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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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By Hoser McMoose on 11/29/2007 6:09:18 PM , Rating: 3
Just to follow-up on this, anyone who hasn't tried Foxit Reader yet, I'd HIGHLY recommend it!

It reads probably 99%+ of all PDF files perfectly and does so WITHOUT all the PITA problems that Acrobat Reader has. It's much smaller, lighter and faster than Acrobat but still has basically all the same features for displaying and reading documents.


By GeorgeOrwell on 11/29/2007 6:35:38 PM , Rating: 5
Foxit is great for occasional reading of PDF documents, especially on a system that you don't want to install Adobe Acrobat on, but Foxit's rendering engine is far inferior to Adobe's.

In practice, PDF files look much more appealing when rendered by Adobe Acrobat. Fonts are smoother, text flows better, etc.

Maybe in the future Foxit will offer quality visual rendering. But that day is not today. Unfortunately as Acrobat (Adobe's spyware beachhead) is one thing I would love to uninstall forever.


By fleshconsumed on 11/30/2007 7:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
I see zero difference in FoxIt and Adobe rendering of PDF documents.

The only reason to keep Adobe installed is for compatibility. Unfortunately FoxIt still suffers in this regard and won't render certain PDF documents properly, additionally, some PDFs, such as from INS/IRS are better handled by Adobe. However, if you don't need extended functionality FoxIt is identical in rendering to Adobe and is magnitudes quicker.


"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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