COMPLEX TECH: Adobe Acrobat 9 Pre-Review

Box_acrobat_9_pro_112x112I'm up to at least my chin in a major "project" that I will include in an announcement here in a week or so.  That "project" has slowed down my evaluation of Acrobat 9.  I'm just getting started with my testing (in fact, I'm examining two versions of Acrobat 9, the mid-tier Acrobat 9 Pro, and the full-featured Acrobat 9 Pro Extended).

I'm impressed with the new feature set that I've had a chance to quickly inspect thus far, so I wanted to mention a few of the enhancements that I will review in detail in a further post:

  • Flash runtime in now included in Acrobat 9.  In the Pro Extended package, this addition will permit users to import Microsoft Powerpoint presentations, convert them into a flash "movie" and embed them in a pdf.  Viewers will be able to watch the flash version of the presentation. 
  • Acrobat 9 adds a concept called Portfolios, which are, essentially, multi-document binders that can include non-pdf documents within the binder.  A portfolio can include and preview word and excel documents, for example.  But the encapsulating portfolio is a "pdf," making it easy to share online or via e-mail (which often blocks zip files). 
  • Transparent Document co-navigation: using conferencing tools, users can jointly examine and navigate through a document.  In other words, each user can remotely flip through pages to focus on different parts of a document. 
  • The Forms Tool scans documents for what appear to be fields.  If the automatic scanning misses a field, the tool allows the user to create and name other fields.  Where appropriate, you can collect completed form responses through 
  • The Split Document tool allows for the division of documents by page numbers, by bookmarks, or by file size limitation.

This in not even an exhaustive list of new features that would likely interest attorneys (but they are features that interested me immediately, so they received first looks).  There are improvements to bates numbering, and quasi-EDD tools.  For example, individual e-mails can be collected into a portfolio.  As I complete my testing of various new features, I will post articles with detailed comments about the effectiveness and usability of Acrobat 9's new features with a legal twist.