Adobe Releases Acrobat Pro 8.0

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11.06.2006—Adobe has started shipping the final release of Acrobat Pro 8.0 for Mac OS X and Windows. The new software is Adobe's first full Universal Binary release of a major piece of software, and it adds a variety of productivity and creative enhancements for versions on both platforms.

The most striking improvements to the new version are in the areas of interface and workflow. This includes a new dialog that appears at start-up to help users perform common tasks, such as combining PDFs, creating new PDFs, adding form fields to imported documents, etc. This new dialog is seen below.

 

In addition to workflow and interface tweaks, Acrobat also adds a number of functional enhancements in the areas of PDF creation, reviews, print capabilities and integration with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite. We'll get into more detail on these in a hands-on look at Acrobat 8 Pro in the coming days. Briefly, some of these new features are described below.

Combining files: Acrobat 8 Pro allows users to combine PDFs, images, Web pages and presentation files into PDF packages.

Shared reviews: Users can view comments from all reviewers of a document by publishing and retrieving these comments from a server.

Acrobat Connect: The new version also adds one-button access to a new Adobe feature called Acrobat Connect. This is a conferencing technology that lets users create meeting rooms for collaborating on projects. At present, Adobe Connect is being offered as a free trial. The commercial release should begin by early 2007.

Enhanced preflight controls: Acrobat 8 Pro also adds new preflight capabilities, along with the ability to fix problems automatically. It can validate and convert documents to conform to PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4 and PDF/A. (PDF/X-4 is a draft specification that is expected to be ratified early next year.)

JDF enhancements: Files can be validated against JDF intent.

New print features: Artwork can be positioned and cropped on the page. It also adds watermarking capabilities and the ability to set up booklets using imposition tools.

New integration features for Creative Suite 2.3: These include synchronized color settings, consistent transparency flattener presets, XMP metadata editing and viewing and support Version Cue CS2.

Universal Binary: As a Universal Binary release, Acrobat 8 Pro will run on PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs natively.

Acrobat 8 Professional is available now for Mac OS X and Windows for $449 for the full version. Upgrades run $159. Acrobat 8 Standard, also released Friday, is available for $299 for the full version and $99 for the upgrade. The new version of Adobe Creative Suite Premium, which includes Acrobat 8 Professional and Dreamweaver 8, is expected to be available Nov. 8. The Acrobat Connect service is, at present, available as a free trial through the end of the calendar year. The commercial implementation is expected to begin in January.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

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