Adobe releases Acrobat 9, updates Creative Suite

Acrobat.com online service goes into beta

Adobe has updated its stable of design software, including releasing version 9 of is PDF creation tool Acrobat, and has introduced an online collaboration portal, Acrobat.com.

Acrobat 9 has native support for Adobe Flash and the ability to unify disparate content in rich PDF portfolios, and real-time capabilities for viewing a PDF document collaboratively.

Flash support means Adobe Flash Player compatible video and application files can be included in PDF documents.

The new concept of "PDF Portfolios" enables creative professionals to assemble multiple media types, such as documents, video, audio, and 3D objects, into one PDF file.

In addition, Acrobat 9 provides access to capabilities for collaborating live within a PDF document through its online service Acrobat.com.

Acrobat 9 users can access Acrobat.com for storing and sharing files and use it as a central location for collecting data as part of a forms process, according to Adobe.

Acrobat.com also includes other services like ConnectNow, a personal Web conferencing that provides desktop sharing, video and voice conferencing, and integrated chat, and Adobe Buzzword, a Web-based word processor that can be used to edit and share documents.

A developer API for Acrobat.com is also available.

Senior vice president of Adobe's business productivity business unit Rob Tarkoff said the expectations organizations and individuals have for communicating and collaborating in the workplace continue to grow significantly and the ability to break through and communicate a message in a compelling way has never been at a greater premium.

"Acrobat 9 is a response to this environment and is poised to fundamentally change how professionals communicate and collaborate using electronic documents," Tarkoff said.

The Acrobat 9 family consists of Acrobat 9 Standard, Acrobat 9 Pro, and the new Acrobat 9 Pro Extended software. Acrobat 9 Pro Extended includes Adobe Presenter for turning Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into multimedia documents that can be published as PDF files.

Acrobat 9 for Windows and Mac OS X will be available by July. Acrobat 9 Pro Extended will retail for $US699, with an upgrade version available for $US229.

Creative Suite update

Adobe also announced today Acrobat 9 Pro software will be integrated into Adobe Creative Suite 3.3 Design Premium and Standard editions, Creative Suite 3.3 Web Premium, and Creative Suite 3.3 Master Collection editions.

Adobe Creative Suite 3.3 Design Premium also includes Adobe Fireworks CS3 as a special offering for designers who need to develop Web sites. Fireworks CS3 also integrates with Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash.

CS 3.3 for Mac OS X and Windows (XP and Vista) will ship worldwide in July and cost $US1799 for Design Premium, $US1199 for Design Standard, $US1599 for Web Premium, $US2499 for Master Collection, and $US159 for an upgrade from CS3.

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