Favorites: Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

AdobeI often see people complaining about the costs of Adobe Acrobat and, as a result, seeking a lower cost alternative to creating PDFs. I am not here to justify the costs of Acrobat ($449 retail for a full version of Acrobat 8 Professional). However, I would note that, if you already own a copy of Acrobat, the upgrade is rather reasonably priced ($159).

There is no doubt that you can find less expensive solutions to create PDFs. For example, Word Perfect will natively create a PDF. However, creating a PDF is only the first step in a paperless filing system. In addition to creating PDFs, you also need to be able to manage, annotate, or otherwise handle those PDFs. I have yet to find a less expensive solution that gives me the power that I find in Acrobat Professional, version 8.

Last week I talked about how I do all of my commenting or highlighting on cases in Acrobat. This way I always have my annotated copies of the cases with me. This practice saves me If you have ever unsuccessfully tried to find the copy of a case that you made your notes on, you know how much a timesaver this can be.

In addition to the annotation and commenting features, there are also several other features about Acrobat that I really like and use on a regular basis.

  1. The Typewriter Tool. This tool, which Adobe added in an update to version 7, allows you to type on PDFs just as if you were using a typewriter. This tool is invaluable when it comes to filling out forms from organizations that refuse to provide the forms electronically. I also use this tool to complete forms that people fax to me. My fax arrives via email. I open the PDF. Complete the form. And then fax or email the form back to the sender, all without having ever printed anything.
  2. Combining PDFs. Version 8 contains new wizards to assist you in combining PDFs to create one PDF or a PDF package. I typically find wizards annoying. In this case, however, I think Adobe has done an excellant job of creating wizards that help, rather than hinder, someone combining PDFs.
  3. Speaking of wizards, when creating a PDF from an Excel file, Acrobat asks you which sheets you want to include in the PDF. This is a great feature. I don’t know how many times I had to create the same PDF multiple times because I had forgotten to tell Excel to print all all of the sheets to PDF.
  4. Redaction. Version 8 Professional includes a great redaction tool to allow you to remove sensitive data from your PDF. This is invaluable in making sure that you do not disclose privileged or confidential information. The tool is easy to use and I am glad to see that Adobe added it to the program, thus saving you the additional time and cost of finding and using a plug-in.
  5. Bates Stamping. Another way in which Adobe has eliminated the need for the use of a plug-in is in Bates Stamping. The Professional version now allows you to easily stamp (or remove your Acrobat applied stamps) from a PDF. This a great feature that I use regularly in discovery.

The program has several more features that I love and use regularly. However, I think I will pause my list at this point.

If you haven’t tried to leverage the full power of Acrobat, download a 30 day free trial and see what Acrobat can do for you.

3 thoughts on “Favorites: Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

  1. Thanks for the great site! Here’s one for you. I got tired of repeatedly having to set the font style and size, shrink document and Page/Bates setting for numerous individual documents (Marked as Exhibits A, B, C, etc.). So I used the Save Document Setting button. No good! When I use a saved setting, Acrobat reports it puts labels on 0 of 0 documents. I’ve tried numerous variations, without success. Any advice?

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