Latest in PDF creation: Acrobat 6

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
Vendor: Adobe
Phone: 1300 550 305
URL: www.adobe.com.au

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Dennis O'Reilly

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