Adobe gets flash with Acrobat

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Adobe has launched the latest version of its popular Acrobat document presentation software offering support for the firm's Flash technology to make content more engaging, and other capabilities to improve collaboration among knowledge workers.

With deep support for Flash, users can embed Flash Player video and application files in their PDF documents, to make content more engaging and dynamic, according to business development manager for Acrobat, Stephen Partridge.

Acrobat 9 also includes a PDF Portfolios feature which enables professionals to compile different media, including video, documents, audio and 3D objects into a single PDF file. They can also customise the presentation, for example to add branding, and choose layout types, including a carousel display, again to make content more visually engaging.

"We're trying to get beyond the idea that the Acrobat document is a piece of paper stuck under glass, and deliver a better way to share a bigger mix of different types of content in a more streamlined and cohesive manner," said Partridge.

Nick Spencer of analyst firm Yankee Group welcomed the improvements to the user experience and argued that the ability to create documents in a "live, dynamic way" is a major step forward for Adobe.

"These [new features] make it a much more dynamic environment," he added. " Increasingly the vendors are coming up with nicely packaged, easy-to-use technology and end users are becoming much more educated than they were."

Another new feature in Acrobat 9 enables users to create a document by downloading content directly from a chosen web site, thus allowing them to view these sites offline.

Also today, Adobe launched in beta a new suite of online services, designed to enhance productivity and collaboration among business professionals.

Adobe.com includes a file sharing and storage service, Buzzword, the firm's online word processor, and ConnectNow, a new web conferencing tool with document sharing, and video and voice conferencing capabilities.

Spencer argued that the proliferation of online services in the consumer market has made offerings like this more likely to bleed into the enterprise, as users will be more comfortable with the functionality.
itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media
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