Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, February 11, 2005

From RSS To PDF: Acrobat 7 Does It

When in January 2005 Adobe released version 7 of Acrobat Standard, Professional and Reader, most journalists were struck by the newly added feature that allows users of the Acrobat Reader version to edit and annotate PDF files if the original PDF publisher has enabled this function in the PDF document.


Yes, Acrobat now launches from the Windows Startup group, which makes the program load much faster when you open a PDF file, it integrates more security, annotation, review capabilities, pre-press functionalities and more, but in my opinion the real news of Acrobat 7 is that the Acrobat Tracker tool can now be used to subscribe to RSS feeds and convert any of the items from these feeds into a custom PDF.



Acrobat 7 integrates a full RSS reader/aggregator capable of automatic conversion from RSS/HTML to PDF. This integrated functionality allows you to build summaries of all news items into a PDF as well as letting you convert any Web page linked from the RSS feed into a PDF too.

What was labelled the 'Track News' in version 6 has now been moved to the tracker tool, with the addition of RSS, XML and RDF syndicated feed support.

Click above image to enlarge it

Think of the applications of this RSS-to-PDF mechanism:

  • Redistribution to users who are without access to the Internet while providing them with full ability to see RSS feed content and Web pages linked to it.

  • Easy integration with other content already distributed in PDF format

  • Annotation and in-place commenting of RSS feeds with text or audio

  • Distribution of editorial revision process

  • Archival purposes

Suggested Readings

Review: Seventh Heaven by Clive Shirley (LegalIT, Febr 10, 2005)

Acrobat 7.0 - Our First Look by Richard Crocker (In-depth article on Planet PDF)

Added Feb 27th 2005
Using Acrobat 7.0's Tracker to read RSS feeds by Mark Szulc (Marc is a systems engineer at Adobe)

Added Feb 27th 2005
RSS Meets PDF - Ah, The Possibilities by Derek Franklin (Jan 19th, 2005)

Readers' Comments    
2007-06-28 17:17:59

Stephen Jones

Given the content of this thread, I thought readers might be interested in

RSS2 can convert multiple RSS and ATOM feeds into a single, consolidated PDF file without the need for expensive software, computer programming, or complicated RSS readers.

2005-10-27 16:59:49


My name's Tom Churm and I'm the creator of the free webservice at

My webservice transforms RSS/ATOM/RDF feeds into PDF files. Online. For free. Round the clock. No breaks for snacks even.

It also transforms OPML files to PDF 'Feed Digests' which you can save to your computer for offline reading, send to your friends via Email, read on your PDA or just save for a rainy day.

As long as you have Acrobat READER installed (which is free, and already installed on most computers), you can use it as a newsreader without having to shell out big bucks for Adobe Acrobat or some other Newsreader program. also has a feature called 'RSS Autodiscovery', so if you don't know what the URL is for a particular newsfeed, just type in the main website you're interested in - we'll automagically find the newsfeed for the website and create a PDF file from it.

If you're interested in this kind of thing, give it a test drive today!

Uhhh, I hope I didn't sound TOO MUCH like a used car salesman just now?

2005-02-11 17:01:22

James Shewmaker

The concern that I have is that some users may not understand when they can and can not legally "syndicate" copyright material. Providing a link to copyright material does not infringe upon that copyright, but republishing and redistributing that material does u=infringe upon the copyright.

posted by Marjolein Hoekstra on Friday, February 11 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




Real Time Web Analytics