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Editing Content

Once you've identified all of the changes that need to be made to a PDF file, you must determine where and how to make them. In most instances, you'll have to return to the authoring application—to retouch images, for example, or to make extensive text edits (that is, anything that affects fit and flow). Acrobat does, however, offer a handful of features for minor touch-ups that can save you the trouble of returning to another application and then redistilling the file. Approach these features with caution, though, because not only are they fairly limited, any changes you make in the PDF file won't be reflected in the original application file used to distill it. Thus, if you ever have to redistill the PDF file, you're liable to either reproduce it with the same mistakes or be forced to reconstruct the edited piece—both of which cost time and money. Use Acrobat's tools to slightly reposition graphics or fix typos in comps, but for more intensive changes, you're safer editing the source files in their original applications and redistilling the PDF file.

Editing Text

Considering Acrobat's myriad collaboration features, its Touch-up Text feature is at first blush disappointing. Although editing text in Acrobat sounds great, you can quickly encounter roadblocks—especially if you don't have the fonts used in the document on your computer, which is essential for maintaining the integrity of page designs from comp through final prepress. If you don't have the document's fonts, performing such routine editing tasks as fixing typos or changing a font from italic to Roman can be an exercise in futility; also, Undo is almost nonexistent. If you're not careful about each change, you'll find yourself forced to close the file without saving and then start up again. (Tip: Back up your file before you edit it.) These limitations, however, are forgiveable since Acrobat is not a page-layout application—or an imaging or illustration application. You shouldn't expect its tools to compare with the ones you'd find in those types of applications.

Before you start editing text in Acrobat, it's essential that you do two things: First, as I said, make sure you have all of the fonts used in the document on your hard drive; then, tell Acrobat to display and print them. If you attempt to edit fonts in a PDF file and Acrobat can't access them, all bets are off. At the very least, you won't be able to change their typeface or add or change characters (except to delete them). And at worst, none of the tasks described below will work reliably without generating Multiple Master substitute fonts.

As you learned in Chapter 3, you should always embed and subset at 100 percent all fonts contained in PDF files distilled for graphic arts workflows—something Distiller's default job options don't necessarily do. Thus, you may find that fonts are handled differently within a document. The eBook job option, for example, embeds and subsets all fonts except Base 14 fonts; the Screen job option, which you may use to generate onscreen proofs, doesn't embed fonts at all. In any case, you can't tell by glancing at a document what fonts it contains or how they're handled.

For this reason, before you start mucking around with a PDF file's text, open the document and choose File > Document Properties > Fonts. The Document Fonts dialog box, discussed in greater detail in Chapter 3, lists all of the fonts in the currently displayed page; clicking List All Fonts displays all of the fonts in the document. The dialog box specifies whether fonts are embedded or subset, if they're substitutes created from a Multiple Master or simply a version of the typeface found on the hard drive, and how each one was encoded. Once you see what's used, you can determine whether they're installed on your computer before you start editing. Then make sure you've told Acrobat to use them: Choose View > Use Local Fonts. This will save you tremendous headaches once you start editing.

Touchup Text tool. Acrobat's Touchup Text tool lets you make simple corrections to text in a PDF file without having to return to the page-layout application. It works with rotated and vertical type as well as plain old horizontal type. It even works with text on a path (treating each letter as a line on a path), letting you change font attributes; add, delete, or change characters; and adjust the position of lines of text.

The Touchup Text tool lets you modify text characteristics one line at a time: When you click with it on some text on a page, Acrobat selects the entire line. You can then use the I-beam cursor to select individual letters or words and add, delete, or change text on the page. If you increase the line length, Acrobat expands the bounding box and doesn't rewrap; justified text may require some finessing of tracking and word spacing if you make any significant changes to a line. If your layout has hanging (ragged) columns, you can take advantage of the ability to add a line with the Touchup Text tool by Option/Ctrl-clicking on the page. Place your cursor carefully:

Once you click, you're committed to the vertical location. You can, however, adjust the position of the line horizontally by dragging with the bounding box's left handle.

If you're editing vertical or rotated text or text on a path, you'll have to adapt to how the cursor arrows move on the page: The left and right arrows move the selected line to the left and right, respectively; the up and down arrows move the cursor between letters and words. This is the inverse of how the arrow keys work with horizontal text.

Choose Tools > Touchup Text > Text Attributes to access the Text Attributes palette (Figure 4-31). Here, you can make extensive modifications to type characteristics—for example, changing point size, adjusting tracking and word spacing values, tweaking indents and alignments, and editing colors.

Figure 4-31. The Text Attributes palette.

Notice the Embed checkbox in the Text Attributes palette: If the font on the line you've selected is embedded and/or subset, this box will be checked. If you uncheck this box, Acrobat will change all of the characters in your document that use this font. In other words, by unchecking this box, you unembed all of the characters in this particular typeface.

