Adobe Acrobat Professional

Adobe Acrobat Professional

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.8
out of 164 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
9
File Size:
20.02KB
Date Added:
July 29, 2008
Price:
Free to try; $449.00 to buy (Buy it now)
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista
Total Downloads:
7,271,373
Downloads Last Week:
2,446
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' Note:

Editors' review

The introduction of Adobe Acrobat 9 document-creation software could do for PDFs what the Jazz Singer did for movies. For the first time, PDFs can "talk" via embedded Flash video and Shockwave animation. In turn, users of Version 9 of the nearly ubiquitous and free Acrobat Reader will be able to watch movies, play interactive games, and run applications baked into PDFs without opening a third-party media player.

Among the many new, dynamic features to justify a business purchase of Acrobat 9 include dynamic maps, enhanced 256-bit encryption, and improved forms. On top of it all, Adobe offers an online community at Acrobat.com that facilitates online collaboration so users can store documents and literally work on the same page at the same time.

There are three versions of Acrobat 9: Standard at $299 or $99 to upgrade, Pro for $449 or $159 to upgrade, and Pro Extended for $699 or $229 to upgrade. Pro Extended also comes with Adobe Presenter, which plugs into Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 for adding interactivity to presentations. This review covers the costliest application, Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. However, unless otherwise noted, the features mentioned here can be found in Standard or Pro editions.

Acrobat 9 requires at least a 1.3GHZ processor running Windows Vista or XP with Service Pack 2, with 256MB of RAM, screen resolution of 1,024x768, and 2.13GB of free hard-drive space at minimum. Adobe requires 512MB of RAM for Pro Extended and recommends video hardware acceleration.


Acrobat 9 features PDF Portfolios, which enable you to package video and animation alongside word-processing documents, spreadsheets, and image files.

Setup and interface
Installing Acrobat 9 Pro Extended took about 20 minutes on our Windows XP test computer. In our experience, uninstalling older versions of Acrobat took longer than adding the new application. The process was relatively smooth and unintrusive, although we did wind up with an Acrobat 9 icon on our desktop. During installation, Adobe offers the choice of opting into or rejecting its Product Improvement Program, which will send the company anonymous information about how you use the software. Although the company pledges anonymity, we were nevertheless glad that it presented the option not to participate upfront.

Features
This release of Acrobat makes PDFs more dynamic and packs in more new features than prior releases did. Although PDFs have been interactive for some time, such as with Version 8's support for Web-based forms, Acrobat 9 takes the print-ready document format into the so-called Web 2.0 era.

The Portable Document format is maturing from print-readiness to a venue for multimedia content. For the first time, PDFs will play movies via the free Acrobat Reader 9, set for a July release. Acrobat Pro Extended users can convert eight formats, including MOV and WMV files, to Flash content that can be embedded within PDFs alongside audio content and even 3D models. And developers can tweak layouts with Flex Builder 3 or Flash CS3.


An embedded Flash movie will appear in a PDF as a clickable box. With Acrobat Reader 9, you can click the movie to play it without installing or opening a third-party player.

Integrating with Acrobat 9 is Adobe Systems' beta release of the online community, Acrobat.com. It includes the Buzzword word processor with collaborative editing and commenting features as well as 5GB of file storage. Conversion of five documents to Portable Document Format, sadly, doesn't include those neat capabilities for embedding movies. But Acrobat.com's solid ConnectNow Web-conferencing and desktop-sharing tool enables chatting via text, video, and voice. The site also can host data from forms created in Acrobat software. Business users could opt to access documents at Acrobat online or handle collaboration via SharePoint workspaces, network folders, or WebDAV.

The new PDF Portfolios feature in Acrobat 9 lets users drag and drop content into a PDF bundle. Myriad layout and presentation options include a flip-through view similar to Apple's Cover Flow for the iPhone. Adobe also tried to make it easier for companies using Pro and Pro Extended to make pages match visually with themes and custom logos, and it improved tools for comparing documents. We created PDF Portfolios without a snag in some experiments. Unfortunately, in a couple of cases Acrobat wouldn't let us add some Flash movies, and it didn't offer a solid explanation.

