PDF In-Depth

Acrobat 7.0 - Our First Look

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Richard Crocker

Richard Crocker first became involved with PDF back in the days of version 1.1 and Acrobat Exchange 2.0.  More



Welcome to our Acrobat 7.0 product tour. Over the next few pages we'll guide you through some of the key new features to come out of Adobe latest Acrobat family.

Editor's Note: For more info on Acrobat 7.0 visit our special Adobe Acrobat 7.0 feature.

This is not meant to be a definitive list but more a broad 'first look' at some of the most interesting new things. Once you get your hands on a copy, be sure to do your own exploring -- you're bound to find many cool new things not mentioned in these pages.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, this article refers to Acrobat 7.0 Professional (i.e. not Standard). While I can make educated guesses at which features will be included in both, I'm yet to see a complete breakdown of the differences.

Document Reviewing & Markup

Reader Enabled Commenting

This is probably the boldest change for Adobe Acrobat 7.0 and Adobe Reader 7.0, and appears likely to make a major long-term impact on both how PDF is used, and the number of people involved in the document review process.

Acrobat 7.0 (Professional only) now enables you to give Adobe Reader users permission to use all the commenting and review tools that were previously only available to Acrobat Professional and Standard users -- basically it was restricted to users who paid for the functionality. This should mean a far more widespread use of PDF-based document review and, over time, Adobe will no doubt hope that it moves more Reader users towards buying a version of Acrobat that allows them to also send PDFs to colleagues and clients for review.

Adobe Reader with a PDF that has come from an Acrobat 7.0 user. Shown here are the Commenting and Drawing Markups toolbars and stamps.

During the process of exchanging a PDF for review via email, you are given the choice to allow Adobe Reader users to participate. It's as simple as that. You email the PDF to them, and when they open it in Adobe Reader 7.0, additional toolbars appear with an extensive range of markup and commenting tools, including:

  • Note tool
  • Highlight, underline, cross out text tools
  • Indicate text edit tools (insert, delete o replace text)
  • Stamp tools (including custom stamps)
  • Attach file as a comment tool
  • Record audio comment tool
  • Callout tool
  • Cloud tool
  • Drawing tools (arrow, rectangle, oval, line, pencil, etc.)

As you step through the Send for Review process tick the check box to enable the functionality for Adobe Reader users in your review group

Select Tool

The Select Tool now has its own popup menu with related options. Using the Select Tool to select text will display a list of related options, and likewise when selecting an image.

The options available after selecting several rows of text.

New markup tools

Two new markup tools tend to target technical professionals, but the Callout tool looks useful when adding comments related to images and other non-text objects.

The Callout Tool lets you create a text box which has an arrow attached that can point to a specific part of a drawing or document.

The Dimensioning Tool lets you draw a line between points on a drawing.

Tracker & Newsreader

The 'Track News' functionality in Acrobat 6.0 has been separated out into the Tracker tool. The main addition to it is that you can also use the Tracker to subscribe to news feeds.

If you're not familiar with these, numerous sites these days offer syndicated 'feeds' that let you download a summary of each item into your 'reader' software; it's just a matter of copying the link to the RSS, XML or RDF format service from a site and copying it into your news reader. The one in Tracker allows you to build summaries of all the items in PDF and lets you convert any of the items (usually Web pages) to PDF -- handy if you want to archive them or print a copy for offline viewing.

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