Acumen Training

Quality Electronic Documentation from Acumen Training

QED Logo.220xh.retina Acumen Training's QEDGuides are inexpensive electronic books that cover a variety of technical subjects for the printing, publishing, and design world. These are published in either PDF or Kindle format, depending on the length of the book and the nature of the subject.

Longer and more-complex books are published in PDF format. Shorter books are published in Kindle format and are available from

PDF books are sized and formatted for reading on-screen with active links as needed to web sites, supplementary documentation, and other external resources. Because they cover topics of a technical nature, and because many people prefer to read such topics on paper, the page size used by the PDF-format QEDGuides prints very well. (The guides are actually designed to print exceptionally well two-up on A4 or U.S. Letter-size paper.) PDF books are sold directly from the Acumen Training website.

The latest guide, on Variable Data Printing with PostScript, was released in July 2014.

Current Offerings

Beginning JavaScript for Adobe Acrobat
PDF format

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Beginning JavaScript for Adobe Acrobat is a novice's guide to extending your Acrobat forms using JavaScript. The book walks you—step-by-step—through adding useful features to your Acrobat forms and, along the way, it teaches you programming principles and the JavaScript language.

  • You’ll learn about arrays while creating an automated price list.
  • You’ll use table look-up to create roll-over help.
  • You’ll construct regular expressions that let you check a password field for validity.

You will find that JavaScript is very easy, intensely interesting, and will breathe new life into your Acrobat form creation.

Click here for a full description and ordering information.

First Steps in Acrobat JavaScript
Kindle format

QEDAcroJS Cover

This First Steps Guide is a short, non-programmer's introduction to writing JavaScripts for Adobe Acrobat forms. It steps the reader through the process of adding JavaScripts to a Button and Text field; along the way, it teaches the reader the basics of programming, of JavaScript, and of using JavaScript in an Acrobat form.

The Guide is hands-on; downloadable sample files allow you to follow along with the text, adding JavaScripts to the same example forms described in the book.

Input field highlighting, self-loading forms, pop-up menus, interaction with databases, and so much more are easy with relatively simple scripts.

This First Steps Guide sets you on the path.

A fuller description and ordering information is available on

First Steps in Variable Data Printing with PostScript
Kindle format


First Steps in Variable Data Printing with PostScript is a primer in how to take a database full of client information and turn it into a very large amount of printed paper. If you are a PostScript programmer faced with the task of producing a variable data print run for your company’s monthly billing, shareholder reports, or eviction notices, this book will start you out on the right path.

This book, together with its downloadable code samples, answers such questions as:

  • Should formatting decisions be made at the host computer that’s generating the PostScript code or...
  • should the PostScript code itself make the formatting and placement decisions?
  • What is the proper use of PostScript forms in a variable data layout?
  • How do you isolate errors so that a syntax error doesn’t kill the entire million-page print run?

First Steps in VDP is intended for PostScript programmers; you should have at least basic PostScript skills, about the equivalent of having taken Acumen Training’s PostScript Foundations course. At a minimum, you should be comfortable with printing text, placing images, drawing line art, as well as how PostScript approaches conditional execution, loops, and defining variables and procedures.

A fuller description and ordering information is available on

Author John Deubert is a longtime programmer, having developed commercial software for the Macintosh and Windows since the mid-1980s. John's experience with Acrobat JavaScript dates back to 1999, when Acrobat 4 introduced useful support for the language. John has taught classes on PostScript and Acrobat throughout the world since 1985.

John is the author of the past few Acrobat Quickstart Guides, published by Peachpit Press, and wrote an earlier book on Acrobat JavaScript ("Extending Acrobat Forms with JavaScript") in 2003.

If you're curious or have time on your hands, there's a more extensive biography here.