Adobe rolls out new cloud services of interest to legal professionals

Two new cloud services of interest to legal professionals, Adobe SendNow and Adobe CreatePDF, are now live.

E-mail systems still suffer from the lowest common denominator syndrome.  Your ability to send files is restricted by the lowest cap on attachment sizes in the e-mail transmission chain.  Systems for drop delivery of large files have been the solution for several years.  Adobe is offering a large file transmission service, but Adobe is differentiating itself from the crowd with additional transmission and monitoring features.  SendNow allows users to: 

  • Send large files from one computer to one or many recipients.
  • View files that they've sent in the past, and see when and to whom they were sent.
  • Keep an eye out for files that have been sent to you.

As with SendNow, CreatePDF isn't the first of its kind online (in fact, it isn't the first such service from Adobe), but Adobe hopes to interest users in this latest cloud-based service with some fairly powerful features.  Adobe CreatePDF will (in addition to the standard conversion of Office documents, images and other supported files into an Adobe PDF from a web browser) enable users to: 

  • Combine documents into a single PDF file.
  • For users of Microsoft Windows, users will be able to install a special printer driver that will allow creation of a PDF file online from any application that can print.
  • Within Adobe Reader X, a new Share pane provides a connection to the online Adobe CreatePDF service, making it easy to create a document that others will be able to view consistently.

CreatePDF looks like good stuff for the small firm or solo practitioner, and SendNow looks useful for any size firm.  I will give SendNow a test drive so that I don't have to create private websites for large file exchanges or find some other kludge to get the job done (like abuse's file sharing feature as though it were a file drop service).

How-to: Fix PDF files that are rejected by the Central District filing system because of links - The Simple Method

I recently provided a method for dealing with PDFs rejected by the CM/ECF filing system (as it is implemented by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California).  That method is detailed here.  While that process of exporting a problematic document out to a new document format (XPS) and then back into PDF deals with a number of problems, not everyone will find it to be a comfortable solution.

Here is an alternative method for removing links from a PDF, if you have Acrobat 9:

  1. From the Advanced menu, select "Document Processing"
  2. Choose the "Remove All Links..." option
  3. Do it
That does it.  External hyperlinks distress the CM/ECF system, which, presumably, has been set to search for such links in order to prevent exploits that would lure unsuspecting clerks and judges to malicious websites.

How-to: Fix PDF files that are rejected by the Central District filing system because of links or "code"

The United States District Court for the Central District of California has a very special online document filing system.  And I do mean special.  If you have experienced this filing system, you may have had an attempted filing rejected by the CM/ECF system because of "code" in the PDF.  This will not happen if a PDF document is generated by simple scanning.  I am only discussing an issue that occurs when PDF documents are generated directly from some other application.

There are many solutions to this problem, but I want to offer one that I find to be fast and reliable.  You could just print and scan the document causing problems, but for large documents, this defeats the size advantage of generating directly on your system.  For a very large document the scanning solution is a poor alternative.  A suitable option would digitally transform the document to eliminate the "code" in the PDF (probably some javascript) but keep the document size reasonable.

The solution: use Microsoft's XPS Document Writer.  The Microsoft XPS Document Writer (MXDW) is a print-to-file driver that enables any application to create XML Paper Specification (XPS) Document files on versions of Windows staring with Windows XP SP2.  If you are interested, information about the specification can be found here.

You should have an XPS Document Writer printer driver on your Windows system if you are using anything later than Windows XP SP2.  If you do not, you can get it here.  You will also need software capable of converting from XPS format to PDF format.  Acrobat software can do this, but I don't know what other PDF creation software can do the trick.  The steps to "fix" the problematic PDF are:

  1. Open the problematic PDF in Acrobat.
  2. Print the document by choosing "Print" from the "File" menu.   In the print dialog box, choose “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” as your printer.  If you don't have the printer in your choices, install the XPS Essentials Pack linked above.
  3. When prompted, save the document.  This is a process similar to “printing” to the Acrobat printer.
  4. Close the document in Acrobat.
  5. Open the XPS file you just created in Acrobat.  In the open file dialog, you may need to tell Acrobat to show “all files,” not just PDF files.
  6. Acrobat will convert the XPS file and display it.
  7. Choose Save As and save the converted document.  It will be a PDF, but the "code" and hyperlinks will have been stripped out.

Fixed.  I'm going to start offering tips to fix other stuff, especially in Word.  If you like tips like this, watch for the "How-to" label or Tag.