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Home > Categories > Software > Desktop Publishing > Adobe Acrobat v8 Professional review

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Score: 9.8/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 1304 - Adobe Acrobat v8 Professional
Developed by Adobe Systems Inc.

Adobe Acrobat v8 Professional
Price:
$950 +/-
Sample/s Supplied by:
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Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been supplied to KIWIreviews by the company for the purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
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Adobe Acrobat v8 Professional product reviews

Communicate and collaborate with the essential PDF solution.

Adobe ® Acrobat ® 8 Professional software enables business professionals to reliably create, combine, and control Adobe PDF documents for easy, more secure distribution, collaboration, and data collection.

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Product reviews...

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Click here to read the profile of tucker

Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 22nd of February, 2007

Link to this review Report this review

 

This Review: 9.8/10
Value for Money:
Score 10 out of 10
Ease of Install:
Score 10 out of 10
Ease of Use:
Score 9 out of 10
Functionality:
Score 10 out of 10

Innovative, trendy, tidy, more compact... all signs of an excellent upgrade to an already industry-leading technology... and what an upgrade it is, in v8!

For a start, once you have printed your document as a PDF, the Acrobat screen pops open (if you have been wise enough to choose that option in the print dialog box) to show you the results of the conversion. You will immediately notice a strong difference. A lot more stylish and tidy, clunky window panels have been replaced by tidy buttons down the left side, and the toolbars up top are fewer, and a little bigger in order to hold the far more informative buttons. This has the nett effect of providing far more of the all-important ingredient... document viewing space. On a 1280x1024 screen, the document appears slightly larger than 100%, meaning a highly detailed view is always there.

Combining multiple documents into one PDF is a breeze... but then it has been for a while. The difference now is that it is a LOT faster and smoother, and gives a better result in terms of file size, and thus transmission time. Also, the new version does a much better job of converting and merging PDFs with non-PDF formats, such as Microsoft Office files, when using the "Create PDF from multiple files" feature. This feature is not new, but it sure looks it, with a tidier, easier and more intuitive interface that offers you a lot more options, particularly when it comes to finished file-size. A simple click will let you choose between tighter, but less detailed files, normal balanced mix, and high-resolution but bigger files. You can also choose to merge all the files into one, sequentially numbered PDF, or simple bundle them together into one PDF wrapper, much in the way WinZIP does with data files.

Another excellent addition to the feature family is the "Export" feature. You've been able to create PDFs from Word documents for quite a while, however you can now convert them back, for easy recycling of data. As any physics professor will tell you, no conversion is perfect, be it energy or data, so be aware that despite the claims, the layout may alter somewhat. We ran a couple of test documents through, and got some surprising results. One document, originally a very detailed Publisher document, came out as a single large jpeg image, whereas another, which started it's days in Word and was 'printed' to PDF, came out pretty well, except for some alignment issues with the column of images being displaced to one side. Not too bad really... there is a lot of potential in this feature alone.

Another great addition to be aware of is how Interactive Forms are now handled, with the free v7/v8 Acrobat reader having a lot more power to process them. Utilising the Designer application included in this bundle, you can create some quite complex forms with the assurance that your intended recipient is going to be able to work with them, even if they don't have the full Acrobat kit.

On top of all this... "You mean there's MORE?!"... if you are in business, you simply MUST be aware of the security features now available. Older versions allowed you to password-protect big chunks of the file, but really didn't offer you much more than the digital equivalent of a giant padlock. It was either locked, or not. Now you can 'fine tune' how the viewer can use and interact with your file, from simply just denying them printing rights, to a full-on lockdown that lets the look, but not touch or tweak. 1 or 2 passwords do the trick, but an array of checkboxes define the profile you want to attach to the file. This gives you a LOT more peace-of-mind, in today's security-minded world. You can even delete components fully and completely, using the new Redaction tools, to ensure that if you say it's gone, it IS gone. No clever clogs is going to reverse-engineer the files and retrieve that confidential memo!

Overall, with the only slight hiccup being with it's "Create PDF from web page" feature not really liking dynamic content, such as PHP-driven image-heavy sites, the package is a HUGE step up IMHO. And it's simple to get around the hiccup, simply go to the site in your chosen browser, and print the page from there and you will be fine, because your browser will handle all the loading and displaying, and feed Acrobat a nice, properly formatted set of files to composite and print.

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