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by Technews
Issue Date: August 2001

Acrobat 5.0 beefs up productivity for document production

1 August 2001

Adobe's new version of Acrobat, version 5, enables businesses to create a document once and then deploy it in any medium - print, the web, mobile devices - without losing formatting or visual content, thereby geometrically improving productivity and drastically cutting document production costs.
Says Adobe's South African Country Manager, Nic Tabor, "Electronic document distribution has been an e-business backwater. Yet, in a universally connected business environment, it is absurd that any company should be hindered by an inability to send and receive documents electronically in their originally created form. An enormous amount of time and money is spent in every business, large or small, on the constant generation of documents - from proposals, quotes and reports to sales brochures and standardised forms.
"Until now, it has been virtually impossible to create a document in one software package and transmit it to other software and hardware without losing the format. Visually rich material has created even further problems, with graphic quality degrading or being lost altogether. Documents have had to pass through multiple formatting iterations - an inefficient and costly process, fraught with errors. Those days are dead. Acrobat 5.0 guarantees that documents will be transmitted and received exactly as signed off."
The key is Adobe's portable document format (PDF), which is the world standard for document distribution by electronic means. Enhancing productivity further, Acrobat's PDF facility enables secure workgroup collaboration and reliable workflow. Multiple users can collaborate in realtime with live data on an internal network or on the web.
Acrobat 5.0 also works on an open database platform and has a mail merge facility, enabling businesses to automatically incorporate back office information in documents and personalise documents for individual recipients. In addition, the latest version incorporates the most current security capabilities. Digital signatures and public key encryption ensure that only authorised users have access to documents.
Going a step further, Acrobat 5.0 allows document creators to specify what actions readers will be able to take on a given PDF file, such as whether or not readers should be able to print a file, or add comments but not actually change the content of a document.
Acrobat 5.0 integrates well with Microsoft Office via a separate toolbar and a menu option for generating and e-mailing PDFs from within Office. Conversion of documents from Office to Acrobat is extremely fast, even on large documents, and all original Office formatting is retained. For documents created for standard screen sizes but needing to be used on the smaller and differently shaped screens of mobile devices, Acrobat 5.0 automatically reflows the document to retain text and graphics in their correct context.
The package is also tightly integrated with Adobe's world leading image and graphics manipulation software - Photoshop and Illustrator, providing business users with powerful but easy means by which to incorporate and work with high quality visuals in business documents.
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