Acrobat 9 Release Represents Good News, Bad News for Adobe PDF Users


Hooray! Acrobat 9 Ships

UK's The Register reports that Adobe Acrobat 9 was released Wednesday. As with other recent versions, the new Acrobat release is available in three versions, Standard, Pro, and Extended.

What's New in Acrobat 9 Standard

Acrobat 9 Standard ($299 full, $99 upgrade from Acrobat 6.x, 7.x, or 8.x) includes these new features:

  • Easy fillable-form creation, form fill-in, and form tracking
  • Software launches in half the time of Acrobat 8 (a much-needed improvement in my view)
  • Include Adobe Flash-based audio and video inside PDF documents (can we expect more exciting e-Books now? I hope so!)
  • Better OCR and scanner support to make it easier to turn paper into editable text
  • Convert web pages, including pages with rich and interactive media, into PDF files
  • Search multiple PDF files in the same folder
  • Works with website
For most users, though, Acrobat Standard just doesn't have enough goodies to justify the price. To find out why Acrobat Pro 9 will hit more users' "sweet spot," read page 2.

Kick It Up a Notch with Acrobat 9 Pro

Acrobat Pro ($449 full, $159 upgrade) adds the following new features to those in Acrobat 9 Standard:

  • Support for PDF Portfolios, which can contain drawings, documents, emails and spreadsheets that can be configured with a template for easy "touring" of the contents
  • Synchronized document views and document comparison
  • PDF Standards pane helps assure that your document meets the requirements for new PDF/A (archiving), PDF/X (professional printing), or PDF/E (engineering documents; link opens PDF file) standards
  • Improved print workflows and previews for document designers and prepress specialists

Having It All with Acrobat 9 Pro Extended

Acrobat 9 Pro Extended ($699 full, $299 upgrade) adds the following features to Acrobat 9 Pro and Standard's feature lists:

  • Add 3D and maps to a PDF Portfolio
  • Convert popular video formats to Flash for use in a PDF file
  • Includes Adobe Presenter software for interactive presentations
  • Includes Adobe 3D Reviewer to combine multiple CAD drawings
  • Supports interactive, geospatially enabled PDF maps

Windows Users, Try It Free!

Acrobat 9 has the potential to make the PDF file format go way beyond the "it's just like a book only on your screen" limitations of the past. Whether you work (or play) as a graphic or document designer, you'll want to give it a try. 30-day trial versions (for Windows only, at this point) are available here .

And Now for the Bad News - Reader 9's Not Ready Yet

Want to show off that way-cool video-loaded interactive document you cranked out with a trial of Acrobat 9? Drag along your laptop - at least until Reader 9 hits the street. "Early July" is the word on Reader 9 availability, so you have time to polish your tribute to gaming, your favorite band, or maybe something more substantial. See the Acrobat Pro Extended demo for a taste of the future of PDF.

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