The random number generator from picked the number 80. Out of 113 entries that means the winner is:

John D! John works for GageMaker, maker of, yep, fine gages. His PDF video idea was to, “use video in PDF’s to demonstrate the use of our gages and assembly procedures of our gages.”

So what did you think of the video ideas and new stuff in Adobe Acrobat 9? Did you know you can try it out?

I think everyone has a better idea of the potential for embedding video in a PDF. But yes, you can try Acrobat 9 out right now! Adobe offers a trial download for Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro Extended that will allow you to test out the full functionality of the software. Time to test those ideas!

Your PDF Video Ideas
One reason I wanted to ask about embedding video in PDF’s is because it’s something new for a PDF and I though we could get a better idea from everyone how it could be used. Some of my favorites were:

From Bruce Buck – “For one, I could think of assembly instructions, for the manufacturing plant, or even the end customer. These of course could be animations created in SolidWorks or some other program, or raw video shot by corporate. Currently work at a place that designs car shredder plants. These are huge, complicated plant installations, and no doubt, plant layouts with general assembly videos and installation videos would be a HUGE benefit.”

From Charles Culp – “I would use it to interact in 3D with everyone. Customers, our machine shop downstairs, everyone needs 3D.”

From Craig – “It seems as if many customers will only look at files you send them if its something familiar, and for many eDrawings is not. Soooo……unless they can “click & look” they just ignore what I send them. I’d use video to demonstrate installation and/or procedures in new software. Also I could record some video of my screen while interrogating an assembly and send that to them as well. As CAD Manager I would also use this for training videos or “tech support” help. It seems like creating videos accessible to everyone without being bloated can be finicky. Buried in PDF sounds like a breeze.”

From Peggy – “I would use Video in a PDF in a project for a class to teach “how to’s” I would be so much easier teaching if the students could see a project from start to finish.”

From Babalu – “I would use it to compilate a movie with the family members that have passed away, and distribute it to the cousins.”

From Pamela White – “I would use this program to make interactive displays. I would love to import pictures and images to our presentations.”

From Ruth C. – “I’d use it to document CosmosWorks stress simulations.”

From Jeffrey Mehr – “Our field engineers are constantly asking for better visuals demonstrating our maintenance procedures. Video would really enhance our products!”

From Gwen L – “Wow! I could distribute PDF sewing patterns that include video instructions for assembling the pieces.”

From JN Peter – “Videos of exploded views embedded in a PDF would make it so much easier to describe an a assembly.”

From M Bacon – “With video, we could have fantastic presentations that would help make our products even that much more understandable. Most important when you’re dealing with a manufacturer that doesn’t speak your language well. It would also be a fantastic sales tool when we launch a new product.”

From iQ – “…the capabilities of EDrawings into a PDF file. Now this was quite a few years ago now. It is amazing how these little items come true. I also would like to get more paperless. And one of the items that I look forward to is the paperless assembly document that is a movie or animation. This capability in a PDF file is just the item that I am looking forward to.”

From Mingish (yeah, my brother) – “I would use it to circulate videos of drunken caroling from last years Christmas party.”

From CBosch – “Wow, video in a PDF would be a great way to show assembly details in instruction manuals. I’ve developed several installation manuals for custom automotive products and it’s difficult to clearly show installation details with only pictures and text descriptions. Video clips would enable actually demonstrating the operation rather than just describing it.”

From Ivan – “I would use video to show walk-throughs and fly-bys of art and architectural projects, as well as simulations, explodes, etc. This gives clients the clear understanding of processes, work flows, you name it. Huge tool!!!”

From Dan – “I would use the 3d and animation capablities to convey our designs quickly to our clients. We could quickly show why a part needs to be molded a particular way.”

Other ideas included:

  • Business proposals
  • Using it for learning
  • To transfer data between departments
  • Compile project data
  • Updates on work progress
  • For a new business start-up
  • More informative documentation
  • Model animations
  • Photo rendered fly-throughs
  • Quote requests
  • Sales Material
  • To show shop capabilities

The most common idea was to use it as support for documentation. I think that is a pretty good use of video in a PDF. Animation and Assembly video can really explain a lot about the design. And from programs like SolidWorks, that is very simple to do.

One cool aspect of the video is the ability to add markups to the frames. Imagine design reviews now!

Go try out the new version of Adobe Acrobat. If you make some video, let’s show everyone how it has worked for you or what issues you run into. Thanks!


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.