PDF In-Depth

Acrobat 7.0 - Planet PDF's Take

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Karl De Abrew picture

Karl De Abrew

Karl De Abrew is the founder of Planet PDF, President of Foxit SDK BU and ConnectedPDF Evangelist. Karl is also the founder/former CEO of Debenu (now acquired by Foxit Software), one of the world's leading PDF and...  More



Adobe is taking the Acrobat family mainstream with the version 7.0 release. While feature-for-feature Acrobat 6.0 launched with many more (and really surprised Planet PDF with its improvements), Acrobat 7.0 has launched with what is arguably the most important change to the Acrobat family since Reader was made free back in version 2.0: Acrobat 7.0 Professional users can now give any Adobe Reader (6.0 or 7.0) user permission to review and markup PDF documents.

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

Adobe has taken the commenting tools to the masses -- from millions of Acrobat users, to hundreds of millions of Adobe Reader users. When sent these files from a Professional user, a Reader user can highlight text, suggest changes, apply stamps, markup with drawing tools, and so on. Will PDF become a de facto standard for document review as well as exchange?

Acrobat 7.0 Professional is being positioned at the center of business workflows, enabling 'power users' to control how internal and external groups of users can interact with documents.

"Acrobat 7.0 has launched with what is arguably the most important change to the Acrobat family since Reader was made free back in version 2.0. "
Karl De Abrew, CEO, Planet PDF

Power users can use the LiveCycle Form Designer (included with Professional) to allow users to submit form data in a number of news ways: They can control access to documents in an 'ad hoc' fashion using Acrobat's own tools, or if LiveCycle Policy Server is in use by their organization they can control access in a 'structured' way by using the server's security tools. This will give them greater control over when a document can be reviewed, how often or by whom, and can even revoke access after a document has been distributed.

The Acrobat family names remain the same this time round (Acrobat 7.0 Professional, Acrobat 7.0 Standard, Acrobat 7.0 Elements and Adobe Reader 7.0), as does the pricing for Professional (US $449) and Standard (US $299). The one noticeable change is that Adobe has lowered the entry level for Elements users to a 100-seat license starting at US$39, which should result in it capturing smaller volume licensing deals.

The upgrade pricing (from Acrobat 4.0, Acrobat 5.0, Acrobat 6.0 Standard to Acrobat 7.0 Standard) is US$99, and the upgrade pricing (from Acrobat 4.0, Acrobat 5.0, Acrobat 6.0 Standard & Acrobat 6.0 Professional) to Acrobat 7.0 Professional is US$159. If you are planning to upgrade from any old version of Acrobat (including Standard), we believe you should seriously consider paying the extra $60 to get Acrobat Professional.

Adobe has set the scene for a different landscape entirely with the targeting of its massive Adobe Reader user base and its targeting of smaller businesses with its aggressive Acrobat Elements licensing. While Adobe Reader users start to enjoy the reviewing capabilities available, Adobe will be hoping they start thinking about what else they might be able to do with a full version of Acrobat.

Where will we find ourselves by the time Acrobat 8.0 comes around?

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