Acrobat 7 Pro Lets Readers Chime In

Adobe's Acrobat 7 Professional allows readers to collaborate by inserting their own comments to be shared with other users.
Adobe's Acrobat 7 Professional allows readers to collaborate by inserting their own comments to be shared with other users.
If you need an easier way to share and comment on documents, take a look at Adobe's Acrobat 7 Professional. The $449 program lets you create Portable Document Format files that users of Adobe's free Reader 7 can annotate--but only if you let them.

Once you enable commenting, you'll be warned that you will lose some Acrobat functions, such as the ability to delete pages and fill out form fields. To preserve this functionality, you must save a version of the document without commenting enabled. (Note: The $299 Standard version of Acrobat 7 doesn't allow you to make the markup and comment tools available to Adobe Reader 7 users.)

Version 7 enhances Acrobat's links to Microsoft Office applications, including the ability to convert Outlook e-mail messages or entire Outlook folders into PDFs.

Adobe claims that version 7 is 50 percent faster than version 6 at creating PDF files from Office apps. I can't substantiate this, but the process did seem faster. I created a 500KB PDF in about 90 seconds on an older 1-GHz Pentium III machine configured with only 256MB of RAM.

Adobe also promises launch times for Acrobat and Reader that are up to four times faster than with previous versions. I didn't notice a much speedier startup with either app on my test machine, however.

Once it gets going, the application gives you a handy way to share files. The ability to allow comments and markup in Adobe Reader 7 also makes it easier than ever to get everybody's two cents' worth.

Adobe Systems Acrobat 7 Professional

New annotation features make Acrobat 7 Pro a more collaboration-friendly tool.
Street: $449

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