Responses to a question about using Acrobat and Lotus Notes in combination

Subject: Responses to a question about using Acrobat and Lotus Notes in combination
From: James Bauman <James -dot- Bauman -at- SAFETY-KLEEN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 15:34:33 -0500

From: James Bauman on 10/17/97 03:34 PM

Subject: Responses to a question about using Acrobat and Lotus Notes in

* * * About a week ago, I sent the following message:

Our corporate office wants to distribute various manuals to branch users
all over the U.S. in an on-line format. The preliminary plan is to create
databases on Lotus Notes that hold the manuals in a .pdf format. Then, a
copy of the Acrobat Reader would be sent to each branch as an executable
attachment via Lotus Notes. After the Reader is installed on their
machines and the users want to see an on-line manual, they would
double-click a Lotus Notes database icon and start viewing .pdf files.

Has anyone had experience with using Adobe Acrobat and Lotus Notes in this
way or a similar way? I'd be very interested to hear about your

* * * Here are the verbatim responses that I received:

Doesn't work well on all platforms.

We keep our documentation, which we create, in Notes databases. However
I have quite a bit of documentation from Lotus and Lotus Notes related
vendors (BigSky, creators of Phone Notes for instance) which is PDF.
Once the reader is installed it works like a charm. I have not tried to
create a full text search with a PDF.... I though I saw a Tech Notes
which said you could... If that is important, I would review TechNotes.

Fantastic idea for using Notes. I think that is one of the things Notes
does best: distributing rather static information to other sites and
folks. We've
used all sorts of files in that manner and have had no problem. Acrobat
would be a new one for us, but I don't think
that matters. So long as the associations in Windows are correct.

Jim, our company uses Adobe Acrobat and Lotus Notes in exactly the way
you describe. We have .pdf files of all of our technical
documents stored in a Lotus Notes database. Acrobat Reader is available
also so that any individual who wants or needs to can install it.
We store each .pdf file in its own Notes document, and we have (a
process) that extracts all the text from the .pdf file, and stuffs it
in a
rich text field in the Notes document. This way you can search the
entire database for the word "computer", view a list of all our
documents that contain that word, and view .pdf files at will.
Additionally, this database is available to our customers on our web
thanks to Domino. We use Acrobat 3.0 and the 'optimize' feature so
people connected to our web site can download our manuals a

We do something very similar. We receive publications in a PDF format
into a mail-in database when the user opens the document,
it launches the PDF reader and file. The only limitations to this is
that the FULL-TEXT index doesn't not work like they claim it does
for PDF's.

We tried this at our company and had very good luck with the technology
involved. We have change control bulletins that we
distribute as our software is enhanced. We use Lotus Notes for internal
delivery within
the company. We set up a distribution list and sent the change bulletin
as an attached .pdf file. We had already had our LAN support ensure
that the Acrobat Reader was available on the LAN for each building where
we were sending the file. The distribution worked well and folks had no
problem with the technology. We didn't do this for long however because
of a problem with the way our Lotus Notes system is
configured. We had a problem with users getting multiple messages if the
message had an attachment This was not caused by
anything we did, but since it showed up about the same time that we
started delivering change bulletins this way, it didn't look good.
Since we couldn't rely on the L-Notes support group to get their act
together, we built another solution.

A company that I worked with has a whole application developed
using Adobe Acrobat and Notes. Each .pdf file was dropped into a
Notes doc that had a series of fields that allowed for
classifying and categorizing what was in the pdf. The user had a
conventional Notes view and Navigators to find the needed items based
on the info. included on the form. When the item was selected,
Acrobat auto launched. Worked out quite well. Users even began to
use spreadsheets and such that would auto launch just as the Acrobat.
Make sure that the users have a machine that can support 256 colors
as text in pdfs did not seem do redraw correctly at 16 colors and the
screen became a black blob as the pdf was scrolled up and down. The
app also was a bit slow on 486 machines but that was using and 16
bit Notes and Win 3.1

To those who responded, thank you very much. At times like this, I see
confirmed again and again what a great resource this listserv is. There's
a heck of a lot of expertise and experience out there! Have a good weekend

Jim Bauman
IS Technical Publications
Safety-Kleen Corp.

mailto:jbauman -at- safety-kleen -dot- com

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