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Coming soon to a PDF near you -- live advertisements

Many internet users, particularly those in research related fields, spend large amounts of time perusing PDFs that make up much of the internet's vast online resources.  Now these helpful documents may have a new friend, in the form of live internet ads, thanks to a partnership between Yahoo and Adobe.

Yahoo, which has been aggressively looking to expand its advertising resources to compete with rival Google, can count this one as a real victory.  Before today only static ads were possible in PDF.

The new service is being pushed by the Ads for Adobe PDF powered by Yahoo campaign, announced today.

While the ads may bring a bothersome annoyance to some previously ad-free documents, which had previously been free of advertisements, they may have beneficial effects as well.  Scientific journals may elect to put their content online for free, subsidized by advertisement revenue.  The benefits or merits of this are debatable, but many will feel that the more available information, the better.

The service is entering its beta phase.  Adobe has announced Yahoo is its exclusive ad provider at least for the beta phase, but has not announced when the beta phase will end or if it will open up to other advertisers, such as Google.

All PDF content providers will have to do to participate is upload their documents to an Adobe/Yahoo portal and the documents will be retrofitted with embed ads and returned to the publisher.  Adobe is designing APIs to simplify this process and make it extremely easy and convenient for content publishers.

Ads will appear on an adjacent panel, so won't interfere with the document itself.  The ads will not interfere with document printing, either.  When a user clicks one it will launch a new browser window.  The service currently only supports pay-per-click text ads, but it is planning on expanding to graphical and rich media ads. 

Usage is free for publishers, who can click here to sign up for the beta program.  Publishers can block up to 200 urls they don't want advertising in their PDF.

Yahoo and Adobe's movie is another business deal which will leave some thrilled at the prospect of new content and new revenue, but others fearful of abuse and inconvenience.

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Chris...It's already here...
By Tim Thorpe on 11/29/2007 4:18:09 PM , Rating: 5
for an extremely light weight PDF viewer use Sumatra PDF viewer, it's free, it's open source, its extremely simple and small. I carry it on my flash drive every where I go because it doesn't require installation, it just works.

If I need any semi advanced features that sumatra doesn't offer then I use foxit reader although I find getting my hands on just the free reader from their site is becoming more and more difficult.

Sumatra PDF:
Foxit Reader (Direct Download):

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By Basilisk on 11/29/2007 6:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
'Just tried Sumatra: after sampling two documents, I'm grinning ear-to-ear over its start-up speed. I do miss the Find (text) function, but I haven't seen any faults in its displays.

I'm another person who groans every time he starts up an Adobe product (Acrobat or PhotoShop) -- it's beyond my grasp how their products can be such sluggards year after year. Now I've set Sumatra as my PDF standard reader. Thanks for the URL.

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By RjBass on 11/29/2007 11:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
For those that don't like PhotoShop their is always the open source photo editing software known as The Gimp.

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/29/2007 8:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
Sumatra, like Foxit, does not render well. It does not even use the right fonts to draw the document.

So, yes, it is great for a small no-install viewer. But to view PDF documents in high-fidelity, there still is no substitute for Adobe Acrobat that I am aware of.

I should mention that the OS X PDF viewer is pretty good, but it is still not really there. But it is the closest of the non-Adobe viewers.

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By smitty3268 on 11/30/2007 1:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
Sumatra and Foxit both use the same underlying PDF rendering engine, called Poppler, that basically all open source programs are using or moving to. So all of the free alternatives are going to render the documents pretty much the same.

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By Haven Bartton on 11/30/2007 2:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
Screenshots anyone? I'm curious about this, as the point of PDFs is for sending out documents and ensuring that everyone sees them the exact same way (and they are usually unalterable).

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By smitty3268 on 11/30/2007 2:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
The PDF itself is just a string of 1s and 0s, it's the softwares responsibility to make sure it looks the same everywhere. Just look at web browsers to see how differently they can interpret and display the same exact document.

That said, I've found poppler to be quite good. I don't view PDFs very often, though, so it's certainly possible I just don't know what I'm missing.

RE: Chris...It's already here...
By Tim Thorpe on 11/30/2007 1:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
give me a link to some complex PDFs that you claim don't render properly so that we can make a fair comparison please.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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