A Question on PDF Post Processing

By Deane Barker on December 26, 2003

Here’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a couple of weeks, but it hasn’t been pressing enough to really dig into research. So I’m going to be lazy and throw the question out here.

If you take a document from Word or whatever and convert it to a PDF, Adobe Acrobat can then do some great things with it (and I mean really great things; browse this book sometime, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do with Acrobat). You can create hotspots that hyperlink to Web sites, add video, specify articles within larger documents, add bookmarks, etc.

But what happens when you have to change the source document? You make a change in Word, reprint to Acrobat Distiller, and you now have a brand new PDF. You have to do all the post processing all over again.

So, my question is: is there a way to “swap out” the source document from a PDF? How do you avoid having to re-do all the Acrobat enhancements you did post-PDF conversion? Just wondering.



  1. Many of the elements that make Acrobat great are standalone, and can be copy/pasted from one document to another. And when you do that they usually retain their position, since they are basically postscript elements that are added to the document. If the new document differs drastically from the original you’d have to do some tweaking, but it’d be a simple deal to click & drag the thing. I’ve never tried it with hyperlinks, but I’ve done it with form elements, buttons, notes, etc… Of course you’ve got to have the full version of Acrobat for all of this.

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