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Acrobat XI Environment Tutorial

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The Acrobat XI Environment Tutorial: A picture of the interface and operating environment within Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.

The Acrobat XI Environment: Overview

            If you are new to Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, you should begin by familiarizing yourself with the Acrobat XI environment. Start by learning the names and locations of the various tools within the Acrobat XI environment that you will need to create and edit PDFs. The first object to examine within the Acrobat XI environment is the Title Bar, which is located at the very top of the application window. To the far left of the Title Bar, you will see an Acrobat icon. In the center of the Title Bar, you will see the name of the active document as well as the application name. If you don’t have a document open, the center of the Title Bar will only display the name of the application. To the right of the Title Bar, you will see the “Minimize” button, the “Restore Down/Maximize” button, and the “Close” button.

            Immediately below the Title Bar within the Acrobat XI environment, you will see the Menu Bar. The Menu Bar contains the “File” “Edit” “View” “Window” and “Help” menu commands. Clicking on any of these commands will open its associated drop-down menu. To the far right of the Menu Bar within the Acrobat XI environment is the “Close Document” button. Clicking this button will close an open document without exiting the program, after prompting you to save any changes.

            Under the Menu Bar within the Acrobat XI environment, you will see the “top” toolbar of the two toolbars that are shown by default. Adobe provides no “official” name for this toolbar. By default it is divided into three sections from left to right. In the first section is the “Create” button. Following the divider line to the right are the buttons for the “File Tools.” Following the divider to the right of those buttons is the Quick Tools toolbar, which contains the buttons for your currently selected tool set. We will discuss what a tool set is in a later lesson. Note that, in the interest of specifying which of the two toolbars this course may be referring to at any point in time, this course will refer to this entire toolbar as the “Quick Tools toolbar.” Beneath that toolbar is the Common Tools toolbar. We will examine the tools in both of these toolbars more thoroughly in the next lesson.

            To the left of the main document window within the Acrobat XI environment, you will see the Navigation Pane. This vertical pane contains four buttons. Clicking any of these buttons will expand the pane, and clicking the button again will collapse the pane. You can also collapse the pane by clicking the “Close” button found at the top right of the pane. The Navigation Pane can be expanded to fill the entire workspace within the Acrobat XI environment by clicking the “Expand” button next to the “Close” button in the pane. We will examine the Navigation Pane more closely in a future lesson. For now, understand that the Navigation Pane buttons are useful for finding different areas and files in an open PDF document.

            Acrobat’s Task Pane is located to the right of the main document window within the Acrobat XI environment. You can click the “Tools,” “Sign,” and “Comment” buttons found at the far right of the Common Tools toolbar to display their associated content within the Task Pane. Clicking the same button again will collapse the pane. The Tools pane contains a wide variety of tools which perform many tasks in Acrobat. The Tools pane is also highly customizable, allowing users to show or hide specific tools. You can even create your own custom tool pane. We will examine these panes more closely in a future lesson.

            The space between the Navigation Pane and the Tools pane within the Acrobat XI environment is called the main document window. When you first open Acrobat, the main document window will display the Welcome screen. From this screen, you can click to open recent files, or navigate to find the file you want to open. You can also choose from a list of tasks on the right side of the welcome screen. For example, clicking the “Create PDF” button will launch the “Open” dialog box, where you can navigate to find a file to convert to PDF. Once you open a PDF file in Acrobat, the Welcome screen disappears, and the open document takes its place.

The Acrobat XI Environment Tutorial: A picture of the interface and operating environment within Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.

The Acrobat XI Environment Tutorial: A picture of the interface and operating environment within Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.

The Acrobat XI Environment: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “The Acrobat XI Environment,” shows the various objects found within the interface of Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. This video is from our complete Acrobat XI training, titled “Mastering Acrobat Made Easy v.XI Pro.”

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