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Adobe today unveiled a major upgrade to Acrobat, the company's enterprise document management software suite. And for Acrobat's 11th version, Adobe is looking to reassert its PDF (portable document format) dominance as tablets invade the workplace and the cloud reshapes how workers collaborate.
Acrobat XI -- comprised of Acrobat XI Pro Standard, Reader XI along with FormsCentral and EchoSign integration -- will ship with expanded functionality and cloud-enabled features, all aimed at enhancing productivity, according to a company blog post by Adobe's Kevin M. Lynch, senior vice president and general manager of Acrobat and Document Services.
"We've added several much-asked-for features that are aimed at making life easier for information workers like you," Lynch writes. "Acrobat XI features complete PDF editing and export to PowerPoint; touch-friendly capabilities on tablets; sophisticated web contracting with Adobe EchoSign; and forms creation, data collection and analysis with Adobe FormsCentral."
In a sign of the BYOD times, Adobe is making easier for tablet and smartphone users to work with PDF files.
A new, touch-friendly version of Adobe reader for devices like the iPad and Android tablets allows users to add comments, annotate, sign and save PDFs. Support for Microsoft App-V through Citrix's XenApp platform gives administrators the option to deploy Acrobat XI and Reader XI as a virtual application.
The company is also boasting improved integration with Microsoft's Office and SharePoint ecosystems. In addition to the new PDF-to-PowerPoint feature, users can also save in Word and Excel formats. For documents making the transition from PowerPoint, Word, and Excel to PDF, Acrobat XI provides new DRM that prevents copying, editing or printing.
On the cloud services front, Acrobat XI supports Web contract signing via EchoSign, the company's online electronic signature service. FormsCentral integration provides online form building, distribution and analysis.
Acrobat XI is scheduled to ship within 30 days. Prices start at $299 for Acrobat XI Standard ($139 upgrade) and $449 for the Pro version ($199 upgrade). EchoSign subscriptions start at $14.95 per month and FormsCentral starts at $14.99 per month.