Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I have now visited Life Bytes , opposite the Odeon in Sidwell Street Exeter, for a full discussion on this Breeze as Acrobat situation. I am told that "it may not be a bad thing".

So ok, I am trying to get my head round it. Starting with my own experience that I don't find Flash content as 'engaging' as PDF or text. It is like being hit over the head with a Powerpoint presentation as designed sometime ago. There is no record of it, it cannot be edited or combined with other sources. I think Powerpoint has become much better or at least I have got used to it enough to copy out the bits I need.

Acrobat Connect may be improved on the current Breeze or maybe things will improve later. I would like an option to save the presentations as PDF and also to save the chat as PDF or text. These can be posted later apparently but the people in the audience have no option to do it for themselves. Maybe this is the attraction of Flash, that it is easier to keep control of content, but this is not the same as an engaging platform. Before the recent presentation of Acrobat 8, Adobe used to offer video plus PDF download. I found that much easier to follow or study later. The crazed load of Flash touring Acrobat 8 is impossible to follow if you want to get past the supposed benefits towards the actual features. What I want is a PDF file with a carefully structured set of bookmarks on the left.

I have not found any reference to improvements in PDF as a container for Flash, Quicktime or other media. Acrobat 7 is able to capture web pages with Flash, but it tends to come and go. You have to reload occasionally. I don't understand why and maybe this is not a problem for everyone but I notice PDF is rarely used for multimedia. Is it a technical limitation, or has Adobe just stopped explaining the option? At LifeBytes I was told there is another problem in controlling how Quicktime is displayed when designing a PDF from scratch. Apparently it pops out of the page and finds a new size. Maybe this is ok with a screen culture and some people I know are just hanging on to the idea of a page.

Meanwhile I am enjoying the video on Youtube so I don't mind Flash as such. The next couple of months could be a time for revision on PDF so far and maybe for looking at Breeze potential.

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