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The Top 10 What’s New and Improved in Acrobat X

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Have you upgraded from Acrobat 9 to X yet? No need to fear the changed interface. Acrobat expert Brian Wood takes you on a tour of new and improved features in Acrobat X.

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Acrobat X has been out for several months now, and I figured it was worth while to give you a look into the new and improved features for the program. You can do the same if you want to download a trial of the program from the Adobe website (there is only a Windows trial at the time of this article’s publication).

A lot of work went into the making of Acrobat X, and it shows in the final product. Just to prove to you that a lot went into it, you can read about it here on the Acrobat blog. Guess how many hours the team spent on Acrobat X? Try 5 million.

Along with the new version of Acrobat (including Acrobat X Standard and Pro), Adobe has created a new Acrobat X Suite, which is a bundle of products including Acrobat X Pro, Photoshop CS5, Captivate 5, Presenter 7, LiveCycle Designer ES2, and Media Encoder CS5. This suite is meant for those of us who probably don’t own a Creative Suite already and are looking for a set of tools to create dynamic PDF files for circulation, where the sky is the limit, creatively.

So, without further ado, I’d like to take you on a tour of these new and improved features in Acrobat X (not in any particular order).

#1: A Brand New Interface

If you’ve worked in previous versions of Acrobat, the first thing you may notice after opening Acrobat X is that the interface is drastically different. At first look, I was shocked to see that the menus had all but disappeared. But after opening a PDF and taking a look around the workspace, I realized that the interface has simply been streamlined and simplified (see Figure 1). The most commonly used panels appear in a Tools pane on the right side of the workspace. So, things like creating forms, commenting, security, and more can easily be found.

Figure 1 The new Acrobat X workspace

After the initial shock wore off and I began traversing the new workspace, I started to wonder where some of the tools I used to use in previous versions of Acrobat now reside. Well, a few clicks into Acrobat Help (Help > Adobe Acrobat X Pro Help), I was able to find a section entitled “Where’s my Acrobat 9 tool?” Help stated, “Acrobat 9 menu commands and tools map to the panels in the Acrobat X panes. To add all panels to the Tools pane, click the Options menu under the Share panel and choose a deselected panel from the list.” (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2 Where are my Acrobat 9 tools?

You can also quickly access the tools you use most by adding them to the Quick Tools area in the Toolbar at the top of the workspace (see Figure 3). So, instead of digging through panels or wading through multiple toolbars, you can customize the Toolbar to match your work style.

Figure 3 Add Quick Tool shortcuts to the Toolbar

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