Sunday, August 17, 2008


So I installed Adobe Acrobat 8 on my work laptop, because that way I would be able to fill out forms without having to write, which would be good for my arm.

Too frequently, I get Word documents from people, in which they want me to fill in the blanks, sign, and return. For example, a couple of weeks ago I got a committee housing reservation form for the conference. What they expect you to do is print it out, fill in the blanks by hand, and then fax it in. But, I can't really do that comfortably, so instead I try to type in the blanks, but that just ends up messing up the formatting.

So I asked my boss if I could please buy Adobe Acrobat 8, which I could use to create a pdf form from Word documents such as the housing reservation form, and fill them in by typing. He of course said yes, because he is made of awesome. I joked with him that it was a good thing he agreed, otherwise I'd have to report him to the Equal Opportunity Office.

(I voluntarily self-identified as disabled when I began my staff position. This is because it had been a month since my elbow surgery and I didn't know how it was going to turn out. So I figured it made sense to get the woman who was helping me fill out all my new employee paperwork to go ahead and fill out that form too. Fast-forward two months, and the EOO calls me to make sure that my disability had been adequately accommodated. I had to confess that I had gotten an ergonomic evaluation very quickly -- showing off that fabulous scar bumped me up to the top of the wait list -- but I hadn't yet ordered the ergonomic materials. It was entirely my fault; my boss had told me to order whatever I wanted and given me the appropriate charge numbers -- and I told them so. But apparently that didn't stop them from calling and yelling at him about it. He yelled right back and asked them what they wanted him to do -- install the keyboard tray himself?

We have a good relationship, my boss and I -- good enough that I can give him a good-natured ribbing about the Equal Opportunity Office, and many other things, for that matter. As I said, he is made of awesome. But I digress.)

Anyhow, in my short experience with it, Acrobat 8 is not all that great. It crashes a lot and corrupts your files as it goes down. This doesn't matter so much, maybe, if you're doing what I mentioned before, because it doesn't take long to recreate the form. But I was trying something more complicated with it earlier, and it completely destroyed my pdf file.

Also, if you have Acrobat 8.0.0, it is known to crash within ten seconds of startup because of the automatic update package. So you have to go into info (Apple-I), look under packages, and uncheck the automatic update package. I upgraded it to version 8.1 just now, so hopefully that will improve the stability, but who knows. So far I am displeased with Acrobat 8, but I will let you know if my opinion changes.

1 comment:

lost clown said...

I love that your boss yelled back at them about installing the keyboard for you. Hehehe.

Hope it works better for you-I barely use it at all.