by September 16, 2003 0 comments



The latest version of the popular Acrobat series has tons of features 

The most famous document-sharing format is out with its latest version. It consists of Acrobat Reader and three other parts, Acrobat Elements (available for a minimum order of 1,000 seats), Acrobat 6.0 Standard and Acrobat 6.0 Professional. 
Acrobat Elements provides only the basic features of creation of PDF files from Microsoft Office applications and viewing and printing of PDF files. 

The Standard edition provides encryption utilities, review, management and consulting tools and the ability to combine document types from various applications and making one PDF file. 

S    
N   A   P   S   H  
O   T

Price : Rs 24,800 (Professional)
Meant for : Those working with heavy files like designers
Key Specs : Linux kernel 2.4.20, New KDE 3.11 GUI
Pros : Smaller file sizes, support for more input formats
Contact : Adobe Systems,
Noida, UP.
Tel : 2444711.
E-mail : sandeepm@adobe.com 

Finally, the Professional edition extends this functionality to one touch file creation from applications like Microsoft Visio, Project, and AutoCAD, electronic-form creation, support for layers in technical drawings and other enhanced tools.
There has been a major upgrade in features that will make life much easier for various professionals who use Acrobat. Let’s see what Acrobat has to offer to the three following groups of users.

Business users
For business users, PDF document creation has become an easy task. Users can now create PDF files from anywhere, starting from the Explorer window, Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and even ‘screen-captures’. Acrobat picks up the captured image from the clipboard and converts it into a PDF document. Acrobat also allows users to merge various file types and create one PDF file for the same. 

There have been a lot of enhancements in digital signatures with a re-designed interface. It even has new tools for commenting and reviewing
documents. The MS Project and Visio tools can also export PDFs now with the PDF support built into them.

Engineers
For the engineer, there is now support for PDF document creation from AutoCAD. The PDF that will be produced will even have the original AutoCAD layers and bookmarks preserved. We tested it out with AutoCAD 2004 and this feature did not work. Most probably, the support for AutoCAD 2004 is not built-in and will be introduced as an update.

Designers

File Size comparison
Source
file
FileSize
Acrobat6.0
(in KB)
FileSize
Acrobat5.0
(in KB)
Excel
(79 pages) 1.26 MB
88 96
Word
(195 pages) 640 KB
244 980
Powerpoint
1.05 MB
488 584
TIFF
file (159 MB) 
120 160
Office
applications
161 7.58

Acrobat adds a lot of print-production features that should be of interest to designers. Some of the interesting features are Color Separations preview, Transparency flattening and Pre-flight inspection. Once the user has the PDF ready he can preview the color separations of the PDF in Acrobat itself. This is a time-saver in that the designer needn’t now open the DTP application to view the same. 

Transparency flattening is now possible from within Acrobat itself through a built-in tool. Last, but not the least, the preflight feature can be a real boon for designers. Designers can make their own profiles according to their needs and before sending the file to print, can run a final pre-flight inspection test for any blunders in print production.

Other new features include a text to speech tool that can read as much of a document as the user desires, an improved search and a properties bar.

Performance
We compared the performance of Acrobat 6 with the previous version 5 by using three different files. A 195-page MS Word file with only text, a 79-page MS Excel sheet and a 158 MB TIFF file compressed with maximum compression. We compared the file sizes after conversion.

As we see from the results, Acrobat 6 offers significant file size decrease from the earlier version along with the host of great features. If all the features are critical to you then it is worth an upgrade.

On the other hand, if your application is just a PDF creation from office files, we suggest you should pass this upgrade or even a new buy. There are various applications like “pdf995” (given out on PCQEssential CD, August 2003) that let you make PDF files in a jiffy and are virtually free. Though they do not offer a lot of advanced features of Acrobat, they are quite good for the everyday tasks of PDF conversion.

Geetaj Channana

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