If, however, the font (or fonts) of the text on the line is not embedded, you can check this box to embed all instances of the font in the file. When you visited the Document Fonts dialog box earlier, you may have wondered what you should do if you received files whose fonts were not embedded; here's your answer: You can embed them by checking this box. Keep in mind, however, that if Acrobat generated a Multiple Master substitute font when it opened the PDF file, you'll be embedding the substitute, not the original typeface. Checking Embed neither subsets the font nor updates the status of the new font in the Document Fonts dialog.

When you add or change text using the Touchup Text tool, Acrobat studies the surrounding text on the line to determine the font for the new characters. If the font of the surrounding text is unembedded (but installed on your hard drive) or substituted with Mac or Windows encoding, you can add or change text with a high degree of confidence that Acrobat will generate the new characters from the installed (but unembedded) font or from a Multiple Master, respectively. The text you add should appear identical to that which is already on the page, even though Acrobat may encode the new characters differently.

Unfortunately, however, if you add or change text in a line of type that's embedded and/or subset—even if the font is installed on your hard drive—the way that Acrobat generates the new or changed characters is liable to cause them to appear different from the other text in the line. For example, if the line of text uses an embedded but non-system font, Acrobat will generate a custom-encoded Multiple Master substitution for the new characters. The difference in such substitute fonts can be quite dramatic (Figure 4-32). And even if the line of text is an embedded system font, Acrobat's custom encoding may render the new characters slightly differently from the rest of the text on the line.

Figure 4-32. The word lazy on the left is Korinna Regular, embedded in the PDF document. When I added the word lazy on the left with the Touchup Text tool, Acrobat created a Multiple Master sans serif version of the typeface. The clipped serifs are especially noticeable at 400 percent (bottom), but the difference is also apparent at 100 percent (top).

Know, too, that when you add or change text on a line, the newly generated characters assume the embedding status of the surrounding text. If you type in new text using an unembedded font, you should manually embed it—and all unembedded fonts—in the Text Attributes palette so that it travels with the document to your service provider.

You're also likely to encounter problems with fonts (embedded or not) when you try to change their typeface. Basically, any time you attempt to change a font to a face that's not used in the file, you'll get a warning box telling you that Acrobat will custom-encode with the new font, which may well be a Multiple Master substitute even if you have the desired font installed. And, in case you didn't notice, you can't change a Roman typeface to italic, bold, or another style in the Text Attributes palette; if you attempt to do so here, you're liable to render a substitute italic or bold font. If you do manage to change a Roman face to italic or bold (or a stylized face back to Roman), be sure to adjust word spacing on the line to avoid crashing letters and unsightly gaps.

What all of this amounts to is that the only time Acrobat makes new characters that are exactly the same as the other characters on the line is when they're non-embedded system fonts—which you probably don't use too often. For this reason, you may want to make your text changes in the authoring application you used to generate the PDF file, or use a suitable plug-in (see Appendix One for a list of plug-ins that can be used to edit PDF files).

The Touchup Text feature does, however, have one other trick up its sleeve: Called Fit Text to Selection, this command is located under the Tools > Touchup Text menu on the Mac or in the tool's context menu (right-click) in Windows. This command expands or contracts edited text to fit a particular selection on the line. You could use it, for example, to spell out abbreviations or abbreviate full words. To use the command, drag with the Touchup Text tool to select the space allotted for the edited text (perhaps a word or the whole line), and choose the Fit Text to Selection command, then type in your new text. The text you input will fit in the selected space without affecting other words on the line.

More Touchup Text Tidbits

A couple of other commands to notice in the Tools > Touchup Text submenu: Text Breaks; Insert Line Break, Soft-Hyphen, Non-breaking Space, and Em-Dash; Show Capture Suspects; and Find First Suspect.

  • Text Breaks and the ability to insert such characters as soft hyphens and line breaks are used in conjunction with reflowing tagged PDF files.

  • Finding and showing capture suspects are for reviewing and correcting pages that have been scanned into a bitmapped PDF page and then captured to editable text. If Acrobat can't decide how to convert an area of bitmapped text into editable characters, you can search for those “suspects” and correct or accept Acrobat's suggested text.

Finally, the 1-2-3 Touchup Order tool on the toolbar is used to reflow tagged PDF files: You can click on tagged elements, which appear numbered (like sequential comments), and rearrange their order. To learn more on creating and using tagged PDF files, see Chapter 7, page 247.

When you begin working with the Touchup Text tool, you may also notice that your fonts' point size is sometimes smaller than what you specified in your authoring application (for example, 9.84 instead of 10 points) in the Text Attributes palette. Don't blame it on Acrobat! This sometimes occurs when the authoring application goes through GDI or QuickDraw to define its fonts en route to Distiller. (This tends to happen with Microsoft Word but not with page-layout applications.)

In addition, you may notice that sometimes the Embed checkbox is grayed out when you edit text, or that after you check it, it grays out, making your embedding decision irreversible. This occurs when you're working with system fonts or elaborate display or script typefaces.

