Rebate Saturday and Acrobat 8

I’ve been back from DC since Wednesday. Eric and I are actually both at home at the same for 9 days in a row. Our longest stretch together since October.

This morning I finally got around to dealing with the rebates from my recent Mac purchase.

  • $30 back from CompUSA on Windows XP Home
  • $150 back from MacConnection on the MacBook Pro
  • Two separate rebates from MacConnection for Parallels, one for $69.99, one for $10

$260 in rebates is worth some time on a Saturday morning. The CompUSA one was a breeze. Go online, enter in some data from the receipt, put in my address. Done.

The other rebates gave me a chance to try out the new form features in Acrobat 8. I purchased the upgrade this week for one reason: Adobe CS 2.x apps running in Rosetta are functional, but launching and quitting the apps is painful. Takes at least 60 seconds and countless bounces until the app is fully open. First chance to switch a CS 2 app out for a CS 3 one that’s a Universal Binary for the Intel Macs and I jumped at it.

Acrobat 8 has the ability to scan PDFs that look like forms and turn them into forms you can actually fill out. I do this all the time. On the PC, I used an application called PDFill for this. Cheap, did the job. I’m hoping that Acrobat 8 does it better. Verdict: yes and no. When it works, it’s wonderful. Very fast. Accurate. When it doesn’t work, it’s useless. It seems to have trouble with forms that are widely spaced. The scanner recognized the form fields by name and I could click on them in a list in a sidebar (ex: Name (text field), City (text field), etc.) and they would highlight on the form itself, but then it wouldn’t let me type in those fields to fill it out. I have to do some research on the Adobe forums to see if this is a known issue or to figure out what I did wrong. It did work perfectly on one of the 3 rebate forms. In that case, the lines were tightly spaced, like you would find on a tax form.

I could have stayed with PDFill and not bothered with the Acrobat upgrade, but the must-have feature for me is the ability to create PDFs that others can edit/comment. I can’t find anything that replaces the full version of Acrobat for this purpose. I only have to figure out how to set up a WebDAV server somewhere so we can do server-based reviews rather than my emailing the editable PDF to everyone.

At least Acrobat 8 opens quickly.