Monday, November 29, 2010

New and Improved Adobe Acrobat X

Adobe Acrobat remains one of the best kept secrets in the software industry. While many users, use the ubiquitous Adobe Acrobat Reader to open, print and display files on the web- many are unaware of the engine that makes this all happen. I have been fortunate enough to be provided with a Reviewer Copy of Adobe Acrobat X Pro which was recently released into the marketplace. As a long time user of Adobe Acrobat I was looking forward to working with the latest version of Acrobat to see what new and innovative features were build into this version. Adobe Acrobat X is now available for both Windows and Macintosh computers and builds on the long tradition of Acrobat as easy to use tool to create and publish PDF files.

The most significant change that you will see when you start up Adobe Acrobat X is in the interface. If you have used any of Adobe's newer applications you will feel right at home. Adobe has really done their homework and analyzed how users are most likely to use Acrobat and reconfigured the menus. You will notice on the right had side of the screen three different tabs, Tools, Comments, and Share. Clicking on any of these items will reveal a Pane with the associated tools and features. Being a long time user of Acrobat it was always a challenge to find where I might find the tool that I was looking for. Having the new interface now makes it a cinch to know exactly where to find something. The new interface is very intuitive and makes it easy for you to be as efficient as possible when you are looking for the right tool. The simplicity of the interface is going to be a hallmark of this version and one that I know I will enjoy using.

Creating PDF files is a lot easier to create with the new version of Adobe Acrobat X. Simply select the Create button from the menu and you have your choice of how you would like to create your PDF. One of the areas that has been vastly improved is creating a PDF from Scanner. I found that Adobe Acrobat X was much faster at creating the PDF and the finished PDF file size was much smaller than in the past. There were significant improvements in the Optical Character Recognition Engine which would account for better recognition of scanned material. Having a fully search-able PDF document with a small footprint really foots the bill for me.

One of my favorite features which was introduced in version 9 of Acrobat is the concept of a PDF Portfolio. This is an extremely powerful tool  and one that I feel has the potential to take this product far both in business and education sectors. As the term would implies a PDF Portfolio is a way for you to include a range of different types of  files and media formats and wrap it up in a PDF envelope. With a PDF Portfolio one could include a Word, Excel, Audio, Video, PDF documents and convert it into one single PDF file that can be delivered to your client or student. When they receive the PDF Portfolio you can package it and brand it with your company's colors or logo. Your recipient then receive I highly stylized PDF portfolio with easy to use navigation that can be opened with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 9 or X) and presented with the files in the order that you wold like to present them in. Perfect for a business or educational portfolio which displays a range of different content and media. Adding video and Flash content is easier than ever and allows you to bring your documents to life with video playing inside your PDF portfolios.

Sending your PDF documents just got a lot easier with the advent of the new Adobe Service called Adobe SendNow Online. Adobe SendNow Online. is now integrated within Adobe Acrobat X and can be accessed from the Share tab. Adobe SendNow Online, as you can tell from the name, stores your files in the cloud and provides a link to your PDF that you can email to your recipients right within Adobe Acrobat X. If you have ever had the problem of sharing large PDF files via email, then you will really like how Adobe handles this new feature. Simply enter the recipients email address and they will receive a link to download the file. It is really that simple and you can control how much time they have before the link expires and receive delivery receipts when it is downloaded. The integration of Adobe SendNow Online with Adobe Acrobat X is really seamless and you will be asking yourself how did you ever live without it.

Working with Adobe Acrobat as much as I do, I am extremely pleased with this upgrade and the thought that went into making this easier and more intuitive to use. Right out of the box you will find Adobe Acrobat X a pleasure to work with. With a little time you will find that Adobe Acrobat X is one of thiose must have applications that you will turn to for all of your creative needs.

PS: Look for another post on the Action Wizard and Forms coming soon

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