The PDF has stayed much the same for twenty-five years save for a few interactive aspects, but Adobe is now ready to give what could be a tired format a lift, as it updated the subscription-based Adobe Acrobat DC, as well as the free apps, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Scan, to handle PDFs better. This could lead to more possibilities with the popular document format.
A Quarter Century of PDFs
Adobe created the PDF (portable document format) in 1993 as a way to share documents without a need for both sender and recipient to have the same software, fonts, or image software.
It’s received some changes in the past quarter century in that it’s no longer just flat text and images; now it can include interactive content such as annotations, video, and form fields. It also includes the possibility of recipients signing it digitally, making it ideal for contracts and tax forms.
There is a variety of software and apps that can read PDFs, notably a collection that were created by Adobe themselves.
This week Adobe revised their Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Adobe Scan, which will allow for more changes to the PDF format with expanded tools and most importantly artificial intelligence.
Adobe listened to users and instituted these changes. Filling out forms, signing documents, and reviewing PDFs can now all be done within the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. There’s no reason to leave the app.
Adobe Sign has now been included directly in the reader. Those wanting to edit PDFs on a tablet can opt for the paid option of Acrobat Reader.
Acrobat DC, the subscription-based software for the DocumentCloud, will now sync across all your devices.
You can also now get team feedback and edit PDFs via all members of the team. Users had suggested that reviewing and making changes as a team was tedious, so Adobe added new share and review tools.
Users will be able to add comments to a specific spot and annotate it and can also respond and give feedback in the tabs. Whoever initiates the team-editing process needs to have a subscription, but after that non-subscription holders can make comments via their web browser.
Adobe Scan now allows multiple business cards to be scanned in at once and then imported as separate contacts. Previously the software was updated to allow for business cards to be added in individually.
No matter who you are, you’ve undoubtedly encountered PDFs on numerous occasions. As much as they can be a boon and make the sharing of documents easier, then can also be frustrating, as they just never seem to work the way you want them to.
Hopefully these changes will improve the process so that it’s only a boon and not so frustrating. That being said, it may be that there are so many other ways to digitally share documents now that perhaps the PDF format is still just too outdated and no longer needed.
What’s your experience with PDFs? Has the team aspect often frustrated you? Have you wished that it would be modernized? Is Adobe just behind the times at this point? Add your thoughts and concerns about Adobe and the PDF format in the comments section below.
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