If you have ever read Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , you already know about babelfish. As the story goes, if you stick one in your ear, it acts as an automatic translation system, so you can understand what's being said in any given language from Abyssinian to Vogon. Too bad babelfish don't actually exist; software file formats could use such a device. Adobe's PDF format comes close. PDF files can be passed back and forth from PC to Mac to SGI workstation to Palm and Pocket PC devices.
There are generic PDFs and Photoshop PDFs. Photoshop creates single-image PDF files. Generic PDFs (which can contain multiple pages, pictures, and text) come from Adobe Acrobat, or from Illustrator, or from other programs that make use of the Acrobat Distiller. You can save a single-image PDF file using the regular Save As box. As an alternative to creating a single-image PDF file, you can create a PDF slideshow. The slideshow will run on any computer system that has Adobe Acrobat or a similar PDF reader. The slideshow starts automatically when opened and displays the images you selected when you created the file, one at a time. To start, assemble a group of images in a folder, and then choose File, Automation Tools, PDF Slideshow. The PDF Slideshow dialog box is shown in Figure 22.10.
Figure 22.10. Be sure to check out the Transition pop-up menu. There are 18 possibilities, ranging from Blinds and Wipes to Glitter Down.
Click Browse and navigate to the folder you assembled . Select the files you want to use in the slideshow, and click Open to add them. Click Choose and type a name for the slideshow file, and then click OK. Choose the length of time that you'd like each slide to stay on the screen, and decide whether you want the show to run once and stop or to loop and run continuously. Finally, choose a transition. If you like surprises , choose Random Transition. When you're ready to create the file, click OK. Anyone with a PDF reader on any platform can open and enjoy your show.