Wow – Great New Features in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader

As most people probably know, a PDF reader is required to read PDF files. Usually you would use Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader for that. Now there is even more reason to use Adobe’s piece of software for doing just that. Adobe has just released version X of the software and it has some massive improvements – improvements that will be of great help to family members at Tracing our History.

The following are the ‘new’ features of version X of Acrobat PDF Reader:

  • Read, search and share PDF files
  • Convert to PDF
  • Export and edit PDF files
  • Add rich media to PDF files
  • Combine files from multiple applications
  • Increase productivity and process consistency
  • Streamline document reviews
  • Collect data with fillable PDF forms
  • Protect PDF files and content
  • Comply with PDF and accessibility standards

OK, that all sounds very confusing I guess – it does a bit to me also. Now this is how I see at least some of the improvements and they are what I’ve been looking for for a long time.:

  • There is the ability now to highlight text within a PDF file
  • There is the ability to add a note to what is highlighted and make comments. If the PDF file is sent to someone else to look at it can be opened and comments can be made in reply to what you have written. This makes a PDF file very collaborative in research.
  • There is the ability to place sticky notes onto the file – just as you would with a book or magazine. Again, these can be replied to or edited.
  • Obviously the PDF file can be shared with others for their comments and be passed backward and forwards.
  • The PDF file can also be sent to someone else right in the reader software by email or via Adobe Online.

So they are just some of the uses of version X, but they are brilliant for genealogy research.

To get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader X visit:
http://www.adobe-new-downloads.com/

Kevin’s Family – Online History Site

Having Blogged about the ‘History’ community in my last post here, it wasn’t that long after that that it became necessary to remove the ‘History’ community, as well as other communities hosted at Grou.ps. The reason for this was that Grou.ps were quickly moving to adopt a more ‘premium’ model of service. I would have been happy to pay for a premium service if that service was in fact premium, but because it was still full of bugs and problems I opted out and decided to move my operations elsewhere. At the moment I have no ‘History’ community, which is fine. I will adapt a page or two on the site for that purpose in time to come.

The ‘Tracing our History’ community, which was aimed at family members, faced the same issues as the ‘History’ community. I have already begun the process of moving this community elsewhere. It can found at Spruz and is only in the early stages of development. If you are a family member, please get on board even now and be part of the community as it grows.

Visit the ‘Tracing our History’ community at:
http://tracinghistory.spruz.com/

I have also begun some further work on the main website itself. I am very tempted to rename the site as ‘Tracing our History’ and will probably do so very soon. This will keep the three main affiliated sites – the Blog, the community and the main site – all named the same. I think this works much better.

Improvements to the site are under way, including major reviews of the family tree and family history book. Both of these will soon be hosted in more secure locations.

Break is Over … Now Back to Work

I have always found with genealogy that it is hard to stay on mission as it were. Every so often I just seem to have this need to take a break from it all and then find it difficult to get started again. This is where I have been over the last few months.

Once I get started again, all moves along well for a time – usually 12-18 months, before I need to take another break – which will end up going for about 6 months and then the cycle begins again.

I now have a desire to get back into the work and to make some changes to the way I do genealogy. These are changes that have gradually been worked out in my mind (during my break and before it) and I now feel it time to implement. These are changes that I hope will prove far better in the long run for all concerned.

So what are these changes going to involve:

  • I hope to put the family tree itself (and the book on our family history) behind the secure walls of a password protected web-based genealogical application. This will allow the information contained therein to be more private and secure.

  • I also hope, by placing the family tree into a web-based genealogical application, to open up the possibility of increased interaction between relatives that barely (if ever) see each other and to allow a process of collaboration on our family history – after all, it is not just my family history that I am seeking to preserve.

  • I am also hoping that by doing the above, our family history will ‘be owned’ by many more individual members of our family than it currently is. There are just so many ways that we can work together to preserve our family history for our own families and for generations to come. I don’t think family history preservation should be left at a family tree, a book and some photos – it can also include documents, individual stories, local history, etc. All these things can come together and complete our family history, making it more meaningful for those who are yet to come.

  • I am hoping to further develop the Grou.ps community that I have already established, and also to eliminate the old Yahoo mail groups that I once used in conjunction with the website.

  • I would also like to get a family history newsletter for our family going again.

These are just some of the things I’m keen to get working on.