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Adobe Acrobat has long been the de facto tool for creating files in Portable Document Format (PDF). It was Adobe Systems who created the PDF file format back in 1993 but today PDF is actually an open standard (ISO 32000 for all you who were wondering).  As long time Acrobat users know, Acrobat is far more than just a PDF creator. Leaving the run-of-the-mill stuff like creating PDF’s from Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. to one side, Acrobat also allows you to create and distribute fillable forms, permanently delete sensitive information with redaction tools, validate doc’s for conformance to ISO standards, archive emails from Microsoft Outlook, apply encryption protection to documents and with the latest release of Acrobat X (version 10) in November the feature list just goes on and on.

In my opinion one the best features of Acrobat happens to be one of its least known. Everyone knows that the free Adobe Reader allows you to open, search and print PDF’s. What people don’t know is that Acrobat allows Adobe Reader users do more. Much more in fact…

Does the following scenario sound familiar? A department has a team of ten people. The team lead has Acrobat X Professional and the other nine team members are using the free Adobe Reader. The team lead has created a document and converted it into a PDF using Acrobat X Professional and would like everyone in the department to be able to read and comment on it.

Introducing Adobe Reader Enablement

While creating the PDF the team lead uses Acrobat to unlock the power of Adobe Reader and allow users to comment on the PDF and to participate in a shared review.  Once a PDF has been enabled the Adobe Reader user has access to the full chest of comment and mark up tools usually only available to Acrobat users. And it is not just basic commenting tools like sticky notes or highlighting text that Adobe Reader users have access to, they can also take part in shared reviews using their newly enabled tools and utilising Acrobat.com. Using Acrobat.com the team lead generates a URL where the PDF is stored and sends it to her team members. A shared review allows all reviewers, Acrobat and Adobe Reader users alike, to see and respond to all comments in real-time via Acrobat.com. The team lead can create a deadline by which all comments must be made and when the review is over the team lead can summarise and export all comments. A truly powerful collaboration and review tool. An important point to note here is that only Acrobat X Professional allows Adobe Reader users take part in shared reviews. 

Adobe TV

As an Adobe authorised licence centre, Micromail are always on the lookout for useful resources for our customers and  Adobe TV certainly is a fantastic resource for all Adobe software users. Check out this primer on document reviewing with Acrobat X and Adobe Reader

Download Adobe Reader X

As usual you can download the latest free Adobe Reader X compliments of Adobe.

Reviewed by Stephen Foley.

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