Adobe offers mid-level version of Acrobat

Adobe Systems Inc. on Monday launched a new member of its Acrobat family designed to bridge the gap between its fully-fledged product for creating documents in the popular PDF format and its free software for viewing those documents.

Users need the full version of Acrobat to author documents in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF), and to create fields in a document that can be digitally signed by others. The full product starts at US$249 per user, with discounts for large purchases.

The product launched Monday, called Acrobat Approval 5.0, lets users fill in, spell check, digitally sign and then forward documents that have been created by others using the full Acrobat 5.0 product, said David Rodrigues, senior product manager for Adobe's ePaper Solutions Group.

The new software is priced at $39.00 for a single user, or as low as $14 per user for companies that place large orders, Adobe said.

Acrobat Approval 5.0 could prove cost-effective for companies by allowing them to put the full version of Acrobat in the hands of a few employees, and distribute the new product more widely among those who need only approve documents and push them along, Adobe said.

Until Monday, Adobe offered only the full version of Acrobat and a free, read-only version that doesn't allow users to alter documents at all. The free viewing software will continue to be offered.

Acrobat Approval 5.0 is available in English, French, German and Japanese versions for the following releases of Microsoft Windows: Windows 95 OSR 2.0, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 with service pack 5 or 6, Windows ME, and Windows 2000. The software is also available for the Macintosh operating system, versions 8.6, 9.0.4, and 9.1.

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Ashlee Vance

PC World
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