keyboard shortcut to combine files acrobat pro 8 mac osx

Posted on 2011-04-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
is there a keyboard short cut to combine files.
i'm using acrobat professional 8 My operating system
is mac osx snow leopard.  any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, old-timer
Question by:old-timer
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    It's not a keyboard shortcut, but if you open two  or more pdfs with preview and use the sidebar on each one to show a thumbnail, you can drag the thumbnail from one  to over top the other to combine them. It shows a rectangle around the one you are dropping on, and the blue line shows where in the pdf the new page will be dropped. Save the altered pdf when all additional pages have been dropped onto it.

    Author Comment

    linuxo: Thanks for acrobat 9 shortcut list while looking at the list
     I noticed there is no keyboard shortcut under File Menu for
    Combine: Merge Files into a Single PDF. I guess you could say you
    answered my question but I'm going to let question ride for a while. Maybe somebody out there has figured out macro or a applescript that will get the job done. Thanks for posting a reply to my question. There's probably a hundred things you could show me how to do. Thanks Again, old-timer

    rogeroren: The preveiw tip isn't quite what I was looking for but a really cool tip!  I've been using preview for years and never figured that one out. Nice tip.
    I'm going to let the question ride for awhile to see what pops up.
    Thanks again for posting! old-timer

    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution


    You can create your own keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences > Keyboard. I don't have Adobe Acrobat installed on my system, so I'll create a keyboard shortcut for Preview's Flip Horizontal command, located on Preview's Tools menu. The principle is the same, so you can use this method to create a keyboard shortcut for any application.

    To do this:
      - Click the Apple menu, then click System Preferences...
      - In System Preferences, click the Keyboard icon in the Hardware group.
      - In Keyboard preferences, click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
      - In the list on the left side of the window, click Application Shortcuts.
      - Under the list on the right side of the window, click the [ + ] icon.
      - In the sheet which appears, select Preview from the Application pop-up menu.
      - In the Menu Title field, type Flip Horizontal.
      - In the Keyboard Shortcut field, while holding down Command and Control, type the letter H.
      - Click the Add button.

    That's it, you're done. From now on, Command Control H will perform the Flip Horizontal command in Preview.

    Hope that helps!
    Bryan Vines

    Author Comment

    Bryan Vines, Thanks for the post but when I tried
    Acrobat I got this prompt!

    If This image doesn't  come through it reads as follows:
    (You cannot add keyboard shortcuts for
    the application Adobe Acrobat Professional)
    I Guess I'll break out the Ikey App and see if I can figure
    out how to put together a macro.
    Thanks for the flip Horizontal shortcut!! thats pretty cool.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Allrighty then, this calls for some clever tactics.

    We can do this by combining Automator and the previous Keystroke tip. First, we'll get Automator to watch as you click the File > Combine > Merge PDFs menu item in Adobe Acrobat. Then we'll extract just that one click and convert it to AppleScript. We'll save our work in Automator, then associate the keystroke using System Preferences.

    We need Adobe Acrobat Pro running, because we're going to record ourselves clicking one of its menus, so go ahead and launch it if it's not already running.

    Let's create a Service in Automator:

      - Open Automator.
      - Automator starts with a new, untitled workflow.
      - In the sheet which appears, select the Service template, then click Choose.
      - Set Service receives selected to no input.
      - Change any application to other, and select your Adobe Acrobat Pro application.
      - Click the Record button to start recording. Then, while recording:
          - If the Recording window blocks your view, you can drag it out of the way.
          - Click Adobe Acrobat Pro's icon in the dock.
          - Click the File menu, point to Combine, then click Merge Files into a Single PDF…
          - Click the Stop button in the Recording window.
      - Switch back to Automator, where the recording is saved as a Watch Me Do action.
      - Click the Merge Files into a Single PDF item within the Watch Me Do action.
      - Click the Edit menu, then click Copy.
      - Drag a Run Applescript action into the workflow, below the Watch Me Do action.
      - Delete the entire contents of the Run Applescript action.
      - With the insertion point inside the Run Applescript action, click the Edit menu, then click Paste.
      - At the top of the pasted AppleScript code, the second line should say delay and then contain a decimal value. Change that value to 0.25.
      - Delete the Watch Me Do action.
      - Click the File menu, then click Save.
      - In the sheet which appears, give the service a name such as Merge PDFs.
      - Click the Save button.
      - Quit Automator.

