Adobe Unveils Three Versions of Acrobat 9

“Productivity” and “workflow” might not be the sexiest of words, but if these drive your work life, Adobe is here to help. Today, the company unveiled its updated Acrobat software in not one, but three versions: Standard ($299), Pro ($499), and Pro Extended ($699). (I’m reminded of a Steve Jobs quote from WWDC 2007 where he joked that all versions of Leopard will cost the same. But I digress.) The different versions allow everyone from information workers to security-minded managers to creative presenters to assemble all of their materials in a single PDF file. One of the advantages to using Acrobat is that you can create a single PDF document comprised of lots of documents from various applications. In the real world, that means you can send a single PDF document with various components, instead of attaching half a dozen Word and PowerPoint files to an e-mail. Each version has native flash support, 256-bit encryption, and the ability to create PDFs from Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 documents. It also integrates with Acrobat.com, also announced today. Users can save Web pages, e-mails, and other documents as PDFs, and, conversely, save PDFs as Word documents. Finally, all allow you to send forms to people and track and sort the feedback. Additionally, they all claim twice the speed of Acrobat 8. Now, here’s what you get if you upgrade: Most of the advantages to upgrading to Acrobat Pro center around security and improved efficiency, making it ideal for people in more managerial positions. For instance, you can permanently delete information, synchronize documents when multiple people are editing in real-time, and highlight the differences between two versions of a PDF document. Upgrading to Pro Extended means that you can embed flash video and 3D graphics and maps in your document. (In other words, it’s worth it if you want to create fancy shmancy presentations and press kits.)

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