You should set up Acrobat software so you can quickly access tools you use most often. Granted, setting preferences can seem tedious. But it’s important if you want things to work smoothly, and avoid frustration. So let’s help you avoid that frustration.
ACCESSING PREFERENCES ON A PC (WINDOWS)
How you access the preferences is slightly different, depending on whether you’re using a PC or a Mac. On a PC you go to Edit > Preferences, as shown below.
THE KEYBOARD SHORTCUT FOR ACCESSING THE PREFERENCES ON A PC COMPUTER IS CTRL + K
ACCESSING PREFERENCES ON A MAC
On a Mac you navigate to the following menu options: Adobe > Preferences, as shown below.
THE KEYBOARD SHORTCUT FOR ACCESSING THE PREFERENCES ON A MAC COMPUTER IS CMD + , (COMMA).
THE CATEGORIES PANE
Once you select the preferences option, the next view is the same, regardless of what kind of computer you use, and unfortunately, the next dialogue box presents a bewildering array of options. Fortunately, most of the options that you’ll want to fiddle with are among the five top left options under the Categories list, as this screenshot reveals.
SPEND SOME TIME CLICKING ON EACH OF FIVE SIDEBARS CIRCLED IN RED ABOVE AND SEE WHAT OPTIONS YOU HAVE AVAILABLE TO YOU.
The Commenting sidebar has default options that are set the way most lawyers will want to have them, with one exception. Almost every lawyer who uses the highlighter tool will want to have the text that they highlight automatically copied in the comment text that goes with it. So check that option, as shown below.
The default options under the Documents sidebar are okay. You can increase the number of documents in the Recently used list up to a maximum of 10, if you’d like. The default is set at 9, so it’s not a major change. But why not have it set to the maximum? Now is the time to do that.
Under the General sidebar, you should activate the first option, called Use single-key accelerators to access tools, as shown below.
Single-key accelerators are powerful because they let you switch quickly from one tool to another simply by tapping on the key that corresponds to a particular tool. Not all tools can be accessed by the single-key accelerators, but some of the most useful ones can: e.g. Select text (V), Highlight text (U), Hand tool (H), Stamp tool (K).
If you want a super-useful resource click here for my PDF download of a handy one-page cheat sheet of the most useful single-key tool choices. And speaking of super-useful resources…
My book on “Acrobat for Lawyers” will be coming out soon (in October or November) and will cover pretty much everything a busy lawyer needs to know about using PDFs. If you’re interested in getting early notice of its publication (with discounts for early purchasers), click here to add your name to the notification list.