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THE LAWYER'S PC

A Newsletter for Lawyers Using Personal Computers

Published by Thomson/West Volume 26, Number 2 October 15, 2008

®

A n EvEn nimblEr AcrobAt

By Stephen Bird, Contributing Editor

Adobe Acrobat 9 Has Special Appeal for Lawyers

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hile reviewing Acrobat 8 ("New Acrobatics," The Lawyer's PC, January 15, 2007),1 I said: "A number of new features in Acrobat 8 definitely will appeal to legal professionals." What was true then is even more so now, in Adobe Acrobat 9 (A9). I again had an opportunity to beta-test the newest version of Acrobat with Microsoft's Virtual PC2 running Vista Service Pack 13 and a beta version of WordPerfect X4 (WP14).4 When beta testers log on to the Adobe prerelease Web site, we can see a list of the new features found in Acrobat 9. It is a very full list--a hard copy of the M8 Beta Build now prints on 11 pages! Main headAn Even Nimbler Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat 9 ings include PDF Creation, PDF Portfolios (formerHas Special Appeal for Lawyers -- 1 ly known as PDF Package), Document Processing, BlackBerry Revelations: Making BlackBerry Creative Pro, Scanning and OCR, Forms, CollaboraPerform Those Useful Palm Functions -- 7 tion, Compare, Multimedia Authoring, Digital SigLaools natures, and Security. Foce -- 8 The Document ProLawyers will Reys -- 9 find useful cessing section will be of particular interest to lawLPC Newsroom -- 10 improvements yers. It includes two of my Product Briefs -- 12 in the new ver- favorite Acrobat 8 features: Selected Reading -- 15 sion of Adobe redaction and Bates numAcrobat, es- bering. This section also pecially in includes the examining and document comparing of documents, comparison, which works very well. (See redaction the screen capture of comand security. paring documents, and especially note the pop-up

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Daniel e. Harmon Editor

The Lawyer's PC (USPS 0001333), (ISSN 0740-0942) is published twice monthly by Thomson/West, Aqueduct Building, 50 Broad St. East, Rochester, NY 14694; (800) 327-2665. Subscription price: $299 a year. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN. For customer assistance call (800) 328-4880. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Lawyer's PC, P.O. Box 64526, St. Paul, MN 55164-0526. © 2008 Thomson/West. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission. "This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service." -- From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers. Editorial office: The Lawyer's PC, P.O. Box 18428, Spartanburg, SC 29318; (864) 5971247; [email protected] The Lawyer's PC is a registered trademark of Thomson/West. Submit articles and letters to The Lawyer's PC, P.O. Box 143, Converse, SC 29329; [email protected] Article submissions should be accompanied by a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Computer product information submitted to the newsletter should include a product description, vendor contact and pricing information.

explanation of what has changed.) My third favorite A8 feature, forms, has its own section.

chEcking out nEw FEAturEs

crobat 9 installed without a problem and Acrobat 8 was completely removed--I earlier had deactivated and uninstalled it. The only thing extra I had to do was reset my Firefox browser preference (Tools/Options/Applications) so PDF Web files will open automatically. If I had a wish with this A8/A9 uninstall/install, then it would be that A8's history of opened PDF files could be used by Acrobat 9. I often use the history to easily return to PDF documents I was working on or referencing. My first A9 look was at a beta version, while this review is based on the released version of Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. Here is an overview of enhanced and new features from Adobe's Rick Borstein, a business development manager specializing in the Acrobat legal market. His list includes document comparison (enhanced+), PDF Portfolios (new), redaction (enhanced), Bates numbering (enhanced), file splitting (new), forms (enhanced+), OCR (enhanced), save-to-Word (enhanced), send and collaborate live (new), Web capture (enhanced), e-mail archiving (enhanced), Typewriter tool (enhanced), and Scan to PDF (enhanced).5 As mentioned, some of my favorite features in Acrobat 8 included forms, redaction and Bates numbering, each of which has enhanced functionality in Acrobat 9. For example, Rick tells us Acrobat 9 Standard now can create and Reader-enable forms; form fields can be found automatically on scanned documents; there is easier form authoring, which allows users to "stamp" form fields on documents; and form data can be collected on Acrobat.com, SharePoint or a network folder. He also tells us the redaction feature now can redact using patterns to find Social Security numbers (Social Insurance numbers, in Canada), e-mails, and so on. Word lists can be redacted as well as entire pages and batches, and it's possible to automatically rename files with a suffix such as "_redacted" to preserve the original file. Finally, users can select entire folders for Bates numbering, set an output folder so originals stay untouched, rename files on output with a prefix or suffix, and rename files to a Bates range such as 000001-000039.pdf. In the accompanying redaction screen capture, which shows a test of "Multiple words and phrases," users should be careful when "Whole words only" is selected because some instances may not be included. For example, my search of "Adobe 8 9" in the current document excluded "A9," "M8" and 1 "81," but when "Whole words only" was not selected, these instances were included for redaction.

