents for the World Wide Web
- Using PDFs to Create a Company Library on a Network Drive
- Using Acrobat to Create Multimedia Titles
- Using Acrobat to Create CD-ROM Titles
- Using Acrobat to Create Software Documentation
- Using Acrobat for Form Submission and Retrieval Applications
- Using Acrobat to Create Electronic Books and Manuals
- Using Acrobat to Create Electronic Brochures
- Chapter 19: Ten Troubleshooting Tips for Creating PDFs
- What an Ugly Picture!
- Why Won't Distiller Convert the PostScript file to PDF?
- Corrupted files
- Counterfeit PostScript driver
- A PostScript file by any other name
- What Happened to My Fancy Fonts?
- How Can I Get Rid of the Ugly Borders on My Pages?
- My Watched Folders Keep Running Out of Disk Space
- I Can't Run Distiller Assistant Successfully
- My PDFs Don't Download a Page at a Time from the Web
- Some of My Users Can't Access My PDFs on the Web
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