Acumen Training

Who is John Deubert?

John Deubert has a long history in the electronic printing and publishing world.

A Foundation in Education; Moved to Adobe

A school teacher for nine years, John left in 1984 to join a tiny, obscure startup company named Adobe Systems. As a customer support engineer (before the company had proper customers), John wrote the PostScript Language Tutorial, the front half of Adobe’s standard “Blue Book.” He also put together Adobe’s first classes in PostScript, teaching small groups from Adobe OEMs as they signed up for their first PostScript printers.

John left Adobe Systems in 1985 to start a software company in San Diego, California. During this time, he continued working for Adobe as a consultant, doing programming, course development, and teaching.

Acquired Knowledge, Inc.

AKI-Logo.252x32.retina In 1990, John was co-founder of Acquired Knowledge, Inc. (AKI), a training and software company specializing in PostScript. Under his direction, Acquired Knowledge quickly became known as one of the very best technical training companies. Students routinely described AKI classes as being the best technical classes they had ever taken. John, himself, received a Xerox Excellence in Teaching award.

An important reason for the quality of Acquired Knowledge’s training was John’s strong control over the instructors and their training. AKI’s instructors were programmers whom John taught to become excellent teachers.

DM Splash-Color-NoVersion-w50 John was also a programmer at Acquired Knowledge. He co-wrote the Macintosh version of AKI’s award-nominated Download Mechanic software; he later did the Windows port of the same software.

Finally, in 1997, Acquired Knowledge started teaching popular classes in Acrobat and Enfocus’ PitStop. These classes introduced the use of Acrobat for printed and interactive documents to many hundreds of people, all of whom praised them for their clarity, quality, and value.

By the end of its eleven-year run, Acquired Knowledge was Adobe’s only authorized PostScript trainer in North America and western Europe. They had taught classes to countless engineers in every major printer, software, and printing company, including Hewlett Packard, Xerox, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, R.R. Donnelley, Toshiba, Samsung, and Adobe Systems, itself.

During this time, John was the controlling force in Acquired Knowledge’s classes and curriculum. He designed and wrote every class that they taught and controlled the training of all of their instructors.

And now, Acumen Training

Acumen Logo.NoSubtext.240w In February 2001, the principals of Acquired Knowledge dissolved the company and went their separate ways. John continues to teach PostScript and Acrobat classes as Acumen Training. Based in Dana Point, California, John teaches classes in PostScript and PDF throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. (Fortunately, he enjoys travel.)


All Acumen Training courses use specialized editors (TextPDF, TextPS, and TextPDF) that allow students to examine and hand-modify their classroom exercises.

The Books and the Journal

John has written three books. Two of these were for Adobe Press: Creating Adobe Acrobat Forms, a beginner's manual in how to create interactive forms in Acrobat, and Extending Acrobat Forms With JavaScript, a beginner's guide to using JavaScript in Acrobat. He has most recently written the Visual Quickstart Guide to Acrobat X. Finally, he is the author of a very popular (in some circles) electronic periodical, the Acumen Journal, available free for the downloading from the Acumen Training website.

Consulting and QEDGuides

QED Logo 2-w440ish John recently expanded Acumen Training's activities to include consulting and a series of e-books collectively referred to as QEDGuides. Consulting activities include PostScript programming and email and telephone support for engineers working with PostScript- or PDF-related projects.

AcroJS Cover Only.500x385 The first QEDGuide has recently been released: Beginning JavaScript for Adobe Acrobat teaches the non-programmer how to add features and function to an Acrobat Form using the JavaScript programming language. You can download a free, two-chapter sampler from the e-book's web page.

John’s Clients

These are too numerous to itemize completely. John has taught classes on four continents at all of the largest printer and printing companies, including Adobe Systems, IBM, HP, Xerox, R.R. Donnelley and Sons, Lexmark, and Océ.

John’s Skills

  • Excellent technical instructor.
  • Long experience in developing individual classes and entire curricula.
  • Perhaps the longest-standing PostScript programmer.
  • Skilled programmer in C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, JavaScript, REALBasic.
  • Excellent writer in technical subjects.

What’s he doing now?

John has just put the finishing touches on a re-do of his 2003 book about Acrobat JavaScript. The new book, Beginning JavaScript for Adobe Acrobat, is being distributed as an e-book and is available on the Acumen Training website.

JavaScript for Acrobat book cover

Click here for more information.

John is also broadening his professional activities by accepting hourly consulting work. He is available for PostScript programming, help in Acrobat form and JavaScript development, and other projects requiring expertise in PostScript, PDF, and Acrobat.

Click here for more information.