Business users meet new Acrobat line

Business users have been targeted with their own version of Acrobat 6, which aims at making the product more useful for corporate workers and workgroups.

Business users have been targeted with their own version of Acrobat 6, which aims at making the product more useful for corporate workers and workgroups.

The Acrobat 6 line has been split into three separate versions.

  • Acrobat Elements provides PDF (portable document format) creation from within documents, and is available only in licences of 1000 seats or over.

  • Acrobat Standard is targeted at business users, and includes editing, signing and collaboration features.

  • Acrobat Professional is aimed at the creative market with colour management, prepress tools, layers, forms, and support for multimedia objects such as video and Flash.
An audience of about 120 in Auckland were introduced to the new release yesterday by Adobe's Paul Stephens. The seminar was the last in a road show that had already visited Christchurch, Wellington and six Australian cities.

Ten years after the creation of Acrobat’s underlying format, PDF, Acrobat is now Adobe’s largest and fastest growing product, Stephens says.

Acrobat 6 improves useability for business users and adds useful new collaboration features, he says. The Acrobat online help has been improved, and textual icons used in the interface to avoid confusion.

Some tasks that were previously onerous for users have been made easier with Acrobat 6, says Stephens, including combining multiple documents into a single PDF, adding headers and footers, and creating custom stamps.

A new feature is a “snapshot” tool that copies a region of a page to the clipboard.

Stephens demonstrated one-click PDF conversion from a web page by clicking on an Acrobat button in the Internet Explorer toolbar. PDF files generated from websites include links and forms, he says, allowing a site to be published in PDF format on a CD.

Collaboration tools include the ability to email a file to a colleague for feedback. When the file is received, Acrobat offers a new option to “send comments.” Only changes and comments to the file are included in the email reply, Stephens says, avoiding the need to send multiple copies of an entire Acrobat file back and forth between workers.

A variety of subediting symbols are available to show edits.

Some features that were previously available only as plugins or standalone software have been included with Acrobat 6. These include the ability to save in Microsoft Word format, and the Paper Capture OCR (optical character recognition) tool which will extract text from image files for searching or copying. Paper Capture was formerly available only for Windows, but is now including in the Macintosh version, Stephens says.

He also demonstrated Acrobat 6’s security, watermark and stamping features.

Stephens’ presentation was in a slideshow format, created in Microsoft PowerPoint and imported into Acrobat, complete with effects such as transitions. It is 10% the size of the PowerPoint original, he says.

Acrobat Reader has been renamed Adobe Reader and is available free from the Adobe website.

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