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Software Review: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro From Adobe Systems

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Adobe Acrobat Pro XI, arguably the most powerful PDF creation software, has been upgraded and it has added some significant new features. In addition, in an attempt to meet the needs of business professionals, this version of Acrobat gives you more ability to interact and communicate than ever before.

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

 

This new version promises to promote better collaboration both inside and outside the organization. By combining the power of the desktop with complementary online services, Acrobat XI will provide the solutions to enhance how you work. You can check out the system requirements online.

So what is new with Adobe Acrobat Pro XI?

• Edit text and images – using the PDF editor. Now with a point a click interface, you can easily make minor edits to PDF pages as you do with other applications. You just click the text or image and Acrobat presents the best tool for the job. You can re-flow paragraphs, find and replace text, or add and remove images in a snap.

• Convert PDF files to PowerPoint – quickly and easily. This is not just making pictures of slides, but rather turning your PDF into a high-quality PPTX file that you can edit and update in PowerPoint. This means that your formats are saved as well so you don’t have to waste time reformatting bulleted text, tables, objects, and master layouts. If you only need some of the information in your PDF presentation, it’s fast and easy to select and export just the portion of the slide you need. You can also just copy and paste select parts of your PDF file into any application file — including a new or existing PowerPoint presentation.

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

 

• Create new PDF and web forms – will give you the ability to build forms faster using a predesigned template that is easy to customize. You can create a PDF form that anyone can complete using free Adobe Reader. It’s just as simple to create and publish a web form that virtually anyone can fill out in a web browser. You can also guide people through your form by including help text and required fields. You can even add payment options through PayPal, or extend your FormsCentral desktop app by singing up for an online account to publish forms and review results online.

• Standardize routine PDF tasks – lets you make sure that no one misses a single step. Through the use of guided or automated action, you can make sure that PDF’s are prepared completely and quickly. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a single PDF or a large batch of files, prebuilt Actions let you run a sequence of tasks automatically with a single click. For more complicated tasks, like publishing sensitive information, guided Actions will walk you through every step. You can use the prebuilt actions or create your own.

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

 

• Collect form responses with FormsCentral – by activating your own online account and you will be able to do more with the FormsCentral desktop application that is included with Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. You can add a submit button to your PDF form, and then share it easily or just embed your form into a website. Once your form is published and the results come in they are displayed in a table you can search, sort, and filter. You can also export data to a spreadsheet or database application for further analysis. Every time a recipient clicks ‘submit’, results are automatically updated and presented in a summary report that’s filled with color-coded, easy-to-read bar graphs and pie charts. Save your report as a PDF or copy and paste individual charts into Microsoft PowerPoint for a visual presentation.

• Get others to sign documents – using just the free Adobe Reader on their computer or mobile device. You can make paper signatures a thing of the past with Adobe EchoSign and get files e-signed in under an hour on average with a free or paid subscription to the electronic signature service. EchoSign can even track signatures for you, send reminders, forward documents, and even store them online.

• Apply PDF passwords and permissions – within Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint to help prevent others from editing your PDF files. With the new Restrict Editing tool you can keep others from copying and editing content in your PDF files. You can also help prevent people from opening, printing, commenting on, or adding pages to your PDFs with the Encrypt tool.

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

 

• Merge multiple files into one PDF – including spreadsheets, web pages, and photos — into a single PDF you can easily email, archive, or send out for review. You can arrange and preview files and individual pages before you merge them into a PDF. To rearrange, drag and drop pages until they’re organized just the way you want them. If you want to include a document that’s stored on an online storage site, like Microsoft Office 365 or SharePoint, find it fast with shortcuts.

• Converting HTML pages to PDF – has been improved so that now your converted web page will look and act like the original, with links, layouts, and formatting intact. You can even add linked web content to your PDF just by right-clicking each link. Now it is easy to share, print, and store a set of converted HTML pages in a single PDF

• Improved standardizing of routine PDF tasks – lets you make sure that no one misses a single step. Through the use of guided or automated action, you can make sure that PDF’s are prepared completely, quickly, and constituently. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a single PDF or a large batch of files, prebuilt Actions let you run a sequence of tasks automatically with a single click. For more complicated tasks, like publishing sensitive information, guided Actions will walk you through every step. You can use the prebuilt actions or create your own.

• Improved combining of files – with the Combine Files dialog box that now lets you drag and drop your files into the perfect position before creating a PDF Portfolio. You can also quickly rearrange them later.

• Improved ISO PDF standards – means that you can easily save PDF files that conform with ISO 32000 standards, including PDF/A for archiving, PDF/E for engineering, PDF/X for print production, and now PDF/VT for variable data and transactional printing.

While there are a lot of great new features in this new version of Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, the one that I like the best is for editing PDF documents. As opposed to prior editions, the editing is much more dynamic and professional. Before you could only do touch ups and it always looked manipulated. Now you can add words, remove words just by typing and the whole paragraph adjusts properly to make it look seamless.

If you have a large amount to change of if there is an instance where your changes are going to make other paragraphs move or sections to have to relocate to a new page, then you save it to one of the Microsoft office formats that now includes PowerPoint, make your changes, and save the updated file as a new PDF. It’s really that easy.

The other things that make this a great release are the addition of the desktop based app FormsCentral that lets you create web or PDF based forms. It can be done from the ground up or through the use of a template.

For those who need it, the separate EchoSign is a fee based service that lets you add signatures and other fields to Office documents or PDF files. There are also all the additions and improvements for making PDF’s out of multiple types of documents as well as sending PDF’s into several other formats. You can even drag and drop individual pages from a document into a PDF, making it easy to rearrange just the way you want.

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

 

If you work with PDF files on a regular basis and use them to create advanced style documents then this is a no brain upgrade to get. If you are looking to move into more desktop publishing and wondering if this is the product for you, then look no further than Adobe Acrobat Pro XI. I highly recommend this product.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • Frank

    Well I do agree that Adobe put some good stuff around a “stuffed turkey”. They’ve put more “stuffing”, more vegetables around… but, but.. where’s a turkey? I can just see a chicken! Let me explain. Adobe’s Acrobat was ahead of other PDF creation/modification tools for just one reason. And that was the ability to create really professional PDF forms with an integrated tool LiveCycle Designer (LCD). In the 11’th incarnation they took if off and replace it with a (chicken) FormsCentral (FC). FC is not even close to LCD and it’s very expensive too if you are in “forms business”. All that you have now in FC and MORE was before part of Acrobat (9,10). So don’t be fooled by Adobe’s marketing. FC it’s a very expensive solutions for form designers. So stick with Acrobat 9 or 10 instead of upgrading from turkey to chicken.
    p.s.
    as a form designer I might be biased but if you are a form designer/user too take this comment in consideration for your own good.