Workgroups can now get more out of their favourite Microsoft Office applications by using them less. Rather than collaborating on separate files that make up a typical project (a Word press release, an Excel inventory list, and a PowerPoint presentation, for example), simply merge them all in Adobe’s Acrobat 6 Standard PDF-creation software so your coworkers can indicate text edits using the same tools and interface.
Many less-expensive programs for converting document files to Adobe’s Portable Document Format exist, but none of them approaches the level of Office integration and the collaboration features available in the genuine article. I looked at a pre-production copy of the software.
Acrobat 6 adds buttons to Internet Explorer for publishing a Web page or an entire site as a PDF file (complete with working links), and to Outlook for attaching a document as a PDF. (The $900 Acrobat 6 Professional edition adds one-click PDF functionality to Project and some other professional applications.)
To convert a file to PDF format, simply right-click it in Windows Explorer or any folder window and choose Convert to PDF. Select several files and right-click to see the new Combine in Adobe Acrobat option that joins the files in the order of your choosing.
Acrobat 6 has a new task-based interface and has the ability to accept and reject reviewers’ comments in a sender’s original file (see here for a screenshot).
Adobe Acrobat 6 is an extremely useful tool for Microsoft Office-based workgroups. If you’re not in that category, though, I don’t consider it a must-have upgrade.
In brief: Adobe Acrobat 6
[Pre-production software, not rated]
For workgroups that rely on Office, there’s no better collaboration tool.
Price: Acrobat 6 Standard $600; upgrade $199
Phone: 1300 550 305