Acrobat is all that

I gave a talk on Adobe Acrobat, which seems sort of odd, because Acrobat is just to make PDFs (Portable Document Formats). When Acrobat first introduced, it was just sooo cool because you could give someone a document that you had done in Quark, with fonts that the other person didn’t have, and it would look exactly the same on their PC screen as it did on your Mac.

Adobe did a good things, and although they didn’t go so far as to give away the product, they did give away the reader, so that everyone would be able to read the document, if not write them.

That was back a long time ago. Now we are up to Acrobat 6.0 and it is so much more than just a program to give people the same look and feel. Commercial printers now accept it as opposed to the original documents, or printing purposes. People mark up Acrobat, instead of marking things up by hand. Forms can be filled out in Acrobat, and with the right configuration, submitted on websites.

I see now that there is now a while family of products for Acrobat, including a service for those who don’t want to buy the product (which isn’t’ all that expensive) and just want to pay a monthly fee to produce pdfs online. And it isn’t just Adobe. When I was at Seybold last year I saw a whole bunch of add-ons to Acrobat, for things I could never have thought about.

The funny thing about all this is that Acrobat is not meant to be a program to work in directly. It has always been the end result, and yet, here are people such as mentioned in this article about being able to edit PDFs.

What is interesting about all this is I still have an 11 year old book that Adobe published called “Beyond Paper” where they were explaining how to use Acrobat. It appears to be out of print. Their latest book is Adobe Acrobat 6 Tips and Tricks, but it still has the same theme. Get rid of paper.


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