Acrobat 9 also will take snapshots of Web pages and convert entire pages or chunks of them to a PDF that preserves links and animation. We were able to use this in Internet Explorer, but the command described by Adobe seemed to be missing from Firefox 2 or 3.

Mapping features only in Acrobat Pro Extended 9 preserve geospatial coordinates and enable users to mark locations and measure distances. In addition, architects and other designers using CAD software can embed 3D models within PDFs. These creative options are cool for professionals, but we wish you didn't need to pay $699 to use them. At least you can view the dynamic content, once Pro Extended users drop it into a PDF, within Acrobat Reader 9.


Geospatial mapping is cool in this update, but it's only available in the pricey Acrobat 9 Pro Standard.

For creating online forms, Acrobat 9 adds intelligence to recognize content for conversion to fillable fields. Potentially delighting conference planners, a forms-tracking dashboard will show, for example, the status of responses to a mass party invitation e-mail and let a user send reminders to guests. Responses can be sorted, filtered, and exported to spreadsheets.

Acrobat 9's security enhancements enable users to add 256-bit encryption, which online banks use, for PDFs. Locking down PDFs can't get much more thorough, given the digital signatures and metadata removal also available. New comparison features, not in Acrobat Standard, highlight the edits between versions of a document. Redaction tools in the Pro editions, a key selling point of Acrobat 8, will offer searches for numeric patterns in addition to multiple words and phrases. A company could, for example, find every accidental mention of a Social Security number or top-secret product being developed and black out the potential leaks from a PDF with one blow.


Users of Acrobat 9 Pro Extended who have Microsoft Office 2007 will find a PowerPoint tab for turning presentations into PDFs.

Service and support
Adobe's Web site support pages include Flash tutorials, user forums, FAQs, and a searchable knowledge base. These resources are well-organized and thorough. However, Adobe's four support plans, from Bronze to Platinum, are costly. Installation help by phone is available only via a toll telephone number, for instance. You'll need to sign in to get customized help online.

Verdict
As with Acrobat 8.1, Adobe Acrobat 9 offers myriad features that the average consumer seeking to create a basic, print-ready PDF won't need. However, we find this update of Acrobat to be the most important in recent years for business users as well as interactive designers. The metadata removal, 256-bit encryption, and ease of redactions alone easily could justify the purchase for, say, a law firm. Those who specialize in making presentations with moving images and sounds will find plenty of options at their fingertips, especially given the integration with Adobe Creative Suite 3.3.

Adobe has laid the groundwork for rich PDF documents, although some of the coolest tools come at a premium. Could Acrobat Reader 9's support for Flash turn PDFs into a one-size-fits-all multimedia delivery venue? In the near future at least, we suspect that interactive PDFs won't necessarily sweep the Web. That's because only users of the paid software can make those singing, dancing documents, and only the Pro flavors convert multiple video formats to Flash. Although Acrobat.com has many free features, its PDF maker won't fold in video and animation. The application's cost may be a barrier for some emerging digital artists who might otherwise tinker with the dynamic tools.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.8

    out of 164 votes

    • 5 star: 69
    • 4 star: 43
    • 3 star: 17
    • 2 star: 13
    • 1 star: 22
  • Current Version:

    3.7

    out of 32 votes

    • 5 star: 10
    • 4 star: 12
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-9 of 9

  • 5 stars

    "Love this app"

    July 28, 2014   |   By rsugianto

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    Simple yet powerful

    Cons

    no cons! love this

    Reply to this review

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  • 2 stars

    "Did they talk to users before they did this upgrade?"

    April 28, 2014   |   By VirginiaEl

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    Lots more functionality as far as editing content

    Cons

    All the features I need have been moved far away - so what used to take 3 or 4 clicks now takes at least 10. I hate it. I am trying to get the old version back.

    Simple things like whether to combine as a portfolio and adding headers and footers have become a pain.

    Summary

    Adobe needs to get more customer feedback before the next upgrade and allow us to avoid this upgrade until they do.