Editing Graphics

Although they're fairly limited, at least Acrobat's graphics editing capabilities won't surprise you by substituting approximations! You can add, delete, and reposition graphics, images, and line art (though not with the precision of a page-layout application), and you can quickly and easily jump to Photoshop or Illustrator for further editing. You still have to be careful about editing within Acrobat or even jumping to an imaging application for touch-up: If the image was placed in and distilled from a page-layout application, that file won't reflect your changes. Thus, you need to pay attention to where changes are made during the design and proofing phases, so that you can produce a final PDF file from the authoring application using the most current versions of images, text, and graphics.

Touchup Object tool. Acrobat's Touchup Object tool is the key to the program's graphics editing capabilities. Use it to select an object on a PDF page, and you can employ all the commands and tricks you'd expect for routine positioning tasks such as cutting and copying graphics to the Clipboard and pasting them elsewhere in the page or document. Shift-click lets you select multiple objects; Select All selects all of the graphic objects—including text objects—on the PDF page. Any command you then apply, including Delete, affects all selected objects.

You can drag to reposition selected objects or use the arrow keys to nudge objects by 1-pixel increments (in whatever direction the arrow is pointing). Although Acrobat doesn't include rulers, you can toggle on a grid to help with positioning: Choose View > Grid to see it, and toggle on Snap to Grid to prevent objects from being slightly askew if you drag them around the page. (Define the grid in the Layout Grid panel of the General Preferences dialog box.)

The Touchup Object tool also includes some useful commands in its context menu (right-click the mouse in Windows or Control-click on the Mac). You can Paste in Front or Paste in Back of other objects selected on a page. If an object has been clipped, such as an EPS object by a clipping path or a text object by a clip box, you can remove it and view the unclipped object by choosing Delete Clip.

To actually touch up the pixels or vectors in an image or graphic object in Acrobat, you must return to an appropriate application, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. As long as those applications directly read and write PDF files (which Photoshop and Illustrator do), you can link to them from within Acrobat. Remember what I said earlier, however, about maintaining version control: Changes you make to a PDF object in one of these other applications are not automatically saved to the raw image, and they're definitely not saved to the image as it may be placed in a page layout file. So even though it's convenient to jump to Photoshop from within Acrobat to quickly fix red-eye or erase a dust speck from a scan, you must pay attention to which files are edited and make sure you don't introduce mistakes (or actually fail to correct them) for later—and especially final—versions of layouts.

That said, configure Acrobat to recognize your desired image and page or object editor by choosing Edit > Preferences > General, and selecting the TouchUp panel (Figure 4-33). I've chosen Photoshop as my image editor and Illustrator as my object editor. (QuarkXPress is not an option because it can't directly read or write to PDF.) Photoshop must be version 5.0 or later; Illustrator must be 7.0 or later. If you're still using Photoshop 5.0 or 5.5, make sure the PDFFormat plug-in that came with the application is installed, so that the image you edit can be saved back into the PDF document. (Otherwise, it will be saved to disk in its original format.) Better yet, upgrade: You're also restricted to editing the image as a single layer if you jump to Photoshop 5.0 from within Acrobat.

Figure 4-33. In the TouchUp Preferences dialog box, choose the image and graphics applications to which you want to link Acrobat objects.

After you've chosen an application, select an image object on a PDF page using the Touchup Object tool. Then choose Edit Image from the context menu. Acrobat launches Photoshop and displays the object there: In the title bar you can see that the object is a temporary PDF file. You're not editing the original image; rather, you're viewing and editing distilled color data on the image. This means that if you instructed Distiller (in the Color panel of your job options) to convert images from RGB to CMYK or you applied any color profiles, the color in this temporary PDF file might appear different than the original image file. If you're prompted by a Profile Mismatch warning dialog box when Photoshop opens the image, opt to use the embedded profile; don't convert it. And if your goal is to edit the color values of pixels, just be aware that the color values you're seeing and applying may differ from those in the original file—which means you may ultimately have to redo your work there. (Although you can change color modes, you begin to compromise image integrity if you do this multiple times.)

Color concerns aside, as long as you're using Photoshop 6.0, you can change the image in just about any way you want to: You can add text, apply filters, use brushes, and so on. The only thing you can't do is apply masks. And if you resize an image, be aware that its alignment on the PDF page may be affected.

The process is pretty much the same for accessing Illustrator from within Acrobat: Select an object with the Touchup Object tool and choose Edit Object from the context menu. Acrobat will launch Illustrator and display the graphic there, letting you edit it as desired: make transformations, edit type, and apply filters and effects. If you distilled the original PDF file out of Illustrator as an Acrobat 5.0 (PDF 1.4) file and maintained transparency, you can go back and edit the transparency of the objects now. If you didn't maintain transparency, however, you won't be able to edit blends, gradients, or other transparent effects.

After you've made your changes to the image or graphic, choose File > Save. Then, hop back over to Acrobat, and you'll see the changes in the image or graphic in the PDF document. You can go back and forth between the applications as often as necessary until you're satisfied with your changes.

You can also choose Save As to save a version of the touched-up image or graphic in another format, or to save a copy of it. Choosing Save As does not apply the changes to the object in the PDF file. Be careful about overwriting the original image or graphic: Your safest bet is to keep the original image intact in case you need it later.

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