Learning Centers

What is Adobe Reader?

April 01, 2004


Editor's Note: This article is part of the Introduction to Acrobat & PDF Learning Center

Adobe Systems' mature Reader software underpins the global electronic document format with reliable high performance and advanced features. Adobe Reader offers consistent viewing, searching, reviewing and printing on almost every computer operating system under the sun, all manner of Windows and Macintosh as well as over 20 other operating systems ranging from Symbian to Linux. PDF files are found everywhere, on almost every website, and peppered throughout millions of hard-drives and file-servers the world over.

Since it's introduction, Reader has been distributed worldwide to over 500,000,000 computers. The latest version of Adobe Reader is version 6.01, released in late 2003. Planet PDF recommends that if you have not already done so, you should download and install Adobe Reader 6.01 today.

More than operating systems, the really significant thing about Reader is that it's FREE. Long recognized as Adobe's essential stroke of brilliance in creating the PDF format, the fact that anyone, anywhere can use Adobe's Reader without charge was and remains essential to maintaining PDF as the world's preferred electronic document.

What can you do with Adobe Reader?

Reader was created to deliver a consistent experience of original documents to the end-user. With Reader, the user may...

  • View, search and print the contents of a PDF file with total reliability, on or offline
  • Use navigational elements in PDF such as bookmarks and hyperlinks
  • Complete and print electronic forms

What can't you do with Adobe Reader?

Since Adobe Systems makes Adobe Reader available for free, you might wonder what's in it for them. The answer is simple: Acrobat. Now at version 6.01, and available in three flavors - Elements, Standard and Professional, Adobe's mature offering to professional electronic document users allows you to create, control, manage and tweak PDF files to maximum effect. You can learn more about Acrobat here.

Why you should upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader - Version 6.01

As Adobe continues to develop the PDF specification, adding new capabilities to the PDF format, they also improve the Reader to improve the user experience and take advantage of new technologies. With Reader 6.01, users benefit from...

  • An all-new search capability that makes it easier to locate words and phrases in a PDF
  • Improvements to bookmarks for navigation purposes
  • Improved support for multimedia features, including embedding of movies in PDF
  • Improved accessibility for disabled users

However, one of the most important reasons to upgrade is the obnoxious little dialog older Reader users see whenever they view a PDF file created or saved using Acrobat 6.01.

Yes, Adobe wants you to use the new software. No surprise there. Having said that, it is free, and overall, it's an improvement.

If you recognize this window, and if you don't want to see it again (whatever the checkbox says), then we can only suggest you download Reader 6.01 now! You'll be glad you did.

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