Adobe Acrobat DC

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC users often assume that the software is merely used to create PDFs and, if they are more advanced, can be used to search for words within the document. But like most software, Adobe Acrobat has many features that users would love – and would use – if only they knew the feature existed. One of those “unknown” features in Adobe Acrobat is what we call the “Acrobat Word Round Trip.”

The Acrobat Word Round Trip is essentially tracked changes on steroids. Frequently, lawyers will create a document in Microsoft Word and then send it to opposing to revise, under Word’s Track Changes feature. This method works fine for most people. The Round Trip is the Acrobat feature of choice when you are concerned that opposing counsel might make some changes without tracking them, and that you might overlook them.

Here’s how the Round Trip works. The best part is that it is easy.

When you use the Acrobat Word Round Trip, you will convert a Word document into a PDF and email it to another person (who only needs the free Acrobat Reader). That person can propose changes or add comments to the PDF document, and then return the document to you. When you receive the PDF with the proposed revisions, all you need to do is open the PDF in Word and review the suggestions using Track Changes. Here is how to do it.

Open a document in Word. Go to the ACROBAT tab on the Ribbon Bar. In the “Review And Comment” section, click on “Create and Send For Shared Commenting.” Acrobat opens an Explorer window. Name and save the document (as a PDF) in your desired location.

Acrobat will create

  1. A PDF of your document
  2. A second PDF of your document with “_review” appended to the document name. The document will open in Acrobat and display the Send for Shared Commenting dialog. In the top box, use the default setting, i.e., collect comments from reviewers in My Network Folder (manually send). Click Next.

Because you are manually emailing the review file, you do not need to enter any email addresses in the dialog box. The _review copy will then open in Acrobat. Next, email the _review version of the PDF to other recipients.

In the next dialog, enter the email address for the person to whom you want to send the PDF for review and commenting. You can change the review deadline by clicking on the hyperlink in this dialog. Click Finish.

The recipient can then edit the document, even if the person only has the free Reader. The person can suggest changes, such as deleting, inserting or underling text, essentially they can use all of Acrobat’s Comment tools. When the person finishes making the proposed changes, he or she emails it back to you.

When you receive the annotated version, go to Word, click on the ACROBAT tab on the Ribbon. In the Review And Comment section, click the dropdown next to Acrobat Comments and select Import Comments from Adobe Acrobat DC. This will open a dialog box. Click OK to begin the import process.

Under Choose Files, browse and select

  1. The PDF file with the comments you want to review.
  2. The Word file you want to incorporate the comments into. You can choose whether to import All Comments, All Comments with Checkmarks, Text Edits only, or Apply Custom Filters to Comments. Generally, you should select All Comments. Also, select/check the box next to Turn Track Changes on Before Importing Comments. Click Continue.

Word will display the Successful Import dialog and list the number of items imported. Click Integrate Text Edits. Acrobat will then walk you through the various proposed revisions. You can Apply or Discard any revision, or skip it by selecting Next. You can also choose to Apply All Remaining revisions as well. When you are done, you will see the Text Integration Summary, with the new revisions highlighted.

The Round Trip is not limited to one recipient. You can send a document to multiple reviewers using the Acrobat Word Round Trip, but Word will warn you, after the first revisions are imported, that the original document has been changed. In those cases, consider using the Group Review Processes.

The Acrobat Word Round Trip is an easy way to allow counsel and clients to review a document without any concern that they will make changes that you might overlook. This is just of many features in Adobe Acrobat DC that can improve your workflow easily and quickly.

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Law Technology Today

Law Technology Today is the official legal technology blog from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC). Law Technology Today provides lawyers and other legal professionals with current, practical and innovative content developed by some of the leading voices on legal technology.

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