A review of Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional
The short story: Acrobat's taking a pretty good direction, but not free from install bloat and pains. I'd wait for the next version until when I hope all these idiosynchrasies have been sorted out.
The short story: Pretty good direction, but not free from install bloat and pains. I'd wait for the next version until when I hope all these idiosynchrasies have been sorted out.
The general direction of Adobe's efforts with Acrobat is admirable, so it is a bit disappointing to see them roll out such a half-baked product.
WHAT'S USEFUL —
- Fabulous document review capabilities — you can edit directly into the underlying text, approve, then export them back into Word.
- More importantly, Acrobat sets up an excellent document-review work flow that works with Outlook and other mail programs to track who has received the document and responded.
- To simplify editing Acrobat transmits the PDF to the reviewers, who send back only their annotations. Acrobat then creates a compound document in which you can review all comments at once or individual comments by reviewer. With Word, you'd have to send everyone the same file, then compile the various changes.
- In MSIE, Acrobat 6.0 can quickly convert Web pages into PDF, creating either one composite file or separate files for each page.
- The generated PDFs maintain most HTML links and it can also store rich media files such as Flash and animated GIFs!!
- From Office documents, the bookmarking is now better (what a relief that is)
- The compressed converted files are smaller. This becomes less evident though if you have textboxes and graphics in your documents, which we usually have.
- The beast is a pain to install. I downloaded the "Tryout" version from the website, and my Acrobat does not work anymore. It will not convert a simple Word document (only formatting) due to some printer error. Not sure if this happens with every installation of this software but I am fairly technically savvy, have tried reinstalling, changing printer settings to FILE, etc etc. No go.
- It took over all my Acrobat 5 associations and registry settings, so remember that you cannot uninstall it and "go back" to Acrobat 5.
- The software is Bloated with a mega-capital B. I use a recent Pentium IV with 1 gig of RAM, and after the install of Acrobat 6, the thing practically crawls.
- Searching: Who needs the right-hand side navigation? Sure it "looks" cool to some people, but I'd much rather have the simple (and 10 times faster) Ctrl-F Windows pop-up box, as it is in every Windows app.
WHAT TO DO IF INSTALL CAUSES GRIEF:
- Don't install. Wait for the next version. (My general recommendation.)
- If things have already gone wrong, try to change the "PORT" on the Adobe PDF PRINTER settings in Control Panel to FILE:, then try printing out again (will ask you for filename, give a file path, e.g., c:1.ps). Once the POSTSCRIPT file is generated, you can run it through the Acrobat Distiller to generate the PDF file.
ALL IN ALL:
If you use a supercomputer and are hard-pressed to upgrade immediately (e.g., if you use a version earlier than 5.x) than this may be worth it. But if you are at the 5 levels already, wait for the next version. Hopefully Adobe will have figured out the bloat and the install issues by then.