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Acrobat 9 gets a dose of Flash

Acrobat 9 gets a dose of Flash

When Adobe merged with Macromedia, many Flash users were afraid that Adobe would also meld Acrobat with Flash, creating a behemoth plugin. Today, Acrobat 9 was launched and it actually contains the full Flash Player 9. A lot of the new Acrobat 9 features are Flash driven.

According to Ali Hanyaloglu, Product Evangelist for Acrobat, this was the first chance to combine Macromedia and Adobe tech inside Acrobat. Acrobat 9 now has a full Flash Player built in. PDF Portfolios is a new feature that allows you to merge several documents into one for easier distribution. This feature has a Flash driven and customizable GUI.

Let's say you're working on a project that has several documents related to it. Images, Flash Files, Office Documents, PDFs and more can now be wrapped together as a single PDF Portfolio file. When the user opens this file, they'll see a beautiful presentation of the embedded files. The Flash driven GUI let's the user/reader navigate, open and get information about the embedded files. You're not bound to just one layout either. You can choose from several presets, customize the welcome page, adjust thumbnail layouts, set custom color schemes, add a title and header. You can also specify custom file details such as descriptive text and custom metadata rows. Since the full Flash Player is embedded, you'll also be able to display SWF files easily.

Also announced today - Acrobat.com will allow you to collaborate and co-navigate documents in real-time from anywhere. It also packs an updated version of Buzzword, in fact so new that if failed to display at the Adobe keynote at the Stockholm OnAIR event this morning.

 

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The app is also available as an AIR application (without offline support). The service is free for now, but a paid version for commercial businesses is apprently on the way. The free account offers 5 Gb of storage for documents and maximum 3 users in web conferencing. ReadWriteWeb has a good writeup on this and more.

One thing that have always been a hassle with PDFs is their static nature. This new version allows you to create, distribute and analyze form data without having an expensive server solution. You can now easily collect responses from forms automatically. Just send out the PDF and acorbat.com will offer a backend where you can see the responses in next to real time. You can also send a document out for shared review, allowing multiple persons to add comments. Acrobat.com also offers realtime document sharing and collaboration using Connect.

Other new features include improved launch performance, layers inside PDFs, document comparison, output preview (for print) and the accompanying Converter. Converter looked really impressive and timesaving, but it's really not of interest to Flash users. If you double as a print designer, you should seriously look into that feature to save print runs and prevent bummers.

 

 

 

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