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Adobe Announces New Acrobat X PDF Editing Software

Having spoken about ‘new features’ available to Adobe Acrobat X in the previous page, you must be quite interested to find out what some of these aforementioned features are. Hold on to your horses while we briefly describe some of the things you can expect in Adobe’s latest version of its Acrobat software.

User Interface

The user interface in Adobe Acrobat X has gone through a few changes, although it retains most of the ‘look and feel’ which was present in the earlier Adobe Acrobat 9. One of the more noticeable changes can be seen on the initial starting screen, which now sports a variety of options designed to shorten the time needed for a user to start working with the software.

In addition to the start screen, the interface in the main window has received a new addition as well: a sidebar which houses three tabs, each with its own set of dropdown menus containing various useful shortcuts to often-used features.

Improved ‘Portfolio’ Feature

The Portfolio feature which first debuted in Adobe Acrobat 9 and allows for the compilation of multiple documents into a single PDF file has been greatly enhanced in the latest Adobe Acrobat X PDF editing software. 

While it still retains its main purpose of serving as a means for combining multiple files into a single PDF package, the variety of content that can be embedded into a Portfolio has been greatly increased. As such, it is now possible to embed multimedia files like audio and video clips, typical Office documents such .docx, .xlsx and .pptx, Flash media and even Youtube streams into a Portfolio PDF package.

In addition to the wide support for various existing file formats, Acrobat X also allows users to further enhance the visual appeal of such Portfolios by providing an options to beautify the PDF package. Some of the options available include the ability to set a background image for more impact, and an option to theme the entire package to project a consistent look and feel to the project, as shown below.

For those who fear that such features are limited only to Acrobat X owners, fret not: Adobe has confirmed that the soon-to-be-released free Reader X will ship with full Portfolio support. This essentially means that any of the enhanced Portfolio options or features used in Acrobat X can be viewed by any recipient who has downloaded and installed the free Reader X software.

While Adobe has also assured us that the core functionality of Portfolio has not been changed and will still be supported in Acrobat 9 and Reader 9, the enhanced features mentioned above are not backward-compatible with prior versions of its software. As such, users on Acrobat 9 and Reader 9 will still be able to view Portfolio PDF packages created on Adobe Acrobat X, but without the rich content like background images and project themes.

New feature: Action Wizard

Adobe also introduced the new Action Wizard in Acrobat X, which is an automated checklist designed to help users ensure that commonly forgotten or omitted steps are completed before eventually finalizing the PDF for uploading and dissemination.

For example, when finalizing a PDF document for print as shown in the screenshot above, the Actions feature will walk the user through various steps to ensure that the file is optimized for its eventual purpose.

Adobe has also confirmed that the Actions lists can be further tweaked and customized by end-users to include additional steps or other workflow processes. This is in addition to the default set of tasks which are already available right out-of-the-box in Acrobat X.

New feature: Microsoft Sharepoint integration

Also new to Acrobat X is its built-in support for Microsoft Sharepoint Server. Targeted more towards corporations and businesses where online collaboration is a common occurrence, it is designed to greatly streamline the processing of editing and saving online documents hosted on Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server software.

When attempting to download and open a PDF file from Sharepoint for editing, Adobe Acrobat will automatically display a confirmation window as shown below. This is to notify users that the PDF file will be Checked Out from the Sharepoint Server for editing in Acrobat.

Adobe Acrobat X also allows users to directly save (or Check In) edited PDFs to Microsoft Sharepoint Server via its File menu, as shown below. This eliminates the hassle of having to manually check-in or upload edited documents back into the Sharepoint Server.

New Feature: Commenting in Adobe Reader X

Last but definitely not least, Adobe has also updated the free Adobe Reader application to do more than just open and display PDF files. In Adobe Reader X, users are now able to add their own comments on PDF files, which can then be read by other people who are collaborating on the same document. This is a significant departure from the current Adobe Reader 9, which can merely display PDF files in read-only mode.

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