Another Acrobat Annoyance

I just discovered a solution to my longest term Adobe Acrobat bug, it’s been a huge annoyance and a huge time-waster for years. I like to scan a lot of pages and import them into Acrobat, but they always sort in the wrong order and you have to manually resort them. Everyone complains about this on both Wintel and Mac platforms, but now there’s a fix for MacOS X.

I like to scan everything as uncompressed TIFFs and name them in numeric order, like 001.tif, 002.tif, etc. I can do image adjustments in Photoshop, once I get the brightness and contrast right for one document, I can just batch process all the rest with the same settings. I have ImageMagick installed, so I can transform a whole folder full of TIFFs with the command “mogrify -format jpeg -quality 30 *.tif” and it is incredibly fast. But when you try to insert them all into a PDF in Acrobat, the images import in the wrong order. You can use the little Move Up/Move Down buttons to move things into the right order, but hell, isn’t this supposed to be automatic? It takes a huge amount of time to manually resort a hundred page document, I should be able to do this with one click.

But help is on the way. There’s a new Acrobat plugin,
InsertSorted, which inserts PDFs in the correct order. The problem is that you’ve got TIFFs or JPEGs as source material, and InsertSorted only imports PDFs. So the trick is to convert your image files to individual 1-page PDFs first. In Acrobat 6 Pro, use the command Advanced>Open All. This opens every image and resaves it as a PDF. Then you can use InsertSorted and grab them all in the right order with just one click.

This trick is going to save me days of work each month. Special thanks go to Lawrence You for inventing this trick.

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