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Geospatial PDFs

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. PDFs converted to web pages
    12. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    13. PDF articles
    14. Geospatial PDFs
    15. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    16. Change the default font for adding text
    17. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. Create a web form
    5. Request e-signatures in bulk
    6. Collect online payments
    7. Brand your account
    8. About certificate signatures
    9. Certificate-based signatures
    10. Validating digital signatures
    11. Adobe Approved Trust List
    12. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
    7. Cloud-based auto-tagging
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Before you begin

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About geospatial PDFs

A geospatial PDF includes information to reference location data. When you import geospatial data into Acrobat, it keeps the location coordinates, allowing you to view and interact with the PDF to find and mark locations.

Geospatial data can be vector or raster-based or a mix of both. After importing the data, you can use it in various ways:

  • Find and mark location coordinates.
  • Measure distance, perimeter, and area.
  • Change the coordinate system and measurement units.
  • Copy location coordinates to the clipboard and use them in web mapping services to show locations.

Create geospatial PDFs

You can create a geospatial PDF using any of these methods:

Once you import a file, you'll see measurements, point positions, and lengths displayed in geographic coordinates. You have the option to modify, measure, and annotate them. Additionally, you can compile a PDF map from various sources.

Open GeoTIFF and JPEG 2000 files

GeoTIFF files and JPEG 2000 files are raster images that you can import as new documents or as new layers to an existing document. Acrobat preserves the geospatial coordinates embedded in the file. These files retain their geospatial data when they are imported. If you import these files to existing documents, their coordinate system is converted to the coordinate system of the document.

  1. Go to  > Create > PDF from file

  2. Select the geospatially enabled file to import.

  3. Select Open.

    It opens the geospatially enabled file as PDF.

Import shapefiles

To add a shapefile as a new layer to your PDF, it must overlap with the current PDF map. If there's no overlap, it won't be imported. If it partially overlaps, only the overlapping part is imported.

A shapefile comprises multiple files with various filename extensions. When importing into Acrobat, make sure to include both the SHP file and the DBF file.

  1. Go to  > View > Show/Hide > Side Panels > Layers.

  2. From the right panel, select  > Import As Layer.

  3. In the Import as Layer dialog that opens:

    1. For the Source file, select Browse to locate the SHP file and then select it.
    2. Select Settings and change the Line Properties to a solid line and the line color to blue.
    3. Change other settings as required.
    4. Select Ok.

Interact with geospatial PDFs

When you open a geospatially enabled PDF, you can do the following:

  • Find locations, measure distances, and add location markers.
  • Copy coordinates to the clipboard for use with a web mapping service.

To access the geospatial measuring tools, from the All tools menu, select Measure objects > Geospatial location tools.

Utilize the Geospatial Location tool for the following tasks:

  • View latitude and longitude when the cursor is over an area with geospatial information.
  • Add a geospatial annotation to mark a specific location.
  • Search for a location within the document.

Find map locations

  1. Open a geospatial PDF and then from the All tools menu, select Measure objects > Geospatial Location tool.

  2. Right-click inside the map, and then select Find A Location.

  3. In the dialog that appears at the bottom, type the latitude and longitude values (degrees, minutes, seconds, or decimal) in the two text boxes, and then press Enter.

    If at least one location is available, the location is highlighted with a blue square and the page is centered on the highlighted location.

  4. If the PDF includes more than one map, select the Next or Previous buttons to view additional results, if any. Multiple locations are available in several situations:

    • When a document contains multiple maps (for example, if a PDF contains a smaller map within a larger map, such as a city within a map of a state or country). When you search for a location within the city, Acrobat finds it in both the larger map and the city map.

    • When a document contains multiple pages of a map (for example, if page one is a map of a country and page two is a map of a state or city within the country).

  5. To add a comment, such as a place name or address, select the location marker, and then add the information in the comment box.

  6. To mark a location with geospatial information, select Mark Location.

  7. To end the search, right-click inside the map. Then select Hide Location Search, to remove the search boxes.

Measure distance, perimeter, and area on maps

When you open a geospatial PDF, Acrobat's measuring tools read geospatial information and calculate distances and areas based on the actual geography, not just the page or object dimensions. You can use these tools to measure distance, perimeter, and area on any geospatially enabled PDF.

As you move the mouse pointer over the document's content, snap markers appear, indicating when you are on a path or path endpoint. Additionally, the latitude and longitude of your cursor location are displayed when it hovers over geospatial content.

  1. From the All tools menu, select Measure objects > Measuring tool.

  2. In the Measurement tool display, select a measurement type: Distance , Area , or Perimeter .

  3. Select a snap-to option:
    • Snap to paths

    • Snap to end points

    • Snap to midpoints

    • Snap to intersections

  4. Do one of the following:
    • If you are using the Distance tool, click where you want to start the measurement, and then drag to the end point and click again. The distance is displayed in the lower-right corner.

    • If you are using the Perimeter tool, click the map in one corner of the perimeter, and then drag to each corner. Click at each corner and then double-click at the end point. The information window displays the perimeter size.

    • If you are using the Area tool, click the map at one corner of the area, and then drag to another corner. Click before changing directions. Double-click at the end to display the total area.

  5. To finish the measurement, right-click and select Complete Measurement. Or, select Cancel Measurement.

Copy location coordinates to the clipboard for use with a web mapping service

After you find a location on a geospatial PDF, you can copy the coordinates to the clipboard. From the clipboard, you can paste the data into a web mapping service that reads latitude and longitude coordinates.

  1. From the All tools menu, select Measure objects > Geospatial location tool. Then, right-click the location on the map and select Mark Location.

  2. Open the location annotation and copy the location information.

    Acrobat copies the data in this format: latitude then longitude, separated by a space. Paste the data into the address bar of a web mapping service that can interpret the location data.

Change measurement units within a document

To change the type of measurement units, right-click inside the map with the Measuring tool and choose Distance Unit or Area Unit. Then select a measurement type.

Change geospatial measuring preferences

To change measurement units for all geospatial PDFs, go to  > Preferences > Measuring (Geo).

Here are some useful options that you can set:

  • Enable Measurement Markup: Adds labels to geospatial measurements. Select "Use Label" to add custom labels.
  • Snap Settings: Choose which path parts the measurements should snap to.
  • Display value as: Decide how latitude and longitude values are shown. Choose Decimal for decimal fractions or Degrees, Minutes, Seconds for more traditional notation.
  • Display direction as: Choose between Signed (N/S, E/W) or Named (North/South, East/West) directions for latitude and longitude.
  • Always display latitude and longitude as WGS 1984: This ensures that latitude and longitude use the current standard reference frame for Earth (World Geodetic System 1984). You can unselect this option for older maps drawn with different grids.
  • Use default distance unit: Select the default unit for distance measurements.
  • Use default area unit: Choose a different unit for area measurements compared to distance.
  • Don’t show transparency layer in GeoTIFF and JPEG 2000 images: Allows you to remove the transparency layer from raster images like GeoTIFF and JPEG 2000.

With these settings, you can customize your geospatial measurements in Acrobat for better accuracy and convenience.

Export location and measurement markups

You can export geospatial location and measurement data to an FDF file. Each geospatial annotation contains a GPTS entry representing its latitude and longitude. You can export the following types of information:

  • Marked locations made with the Geospatial Location tool.
  • Distance, perimeter (compound distance), and area measurements taken with the Measurement tool over geospatial content.

To export geospatial data:

  1. Go to the comments panel.
  2. To export all comments, select  > Export All To Data File.
  3. To export a subset of the comments, select them, and select   > Export Selected To Data File. Enter the filename and select Save. The FDF file will be saved.
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