Adobe Acrobat X: My Initial Thoughts

For the last few days, I have been taking Adobe Acrobat X for a test drive. I plan to do a full review later. However, I thought I would hit a few highlights right now. Overall, I think X is an improvement over 9. If you use Acrobat a lot, there are some features that will likely improve your efficiency using the product. With respect to specifics, here are some of my initial thoughts.

  • The toolbar is much more customizable than it ever had been before. I can easily add just the tools that I wanted to the toolbar. This was one of my main complaints in previous versions , thus I am thrilled to see this improvement. In particular, Adobe has added an icon for insert pages and extract pages. I use both of these tools a lot. I am glad that I no longer have to drill down the menus to get to these.
  • Menus are another area of improvement. For the most part, these are are gone. Instead, Adobe has replaced your menus with a right hand panel that you can activate to gain access to various tools that you use. These panels are organized better than the menus ever were. Most selections are no more than a couple of clicks away. This is a huge improvement over the old interface.
  • Read mode is a new feature that makes the toolbars disappear. When you select this, you gain a navigation toolbar that appears when you move your mouse to the bottom of the page, but otherwise disappears when you are navigating through the document. I am very judicious of my screen space. Consequently, I think this a great feature. Further, it takes only one click (or keystroke) to get back to the normal view.
  • Action Wizards are another new feature. I have not yet had a chance to play with these. However, I have seen them demonstrated. Basically, they allow you to create a multiple step process to handle a PDF. For example, an office could have a process in which (i) all incoming mail is scanned, (ii) OCR is ran on each document, and (iii) each document is stamped with a received stamp that contains the date. Before, you would have to train whoever was doing this process to make sure that each step was followed. With the Action Wizard, however, you could create an Action called Incoming Mail. All the person would have to do is follow the steps in the Action and it would ensure that each of your steps was being followed. I think there are some really good process possibilities here that can be used in a practice.
  • Adobe finally added a toolbar to for Firefox, similar to what they have had for Internet Explorer. This is a smart addition and something I never understood why they didn’t have before.

Thus far, I like the software and I think it has a lot to offer. Despite my praise, I have a couple of quibbles, however.

  • It does not appear that I can control the location of the navigation toolbar. I would really like to do this. As I said before, I am very judicious of my screen space. Therefore, I would like the ability to have all of my toolbars in a single line across the top, rather than have to have 2 lines.
  • I use the Save As feature regularly.I saw no way to add this icon to the toolbar. I simply don’t understand this omission.

If you currently use Adobe Acrobat, I recommend checking out Adobe Acrobat X.