Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended

Adobe's Acrobat gets its most significant upgrade in years. Is it an essential purchase?

Price
£619

Adobe Acrobat made its public debut back in 1991 and the PDF (Portable Document Format) it introduced was intended to become the universal format for design-rich, cross-platform electronic communication.

The launch of the World Wide Web in the same year forced Adobe to radically revise its plans, but the Acrobat platform survived and eventually prospered by making itself indispensable in a whole host of workflows situations, from documentation distribution to commercial printing.

Recently however Acrobat has been showing its age and come to feel slow, lumbering and old-fashioned: a dinosaur in today's fast-pace internet age. With the chronically unimpressive version 8 release it even seemed that Acrobat might be reaching the end of its useful life. The good news is that that's not the case at all. In fact version 9 is the most exciting Acrobat release since the launch of the all-important free Reader application.

Back from the dead

This new vitality is evident in the introduction of important new features across all areas of PDF handling and across the entire range of Acrobat authoring tools. It is most obvious, however, in the new, top-of-the-range Adobe Acrobat 9 Extended package.

The source of this new lease of life is clear. It springs from the merging of the previously separate technologies PDF and Flash, and allows Acrobat to leave its static ePaper roots behind. Previous versions of Acrobat already supported the embedding of SWF content, but playback depended on the user having separately installed the Flash player. After its takeover of Macromedia, Adobe has been able to roll the Flash player into Adobe Reader. Universal, reliable and web-efficient media delivery is now integral to the Acrobat platform.

The benefits of this Flash transfusion are most directly felt in the handling of video. The advantages of this for designers are clear, but these days video isn't limited to such high end use. With the ever-increasing spread of webcams and movie-capable cameras and camera phones, video is now an everyday part of computing life. Thanks to Flash, Acrobat now reflects this, making it almost as easy to handle moving images as static pictures.

However there's a problem: Flash only supports its own web-optimised Flash Video (FLV) format. No doubt support for FLV output will spread but in the meantime you'll need a converter. And that's exactly what Acrobat 9 Pro Extended provides. The Video tool lets you import files in a wide range of formats including AVI, MOV, WMV and MPEG, which Acrobat 9 Pro Extended will then automatically convert to FLV, pull out your selected frame as a poster image and wrap everything up in a Flash-based player.

Acrobat's Video tool lets you add impact to existing PDFs but to take full advantage of the new support you'll need a dedicated design environment. No doubt this will come with the next release of Adobe's Creative Suite and the benefits of PDF-based Flash support for the likes of InDesign, Premiere Pro and Encore are enticing.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

Adobe rolls out new PayPal payment options through Adobe Commerce
e commerce

Adobe rolls out new PayPal payment options through Adobe Commerce

16 Sep 2021
Signs it’s time to upgrade your CMS
Whitepaper

Signs it’s time to upgrade your CMS

23 Aug 2021
Engaging the new digital workforce blueprint
Whitepaper

Engaging the new digital workforce blueprint

23 Aug 2021
Delivering personalised content for dummies
Whitepaper

Delivering personalised content for dummies

23 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021