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Document Comparison in A9

Redaction Sample

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My law practice doesn't lend itself to PDF Portfolios and online collaboration, so I'll refer you to chapters 4 and 11 of Donna Baker's latest book, Adobe Acrobat 9 HOW-TOs: 125 Essential Techniques.6 This is an excellent resource which I highly recommend! Although there are many other features to discuss, I'll leave this review with a few words on security. Acrobat 9 users now can use 256-bit encryption, which is apparently what banks use for online customer security. Yes, PDF security seems complete, given that digital signatures can be added and metadata can be removed; however, it is important to consider the needs of clients/end users as well as your firm's security policies. For example, as an Acrobat 9 beta tester, I wanted to print the release notes rather than read them on my computer's monitor, but unfortunately, the author locked the docu"Acrobat 9 users ment, which excluded printing. While I appreciate Adobe was concerned about prerelease security, I was given the document/information under now can use 256- embargo, and controlling printing would not have made the information any bit encryption. more or less secure. Fortunately, Adobe staff agreed, and soon afterward, a . . . PDF security printable document landed in my inbox.

hile preparing this article, I looked at 10 reviews from other publications.7 Overall, the reviewers gave an average grade of slightly better than four of five stars (82 percent), which cnet equates to a grade of "excellent." PC Magazine says: "Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extender . . . brings the biggest and best enhancement that Acrobat has seen in a long time." PC Pro echoes this view: "In fact version 9 is the most exciting Acrobat release since the launch of the all-important free Reader application." However, not everyone is quite that enthusiastic. For example, a reviewer writing for Eclipse Magazine says: "Acrobat 9 will not set the world on fire, but it does what it is designed to do extremely well." Another reviewer, reportedly a seasoned Acrobat user writing in TechArena, concludes that Acrobat 9 falls short of groundbreaking with many of its "new" features little more than existing features in a new wrapper. A number of reviewers liked improved video and multimedia embedding with PDF files,8 PDF Portfolios,9 and the document comparison feature.10 Other features that found favor include enhanced security,11 improved form management and redaction,12 Web page snapshots (screen captures),13 online tools and remote collaboration.14 If there is an obvious downside to the new Acrobat 9, it is the cost--a number of reviewers found it to be expensive.15 Within some of the reviewers' likes, certain caveats were expressed. For example, the TechArena userreviewer thought those with sensitive material would be unlikely to send it to Adobe's servers for online hosting. However, it seems to me that someone sending files to Acrobat.com could simply consider appropriate security levels (for example, encryption with password protection) for the files being hosted for review; or, if users prefer, a network folder or other shared location (inside or outside a law firm's firewall) could be used.16 I see a number of "favorites" that will be of particular interest to lawyers and law firms: PDF Portfolios, document comparison, enhanced security, improved form management and redaction, online tools and

seems complete, given that digital signatures can be added and metadata can be removed; however, it is important to consider the needs of clients/ end users as well as your firm's security policies."

