Adobe has rolled out Adobe Acrobat XI, the newest version of its popular PDF software. Products in this release include Acrobat XI Pro, Acrobat XI Standard, and Adobe Reader XI, along with two new cloud services: Adobe FormsCentral and Adobe EchoSign.
Adobe's Acrobat software is designed for creating PDF content, whereas Reader is for reading PDF documents (just as its name implies).
With this iteration of the products, Adobe has introduced new features intended to provide easy accessibility across multiple devices while increasing security.
Adobe, though, is hardly the only PDF toolmaker around. Leading edge (and pricey) as it is, Adobe's PDF software is suitable even for big businesses. Yet it could even serve as overkill for many home and small business users, who might want to work with products from players like Foxit, Nuance, or Nitro instead.
Melissa Webster, program VP at IDC, suggested that Adobe's enhancements to Acrobat and Reader are right on target. "As the number of mobile devices and the use of cloud services surge, information workers must be empowered to work more effectively with documents anywhere on any device," she said in a prepared statement supplied by Adobe.
New Features in Acrobat XI
Beyond letting users share PDFs more quickly through cloud services, Acrobat XI also strives for greater accessibility in the new version of Adobe Reader through touch-friendly capabilities and full support for smartphones and tablets.
In the new editions of Acrobat content creation software, users will be able to modify text and images by dragging and dropping thorough a new "intuitive" Edit Text and Images tool, and to merge selected content from multiple documents into single PDF file with source integrity.
Also according to Adobe, users will be able to easily save PDF documents in a number of formats including PowerPoint, Word or Excel, and to quickly insert parts of PDF files in office documents and webpages. Adobe has also added increased protections of PDFs created from Microsoft Office files to help prevent unauthorized copying, editing or printing.
The two cloud services, EchoSign and FormsCentral, are aimed at easier document management over the Web. EchoSign is meant to expedite the electronic signatures needed for contract approvals, while FormsCentral is geared to simplifying forms creation, distribution and results analysis.
Pricing and Availability
The full line of Acrobat XI products is slated for availability within 30 days. The standard version of Adobe XI will be priced at $300 ($140 for upgrade). Pricing is $450 for the Pro version ($200 for upgrade). Both will be available through authorized resellers as well as the Adobe Store.
The new cloud services, EchoSign and FormsCentral, will be offered for the subscription cost of $15 per month each. Adobe Reader XI will become available free of charge from Adobe.com as soon as the other products are released.
In a separate announcement at the end of last month, Adobe released version 11 of Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements. Visit our sister site, DigitalCameraReview, to read the full review of Adobe's latest photo and video editing software package.
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