The new Acrobat X software, pronounced "Acrobat 10," empowers professionals to innovate and create higher quality content, driving tighter collaboration and productivity across teams, said Rick Brown, senior director of Acrobat product management at Adobe.
Acrobat X delivers new guided Actions to simplify multistep document preparation and publishing processes; completely new customization capabilities in PDF Portfolios unify multiple file types into a compelling presentation. New document services available at Acrobat.com give individuals the ability to collaborate more efficiently. And integration with Microsoft SharePoint enables consistency of PDF documents across the enterprise; re-use of content is now easier with higher quality export to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
Kevin Lynch, vice president and general manager of Acrobat, in the Digital Enterprise Solutions Group at Adobe, said, "Today, more than ever, people need to communicate and collaborate reliably and professionally with people outside their organization. Acrobat X is a response to this dynamic - to drive more fluid collaboration and to create richer experiences in today's fast-paced, complex business environments."
"Companies today need to work with their customers and partners in multiple time zones, languages and cross-functional teams," said IDC analyst Melissa Webster. "Seamless, fluid content creation and collaboration is critical to how organizations use, repurpose and share information - it is no longer a -nice to have' - it is an imperative to success in today's business world."
New Acrobat X features include the ability to change how users view, think and interact with content and its context with PDF Portfolios using new layouts, visual themes and color palettes. The new version of Acrobat also enables users to streamline the process for large organizations to deploy, configure and manage updates and conform to ISO standards, in both Adobe Reader X and Acrobat X, including support for Microsoft SCCM and SCUP; as well as to display the most commonly used tools all in one pane with the updated user interface. And Acrobat X enables users to Automate routine, multi-step tasks with new guided Actions and easily share them with coworkers and collaborators, reducing the burden of training: to maximize the power of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat to easily create dynamic communications with the new Acrobat X Suite, and quickly capture, edit and combine digital content right from the desktop; and to increase productivity across the organization with new Microsoft SharePoint integration and to check-in, check-out PDF files for reviewing and editing shared documents.
In addition, Adobe Reader has been enhanced. Commenting is now available in Adobe Reader X with Sticky Notes and Highlighter tools available to all users. Adobe also expands PDF access to mobile devices with free Adobe Reader X for Android, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry Tablet OS. And the new version features safer viewing of PDF files with new Protected Mode security capabilities in Reader X.
"Reader is the backbone of the success of PDF," Adobe's Brown told eWEEK. "And with reader what we're trying to do is ensure that there is a widely available client tool for interacting with business cases."
Mason Farmani, chief operating officer and managing partner at Barkley Court Reporters, which is an Acrobat user, said, "With Acrobat X, streamlined document commenting and collaboration improves sharing ideas and information. For us, it helps accelerate our internal learning processes and gives our clients the tools to work together more effectively."
Meanwhile, new services from Acrobat.com include Adobe SendNow, a new document exchange service that enables users to send and receive large files and track them with proof of receipt, avoiding email gateway issues, complicated FTP servers, or the costs of expensive overnight mail. Adobe also offers the new Adobe CreatePDF service for easily converting files to professional PDF documents from within Adobe Reader X or any Web browser.
"We wanted PDF to look like part of the web, and Reader gets out of your way unless you need it," Brown said.
Bill Rue, CIO at the HASSELL international network of architectural design studios, said, "Using advanced Microsoft SharePoint functionality in Acrobat X, we can seamlessly integrate documents into our workflows, simplifying projects and helping to ensure we have the right people working on the right project, at the right moment."
Johnny Chloride, solution delivery manager at HASSELL, said, "Acrobat X offers a sleek user interface and tool panes that make the software extremely easy to use for anyone."
Meanwhile, in a statement, Larry Hawes, lead analyst for collaboration and enterprise social software at Gilbane Group, said, "Collaborative documents is a visionary collaborative content model that is just now beginning to be realized. Perhaps the clearest, productized articulation of this vision that I have seen is the PDF Portfolios component of Adobe Acrobat, enabling content creators to bring together multiple related files into a single space without altering them, and then share that bundle with others. Think of a PDF Portfolio as a ZIP file in which the relationship between the individual files in the container is defined and sequenced, as are the slides in a presentation."
Overall, Brown said Acrobat is focused on the business user. "We've made it easy for them to work through a complex sequence of steps without running into a lot of technical -gotchas,'" he said.
Ron Usher, managing partner at Bell Alliance, a real estate and estate planning firm, said, "The Action Wizard in Acrobat X empowers our staff to transform many of their time consuming tasks into simple one-step processes. In the latest release, Adobe has found a great balance between rich features and delivering an intuitive application with a modern, clean interface."