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Chapter FOUR. Creating PDF Files in Acro... > TIP 36: Attaching Source Files to a ...

TIP 36: Attaching Source Files to a PDF

Acrobat 7 contains a feature for attaching source files to a converted document, and also includes a pane for managing attachments.

Why Bother with Attachments?

Consider your workflow when deciding whether it is necessary to use attachments:

  • If you move the PDF document on your hard drive, the attached files or pages automatically move with it, saving you time in moving documents.

  • You can attach more information about content in your PDF without having to convert the entire document. For example, create a PDF executive summary and attach detailed documents, spreadsheets, and so on.

  • You can search attached files using the Acrobat Search function, which can save you time when you're trying to locate information in a big project.

  • You can attach a great deal of accessory material to one PDF document, great for large projects containing multiple information sources.

  • You can quickly see information about the attachment in the Attachments pane.

  • You can protect attached information when emailing it by using an eEnvelope and security (see Tip 149 in Chapter 18 for information on using secure ePaper).

If you are working in a source program that contains a PDFMaker (such as Word), choose Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings to open the Acrobat PDFMaker dialog. Click Attach source file to Adobe PDF in the Application Settings area of the Settings tab (Figure 36a). Then click OK to close the dialog.

Figure 36a. Select the setting to include the source file as an attachment when using a PDFMaker.

You can attach any type of file from within Acrobat, and can place an attachment icon anywhere on your page that your users can click to view the attachment. Click the Attach icon's pull-down arrow on the File toolbar and click the Attach a File as a Comment icon (Figure 36b). You can also choose Tools > Commenting > Attach a File as a Comment or click the Attach a File as a Comment icon on the Commenting toolbar.

Figure 36b. You can choose an attachment option directly from the File toolbar.

Move the pointer, which looks like a pushpin, over the document to where you want to display the attachment icon. Browse to the location of the file and select it. Click Select to close the dialog. The File Attachment Properties dialog lets you choose an alternate icon, color, or opacity (Figure 36c). Click the General tab to display fields where you can modify the attachment's name, your name, and a description of the attachment. To dismiss the dialog, click Close. You can't attach an open file to a PDF document.

Figure 36c. You can specify the appearance and description of an attachment in the File Attachment Properties dialog.

Voilà! The attachment icon is displayed where you clicked earlier, and if you move the pointer over the icon, you can see information about the attachment in the form of a tool tip (Figure 36d). Save the document. Files attached using the Attach a File as a Comment tool are also listed in the Comments pane (see Chapter 14 for information about adding comments and Tip 123 in Chapter 15 for working with the Comments pane).

Figure 36d. An attached file displays a paperclip icon and a tool tip describing the attachment.

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