Acrobat 9 incorporates Flash videos and navigational data
Adobe has released version 9 of its Acrobat PDF (portable document format) software. In this new version, files from a wide variety of data sources can be put together into a PDF Portfolio. Acrobat 9 supports videos and animated mini-applications in Adobe's Flash format. There's a new, integrated 3D Reviewer with extended functions to combine vector or raster files from several CAD programs into a common view. Users can jointly edit PDF documents via Acrobat.com, an online service, and all of their screens can be synchronized.
Besides E-mails, images, drawings, tables, audio/video files and 3D objects, maps can now also be integrated into a document. They can be searched and measured, and navigational data can be captured. Adobe has also tuned up the speed, so Acrobat 9 should load up two or three times faster than its predecessors. The program will go on sale on the 30th of June in three versions: Standard (415 euros), Pro (665 euros) and Pro Extended, formerly Acrobat 3D (975 euros). The Extended version includes Presenter, which can convert presentations from PowerPoint to PDF. The CAD functions, as well as Flash conversion of videos, are only available in the Extended version. A detailed comparison of functions can be found at from Adobe's web site.
Adobe Reader, still in version 8.1.2 at the moment, continues to be available as a free download. The Acrobat.com web service, an extension of the earlier Adobe Connect documentation service and the San Jose company's answer to Windows Live, Google Documents and other online documentation services, is likewise free. It includes Buzzword, a web-based word processor with multi-user capability, and Connect Now, a system for video and document conferencing on the web. Further features include the My Files online storage service and an online PDF converter.
Buzzword came from the acquisition of Virtual Ubiqity and is claimed to run in all leading browsers, though it requires Flash Player 9 installed. It imports and exports pdf, Word, txt and rtf formats as well as jpg and gif images, and can output hmtl files. Connect Now, previously known as Brio, supports up to three simultaneous users. Acrobat.com starts running in a worldwide beta test today, Monday. The free offer includes 5 gigabytes of memory space and the ability to create up to five PDF documents.