announced release date of the Intel-native version of Acrobat 8 earlier this week, Adobe introduced one of the most feature equal versions of the product in many years, the company said.
“We are feature equivalent in every place we can be,” Chris Gulker, Acrobat Product Manager, told Macworld. “Products like Office for Mac are not as open with APIs as the Windows version, which accounts for most of the feature disparity. I’m very proud of the job the team has done in bringing features to the Mac.”
Feature parity in Acrobat 8 includes many workflow items that will improve the way designers and business professionals use the product. Using the “five Cs” (Control, Create, Collect, Collaborate and Combine) as its guideline, Adobe said that features were not only added, but they also responded to the challenge to make the features more understandable and accessible.
With more business professionals using Acrobat, Adobe recognized that features and the layout of the application had to reach beyond the creative professional. According to industry analysts, Adobe hit a good balance between the two markets with this release.
“Adobe has always had a position in the business market, but the big shift is the ability to successfully marry the two,” said Tim Bajarin, president of market research firm Creative Strategies. “I think the [Acrobat] team knows where its strengths are and they are developing around those strengths. There is no question that Acrobat 8 is really targeting a much more important business market.”
Although business users were an important focus in this release, Adobe Creative Suite Product Manager Lonn Lorenz said a lot of work was done for the creative professionals too. Among other things, Acrobat 8 Preflighting not only allows a user to check a document, but it can also automatically correct the document based on a set of predefined rules.
Users will also notice the tighter integration between Acrobat 8 and Creative Suite. For instance, color settings set in Adobe Bridge that span the suite will now extend to Acrobat.
The new version of Acrobat also includes the ability for users to discuss and edit documents or other material in a real-time conference using Adobe Connect.
From its redesigned Getting Started window to the more advanced Preflight options, Creative Strategies analyst, Bajarin said Adobe has put a lot of thought into how its users want to ultilize Acrobat 8. Ultimately, that is good for everyone.
“It’s one of the best pieces of software we’ve seen come out of Adobe,” said Bajarin.