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CD of publications

By Jedi10180 ·
My organization has around 90 publications that we are looking to distribute to our constituents in CD format. They are all PDFs. Our primary concern is that anyone on any machine will be able to view this CD and the information on it. We want it to be simple, portable, and compatible with as many systems as possible. We had an HTML version, but couldn't find a way to open the PDF in Acrobat rather than in the browser window. We don't want to open it in a browser window because we get active content errors that make the CD less professional. We have tried using a Flash version of the CD, but without buying a third-party product, we weren't able to open a specific PDF in Acrobat. We could open Acrobat by itself, but not the specific PDF. To open the specific PDF, we had to use the geturl command, which presents us with the same active content issue the HTML version had. Also, I'm not sure about the compatability. A PowerPoint presentation packaged for CD, and this works reasonably well except that sometimes the PDF opens behind the presentation, causing people to think that it didn't open. Have any ideas about how to implement this CD?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to CD of publications

Well you have a couple of problems here the first is the security side of things as if everything is in PDF format anyone with a copy of Adobe Reader will be able to open the CD and read your data. I don't know what it is that you want to put on the CD but as you say you want it to be as usable as possible across as many platforms as possible that flies in the face of any form of security which would limit people accessing the data and if you want it easily read do you need to worry about security?

As for making the actual CD that is a fairly simple thing just make one big PDF file and append the various documents into the different parts of the opening index which I would suggest auto runs when inserted into a CD Drive.

However the real trick here is limiting the ability to read the data when it gets loose in the open world. When I worked at banks we used to have an encryption key that was loaded onto the computers and then a floppy or CD was useless without the NB that it was used with but this would limit the ability to read the CD which you seem to be saying you do not want.

While probably not the best idea you could insert a subroutine into the Auto run sequence to enter a user name & password before the CD files will open but this too can be a draw back or even worse give you a false sense of security as anyone who really wants to will be able to break the code if they are willing to try.

Making the CD is the easy bit how you secure it really depends on what you have on it and how important that data actually is but as the old saying goes you can not have your cake & eat it to so you'll have to balance the need for security against the need for that data to be available to those who require it.

Col

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by Jedi10180 In reply to

Security isn't really a concern. The information on this CD is all information meant for anyone interested to be able to read - we want people to read this information and to be able to access it. However, we currently have a CD that is just one big PDF as described in the response, but my bosses are looking for something more splashy that incorporates more of a GUI and looks more professional than one big PDF. Also, we are a non-profit organization and so would like to do this for as little money as possible. Thanks.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to CD of publications

Well then if you have Adobe Writer all you need do is create the individual files and then add a Index that is linked directly to each file same as you would if it was just one data set for a single item. With Adobe writer instead of using words you can also use Icons or pictures as the index so all one has to do is click on a icon or picture to get to the desired data.

I would set this as an auto run feature when inserted into a CD/DVD drive and then you could have a GUI interface on the entire project. That would be the easy way of doing things particularly if there is little money allocated to do this project but the directors or the Powers that Be want something more presentable.

Just treat it as a single PDF file and include Adobe Acrobat Reader on the CD as some may not have a copy of the reader so they can install the reader from the CD and then be able to use the CD in the way intended.

Adobe Acrobat is very flexible like this and extremely easy to use so that is how I would be doing things but I would try to remove any hyperlinks from the existing body of the text as unless there is a direct Internet connection available that will lead to problems but if you need to keep there at the very beginning you could add that some features require a Internet connection to directly access some of the material.

Mostly things like this are done in HTML which you have already tried and found problems with but with a simple edit of the existing HTML you should be able to remove the existing hyperlinks so they no longer present a problem but things like Web Addresses or E-Mail will always be a problem as they will try to establish a direct link when they are clicked upon and while this may be less of a problem with Adobe it will still exist to a certain extent although most likely no where near as badly as a HTML format would.

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by Jedi10180 In reply to

Thank you, I think I am going to go in that direction. Is it possible to stop users from being able to navigate through a PDF by any means other than the links that I provide? I don't want them to be able to use their scroll button or the arrow buttons if possible - they may get confused if they accidentally hit a button. Thanks.

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by Jedi10180 In reply to CD of publications

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