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  • 4 stars

    "Photoshop for PDF"

    April 28, 2014   |   By Germanlies

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    As my second experience, I tryed basically to edit a document. Notes: every time you finish editing and close the program - the new and the original document became unresponsive for the next time you try to open or edit some of the them!!!! Also the insrt a link don't work correctely with PDF XChange Viewer.

    Cons

    I do not like Adobe Acrobat. For me, it's kinda of complicated. I prefer Wondershare PDF Editor. It is simple enough to manage PDF files.

    http://www.pdf-file-converter.com/wondershare-pdf-editor/

    Summary

    Its a very good for PDF files and it really helps in working with PDF and DOC simultaneously.

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  • 1 stars

    "The WORST update ever"

    April 22, 2014   |   By MABC_NC

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    None that I have seen so far

    Cons

    Lost functionality from v.X. Tools are difficult to find. Interface is not intuitive.

    Summary

    I've used Acrobat Pro for years for everything from setting up forms to redacting docs, assembling portfolios, etc. This is absolutely the WORST update to a program that I've ever seen. Adobe seemed to want to make their program look and function more like Facebook for some ill-conceived reason. There are plenty of little tricks and shortcuts that I could do in Pro X that don't seem to work anymore. Tools are buried in weird places that don't make sense to me. I've had to google the location for more than one. I really is just terrible. If I could get my IT staff to install XI and put the last version on I would. I'm looking forward to v. XII since hopefully Adobe will realize what a terrible piece of trash they've released and fix it...seriously, I don't think that they could screw it up any more than they just did.

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  • 1 stars

    "Horrible! Horrible! Horrible"

    April 03, 2014   |   By MaximillianInd

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    None absolutely None. Am providing half a star as providing star is mandatory

    Cons

    Does not even starts. Tried more than 5 times for nearly 4 hours. It took ages to download the installation file (in my MacBook). After downloading it will ask you to "Sign In" that will never happen. Never expected that from ADOBE at-least!

    Summary

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME downloading it! Instead try different option.

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  • 2 stars

    "Driving me crazy!"

    April 01, 2014   |   By kt27libra

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    I'll let you know.

    Cons

    Difficulty finding features/functions I am used to using. While I have found most of them (mostly editing/markup tools just in different spots or in a new category), I cannot find how to print a comments summary only. This implies that i have to print 30 pages instead of 3. OR, write down the page #s where the comments occur and then print those pages only. This is a REGRESSION.
    OR, if there is a way to do it, it isn't obvious and trying to find help in the online help or in the Adobe community is madness.

    Summary

    I'm all for updating functionality. I just hate losing efficiencies, and not finding documentation.

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  • 1 stars

    "Only lets you scan one page at a time"

    March 12, 2014   |   By kentman333

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    Is for a 30 day free trail period

    Cons

    I thought it would let me scan multiple pages to PDF files but they limit you on the free trial version to only scanning one page at a time. In other words, it you have ten pages to scan to PDF, you have to do scan each page one at a time....so you end up with ten seperate PDF files. Will take you a long time! Plus this free version installs a ton of files on your computer and when I did the unistall, it took quite awhile because of the number of files.

    Summary

    Would not even recommend the trail version for the above reason.

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  • 1 stars

    "The PITS in spades!"

    January 13, 2014   |   By pcheekeen

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    Portable-Yes, nothing else!

    Cons

    When I try to save, it tells me another user has it open (untrue), when I try to delete - after I've saved it somewhere else so I can save it where it belongs - same thing. It's always been bad in this way but version XI Pro is worse. I miss the typewriter. The text box doesn't work nearly as well. The program never knows where it just was seconds ago. It returns to the document I worked on yesterday. I think, given its cost, if it wasn't so useful as a portable doc format, it would have been dumped in the trash can of tech history years ago.

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  • 4 stars

    "Works great"

    December 16, 2013   |   By xylex2

    Version: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11

    Pros

    Views PDF's, easy to print

    Cons

    Heavy weight compared to the built in Chrome PDF viewer

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  • Results 1-9 of 9

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