Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Beta . July 2008 . Vol. 14 No. 7

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles.

June 2009 - -Adobe Contribute CS4, Adobe Soundbooth CS4 & After Effects CS

May 2009 --Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4 and Adobe Encore CS4 plus My Electric Guitar and My Violin from eMedia

April 2009 -- Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3, Set, Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional from Adobe Systems Inc.


Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Beta By Howard Berenbon

By Howard Berenbon

When I think of the word acrobat, I immediately visualize a circus performer flying through the air with the “greatest of ease” and that was probably what the developers of Adobe Acrobat thought when they named the software.  Prior to Acrobat, it wasn’t easy to exchange files between the different computers and operating systems.  Now, Acrobat version 9 continues to be one of the most important applications in our PC or Mac software toolbox.  And, since Adobe Reader is a freeware version available to anyone who wants a to view and print PDF files, you are likely using it quite often.  The commercial versions, which you have pay for, do a lot more than just let you view and print files.  They allow you to create and edit PDF files, a very useful tool for businesses, on and off the Internet.

A Little Acrobat History

Adobe introduced the acrobat program with its PDF file format in 1990, designed for sharing document files between different computers systems.  PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and to me it’s just a graphics picture of a text file, but it’s really much more than that. It’s a unique design that allows anyone to share files between the various computer operating systems and Internet browsers.  And it’s considered the best way to distribute documents on the Internet worldwide, available for the Mac and PC.

Adobe came out with Acrobat 1.0 in 1993 and with every change, new features were added.  It quickly became the standard for the exchange of files, even though other companies offered programs to fill the need.  See timeline.

Acrobat 9 offers many new features, but its most important improvement is the ability to combine all your separate files into one PDF file called a Portfolio.  Version 9 is all about combining documents, e-mail, images, spreadsheets, forms and video and audio into a single editable file.  Another improvement allows you to add Flash movies and videos, in a number of formats, to your PDF file.  You can also save a Web page to PDF format and edit the contents without having the original file.  With Acrobat 9 you can make that perfect presentation, and it’s easier to use, too.  But Acrobat offers more than just presentation abilities, and that’s why it’s popular for business use.  It’s useful for writing proposals, business marketing plans, technical documents, legal briefs for sending over the Internet, government intelligence briefs, digital archives, design reviews, business forms and more.  And you can password protect your files for security.  Finally, when you’re ready to share your work, you can assemble your documents into a single PDF file, with its various elements, and easily send electronically over the Internet.


Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Beta installed from a single CD in about 15 minutes. This time will vary depending on the speed of your computer. 

When you run the program you’ll find the following menu buttons at the top:

File Edit View Document Comments Forms Tools Advanced Window Help

And below that are the following toolbar icons:

Create  Combine  Collaborate  Secure  Sign  Forms  Multimedia Comment

For a test, I created a Portfolio of text files, Internet Web pages and graphics files from my computer, in no time (about 5 minutes).  To create a Portfolio, from the File menu you select Combine, and then click on Assemble PDF Portfolio.   A new screen is created with the name Portfolio1.pdf, and there you add files (either PDF or non PDF) by clicking on the add button at the bottom of the screen.  Each time you add a file, a box is displayed with the file name starting at the left top of the screen. When you’re done, pick a layout from the menu on the right, selecting the way you want your files within the Portfolio to be displayed.  Then click on Save Portfolio from the Files menu.  That’s it! You’ve quickly assembled your files and created one big PDF Portfolio of your work.  Now, it can be more complicated than what I just outlined, because it quite customizable.  They offer a number of layout views, let you pick a color scheme, let you add a Welcome and headers, and  allow you to specify the fine details, but it’s easy and fast to do.

Favorite Tools

According to Adobe’s PDF Guru, Leonard Rosenthol, who happens to be the most senior PDF technical guy at the company (and developed PDF applications in a previous incarnation), there are several important tools that complement Acrobat. Below is a list of his favorites.

PDF CanOpener (Windjack Solutions) – Lets you view, analyze and edit objects within the PDF file.  It’s a must-have application for anyone interested in working with individual components of a PDF file.  For Windows users only.

PitStop Professional (Enfocus) – An easy to use tool for viewing and editing the page contents of PDF files.  And it allows you to move the elements within the page.

FTMaster (Altsoft) – Gives detailed information about the fonts in your PDF files.  It includes font format conversion and font glyph editing.  Windows only.

Also, his runner up applications you should look into are:

Redax (Appligent) – This program is used to remove elements from your PDF file.  And it’s the only application available that does 100%  correct and proper redaction of elements within your PDF files.

Enfocus Browser (Enfocus) – It’s a free plugin for low level PDF editing, and an alternative to tools like PDF CanOpener.  For Windows and Mac.

Font Reporter (PDFlib) – A free plugin that creates a PDF report on the fonts in your documents. For Windows and Mac.

Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard sells for $279.99 and will run on any multi-media computer 1.3 GHz or faster processor running Windows XP and Vista with 256 MB RAM, 985 MB of hard disk space, 1,024x768 screen resolution and a CD-ROM drive and the Apple Macintosh.  For more information, visit

Other versions include Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro selling for $499 and Adobe Acrobat 9 extended for $699.  If you run a business, or you’re an educator, and publish and distribute materials: books, manuals, instructions sheets, advertising brochures, have people fill out forms, just to mention a few applications, then Adobe Acrobat, either Standard, Pro or Pro Extended is a must-have tool for your trade.  This is one powerful multimedia program with lots of applications, and I highly recommend it.

New Features for Version 9

Acrobat’s features vary somewhat depending on the version.  Adobe Reader 9, which is the free version, allows you to view, print and search PDF files the new Portfolios and PDF maps.  The commercial versions basically allow you print and search PDF files and Portfolios and create documents you can save into a single file, and share.  But, there’s a lot more, so I’ve listed the new and improved features on Page 2. Also, click to view the comparison table for all 3 commercial versions and its development timeline.

Continued on Page 2