    Let's test the service to make sure it works:

      - In Adobe Acrobat Pro, click the Acrobat menu, point to Services, then click Merge PDFs.
      - The Combine Files dialog box should appear.

    Let's associate a keystroke with our new service:

      - Open System Preferences.
      - In the Hardware group, click Keyboard.
      - Click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
      - In the list on the left, click Services.
      - In the list on the right:
          - Locate the General group
          - Click Merge PDFs to highlight its row.
          - Double-click the far right side of that row to reveal a keystroke field.
          - Type the keystroke you want to associate with this command (such as Command Control M).
      - Close the window.

    Now you can use the Command Control M keystroke to click File > Combine > Merge files into a single PDF in Adobe Acrobat.

    Bryan Vines

    Author Comment

    Bryan_Vines: I followed you're instructions as
    closely as possible but I could not get it to work. Probably
    something I did wrong. I'm enclosing a Pdf with the sequences
    of events and results of my attempt. Even if I can't get this to work,
    I learned a lot following UR' examples.
    Thanks for the post. I'll wait for Your reply.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution


    In step 7 on your PDF, you need to delete the entire contents of the Run Applescript step. So, get rid of all this:

         on run {input, parameters}

                (* Your script goes here *)

                return input
          end run

    before you paste in the Combine Files event from the Watch Me Do action.

    Also, when you change the delay value, the line should read:

          delay 0.25

    ...without a trailing period. I can see where my instructions were unclear on that point, with the period at the end of the sentence. I probably should have written it as I just did, above, showing how the whole line should appear.

    That should take care of the problems you were running into.

    By the way, you had a great idea documenting everything with a series of screenshots. That really helped me troubleshoot the problem.

    Bryan Vines

    Author Comment

         Bryan_Vines Sorry about the time delay but some things came
    up. I've worked through You're example and everything seems to
    work except the keyboard shortcut. I assigned a keystroke per your
    instructions. (Very clear instructions I might add!) but I've run into a
    quirk. When I activate Acrobat in the dock the keystroke does not work
    but if I  select the acrobat file menu and scroll down to services without
    selecting the combineFiles service then enter the key stoke (¿, a)
    the workflow starts.
          I'm enclosing a screen cast and a snap shot of the script in
    automator. If the finder window in the screen cast  looks strange its
    because I use a app. called Default Folder X I love this app. I' like to
    keep this going a little longer if possible to work out the bugs.
    Thanks, old-timer

    Author Comment

    Bryan_Vines If you don't have acrobat installed here's a link to Schubertlit PDF Browser Plugin. Which allows you view file in Your browser it is a free plugin anyway I Use Safari and it works great.
    Here is the link.

    Until next post, old-timer
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment


    Try this:

    In your Shortcut Copying and Pasting in file, instead of dragging all three events from the Watch Me Do action, only drag the Combine Files event.

    Bryan Vines

    Author Comment


    I Dragged the second item combine files into the applescript window but it didn't seem to work and better. Then I dragged the second two items into the window
    then it understood my keystroke once i probed the acrobat file menu. Acrobat doesn't understand the file menu command. Once you point it to the menu it runs fine. I'm enclosing the latest screencast and text of the script in a pdf.

    Did you have any trouble opening the attachments in the pdf?

    I'll wait for UR' reply.

    Thanks for the help! Let me know when you want to call it quits
    You've been patient and from what I've learned so far this has been a great learning experience.


    Accepted Solution

    Bryan_Vines, I'm closing out this post. Even though the problem wasn't  completely resolved I can't rule out the possibility that the problem could be with my computer system or applications. You have been a great help and I've learned a lot.  I consider this matter resolved. old-timer

    Author Closing Comment

    Instructions were clear and easy to understand. Follow up great! Bryan placed a lot of time with step by step instructions couldn't  asked for more thanks again. old-timer

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