One of the greatest features in Distiller is its ability to process many files automatically and without supervision. In fast-paced environments like newspaper or magazine production, this ability is of vital importance. Distiller does this through the use of watched folders. A watched folder is a folder in your computer that Distiller "keeps an eye" on.
Creating and Editing Settings in Watched Folders
To set up a watched folder, choose Settings, Watched Folder to launch the Watched Folder dialog (see Figure 45.3). Clicking on the Add button enables you to navigate and select a folder to include in the watched folders list. When a folder is added, Acrobat creates two new folders inside your selection: In and Out. Distiller monitors the contents of the In folder and, when a PostScript file is dropped in, it automatically processes it and places the new PDF file in the Out folder.
Figure 45.3. Distiller allows up to 100 different folders to be added to the watched folders list.
Distiller enables you to select individual Settings files for each folder in the list by selecting it and clicking on the Load Settings button. You can also adjust settings if they are not saved by clicking on the Edit Settings button to open the Adobe PDF Settings dialog.
Changing Security Settings in Watched Folders
You can add security features to the new PDF files by selecting a watched folder and clicking on the Edit Security button. These settings are the same as found when you create password-based security policies in Acrobat (see Figure 45.4). You can set different security levels for each folder in the watched folders list. When a watched folder has security settings added to it a lock icon shows next to its name in the list.
Figure 45.4. Setting separate security policies to each watched folder is possible in Distiller.
Changing Other Settings
You can also use the Watched Folders dialog (choose Settings, Watched Folders) to set a time interval for Distiller to check for new files. The maximum interval is 9999 seconds, which is equivalent to roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes. Deleting old files automatically to save hard drive space is also possible.
When a file is dropped in the In folder of a watched folder, Distiller automatically processes it using the settings selected for that folder, and it saves the PDF in the corresponding Out folder. You can use this functionality to process PostScript or EPS files sent to you via email or via a web server, for example. Or if you want to add security to your documents automatically without having to open them in Acrobat, save them as PostScript files in the In folder of the corresponding watched folder and Distiller takes care of the rest.
You can also process individual files by using the File, Open menu and navigating to the location of the file or by dragging and dropping the file icon into the Distiller window. Distiller uses the settings selected in the Default Settings menu to process files selected individually (see Figure 45.5).
Figure 45.5. You can drag and drop several files at once into Distiller's window for processing.