whAt othErs think

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remote collaboration. Unfortunately, some of these favorites are available only in the Pro and Pro Extended versions of the program.17

FinAl thoughts

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s well as the free Reader, Acrobat 9 is available in Standard, Professional and Pro Extended versions. A comparison of features can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yqrnv. A list of key features for legal professionals in the Pro Extended version can be found at http://tinyurl.com/5fygg5. At the Adobe store, the Standard version sells for $299/99 (full/upgrade), Pro is priced at $449/159, while Pro Extended is available for $699/229. A free trial is available for all priced versions, while the free Reader can be down-

ArticlE notEs

See also Carol L. Schlein's article "It Oughta Be Legal," The Lawyer's PC, March 15, 2008. The recently released Virtual PC 2007 SP1 adds support for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3 as both host and guest operating systems, and support for Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition as a guest operating system. VPC2007 SP1 can be found at http://tinyurl.com/68pxej. MS Virtual PC was first reviewed in The Lawyer's PC December 1, 2005. Reviewing beta software in a "virtual pc" provides a safe environment in case of problems, unless, of course, one has a dedicated test machine and/or a system image created with a program such as Acronis 11 True Image Home. 3 Vista SP1 can be found at http://tinyurl.com/ywb4al. 4 Editor Dan Harmon outlined new features found in WordPerfect X4 in the May 15, 2008, issue of The Lawyer's PC. 5 Details found in Rick's list are at http://tinyurl.com/5tl8jz. 6 See www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321552946. See also Adobe Acrobat 9 Classroom in a Book at www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321552970. 7 The following sources will be referenced by publication or letter. a) Personal Computer World (UK), http://tinyurl.com/3grdy5 b) PC Magazine, http://tinyurl.com/3wh7as and http://tinyurl.com/4v8btu c) cnet, http://tinyurl.com/6s4oge d) Teck Magazine, http://tinyurl.com/6gb3nr e) Planet PDF, http://tinyurl.com/3ulayx f) Computer Shopper, http://tinyurl.com/3wbvwn g) CreativePro, http://tinyurl.com/4w2e58 h) Eclipse Magazine, http://tinyurl.com/4npt5b i) TechArena, http://tinyurl.com/48a8pa j) PC Pro (UK), http://tinyurl.com/4f84bn Ibid, Endnote 6, references a, b, c, d and g. Ibid, Endnote 6, references b, c, e, g, h and i. 10 Ibid, Endnote 6, references b, h and j. 11 Ibid, Endnote 6, references c, f and j. 12 Ibid, Endnote 6, references c, f, h and j. 13 Ibid, Endnote 6, references c, f, g and j. 14 Ibid, Endnote 6, references c, e, h and i. 15 Ibid, Endnote 6, references a, c, e, g, h and j. 16 In response to my inquiry, Donna Baker asked, "Why wouldn't you want to use the server? When you upload the file, you're the only one with the file's location. Further, if you decide to share the file for collaboration/discussion, etc., you can restrict the share to those you're extending the invitation to." 17 For example, PDF Portfolio, redaction, Adobe Reader reviews, and PDF comparison are not available in the Standard version of Acrobat 9. 18 See www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?eventid=136003.

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loaded from http://tinyurl.com/6ip. Some discounts might be available from online software retailers, although in a quick look, the discounts seemed to me not to be significant. Overall, I like Adobe Acrobat 9 . . . a lot. Many new and enhanced features will benefit lawyers and law firms. It may take some time to become familiar with some of the features; however, while exploring the program for this article, it was easy to perform tasks like document comparison and redaction. Donna Baker's new book, online Help and Adobe resources for legal professionals18 will make learning new or complex skills even easier. I'll leave the last word to the cnet reviewer: "The metadata removal, 256-bit encryption, and ease of redactions alone easily could justify the purchase for, say, a law firm." v Stephen Bird is a lawyer and contributing editor of The Lawyer's PC. He may be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

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