Streamlining PDF Workflows with Adobe Acrobat's Batch Sequences

Jan 6


Samuel Hargis

Samuel Hargis

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This article is a comprehensive guide for Graphic Designers, Publishers, and Prepress Operators on how to enhance efficiency when dealing with a large number of PDF files using Adobe Acrobat's batch sequences.

The Power of Automation in Adobe Acrobat

Before diving into the specifics of PDF automation,Streamlining PDF Workflows with Adobe Acrobat's Batch Sequences Articles it's crucial to understand the importance of careful testing and verification of results. Automation can either fix or destroy an entire archive in a blink of an eye. Therefore, it's always recommended to run automation on a copied set of documents, especially when creating a new batch sequence or dealing with critical files.

Adobe Acrobat offers a powerful tool to apply routine commands to your PDF files, saving you time and effort. This tool is known as automated PDF batch sequences. A batch sequence is a recorded playback of commands with your specific settings, executed in the order you specify. This can be applied to a single document or multiple documents.

Adobe Acrobat comes with a few predefined examples, but you also have the freedom to create new ones. The batch sequences you define will be saved and displayed in a list for future use.

Running a Predefined Batch Sequence

Adobe Acrobat includes several simple, predefined batch sequences that can streamline your work and provide insights into their usage. These base batch sequences represent common tasks routinely performed by graphic artists and prepress operators. Interestingly, a PDF file doesn't need to be opened before running a batch sequence on it.

If you're dealing with PDFs that require passwords, the password entry can be automated, or you can specify a security method for these files in your Batch Processing preferences. PDFs that require passwords won’t be processed if you select "Do Not Require password". You can find the Batch Processing preferences in Acrobat's menu, Acrobat > Preferences on Mac OS, or Edit > Preferences in Windows.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to run a predefined batch sequence:

  • Go to Advanced > Document Processing > Batch Processing.
  • From the Batch Sequences dialog box, select a batch sequence, click Run Sequence.
  • From the Run Sequence Confirmation dialog, verify the sequence selected is correct, click OK.
  • To prevent this dialog box from appearing in the future, deselect Show The Run Sequence Confirmation Dialog option in the Batch Processing preferences.
  • In the Select Files To Process dialog, select the desired files, click Select. (On Windows, these files must be in the same folder.)
  • If a message asks for additional input for a specific command in the sequence, select desired options, click OK.
  • After the progress bar disappears, click Close.
  • To stop processing, you can click Stop in the Progress dialog. The Progress dialog expands automatically to show the percentage of completion. Any error or warning messages will also be shown here.

Files already processed are saved as defined in the batch sequence. When the Progress dialog box closes, your errors should be automatically written to the batch-processing error log.

Adobe's Predefined Batch Sequences

Adobe Acrobat comes with several predefined batch sequences, including:

  • Embed Page Thumbnails: Embeds miniature images of each page for display in the Pages panel.
  • Fast Web View: Enables users to download long documents incrementally.
  • Open All: Opens all the specified files. This batch sequence creates PDFs for any input files if they are a supported file type.
  • Print 1st Page Of All: Prints only the first page of each of the PDFs in the batch sequence. The pages print on your default printer, using your current default print settings.
  • Print All: Prints all pages of the files included in the batch sequence. The files print on your default printer, using your current default print settings.
  • Remove File Attachments: Removes files that have been attached to the PDF files in the batch sequence.
  • Save All As RTF: Saves the files in Rich Text Format (RTF).
  • Set Security To No Changes: Limits access to a PDF by setting up passwords and restricting certain features, such as editing.