Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adobe Acrobat Perseveres

Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

Albeit a little slowly for me. I'm still not exactly won over by the Acrobat reader, or the full Acrobat Suite, but what are the alternatives? None, really.

And Adobe Acrobat as a file format has it's advantages, especially within the Adobe Suite. It offers generally decent cross compatability between applications such as Illustrator and InDesign, and even Photoshop can open PDFs. There are several PDF exporters an annotaters for popular applications such as Microsoft Word and Quark Xpress, and, of course, Mac OS X offers build in PDF support. Any PDF can be viewed natively, previewed extensively with QuickLook, and any thing that can be printed can instead be saved to a multi-page PDF. Which is, if you think about it, pretty darn handy.

And Adobe Acrobat PDFs are now common in pre-press--especially the type of printing one can get done online--as it is a self-contained file, with almost everything you could need. And almost all available browsers have built in PDF browsing, or an easy-to-get plug-in to do the job.

So what's my hang-up? Well, for one thing, it took forever for Adobe to deliver on the promise of PDF as a self-contained pre-press output format. Or, at least, it took forever for me to be able to send a PDF to a pre-press house and get out what I expected. Secondly, cross-compatibility between applications could probably still use some work--maybe Adobe Illustrator CS3 can open all the pages in a PDF document? I haven't checked that yet.

And the Adobe Acrobat Suite never seemed as full-featured, or as easy to use, as I would have expected from Adobe. Added features, such as the ability to fill out PDF forms, took forever to work out the kinks and actually become useful. And now that they've finally gotten all the kinks out and Adobe Acrobat is, on the whole, pretty robust (though still not perfect), I rarely have a need for it. Other than the Reader (which should have an easy way of bookmarking pages, or automatically converting--on the Reader end--tables of contents and indexes into clickable links that take you to that page, rather than depending on the author to set that up (which they rarely do).

But . . . still, on the whole, it's a handy, truly portable document format, and if you need to do more with it (and we can verify that you are a student or school employee--heh!) then Adobe Acrobat 8 Profession, for only $121.95 (as of this posting) is the way to go. We've got it in stock as of this post so, if you are a student or school employee or otherwise entitle to make academic purchases, I'd suggest you shop with us.

If you're not, we've got Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard, which has much of what you need but, like Windows Vista Basic, it'll be that one thing you need most that it doesn't seem to have. Still, we've had standard consumer versions of Adobe Acrobat Pro in stock before and we will again, so if it has been a while, come check out all our Adobe software.

And have a great (and blessed) day!

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