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Adobe Acrobat 7 Standard review: Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Standard

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The Good New security, collaboration, and organisation features. Microsoft Office 2003 compatibility. Professional version allows Acrobat Reader users to annotate PDF documents.

The Bad Expensive Standard version. Telephone support might or might not be free.

The Bottom Line Adobe Acrobat 7 is a comprehensive application that's necessary for publishing documents that can be read on any platform.

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Editors' note: This review, originally based on the final beta, has been updated to reflect the final, release version of the program.

With the file formatting in Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional, your carefully written, thoughtfully presented, and beautifully illustrated presentation will come across in a Portable Document Format (PDF) file just as you intended it, no matter who reads it on what platform. And although some other software utilities now allow you to save or convert PDF documents and even let you do basic PDF work, Adobe's Acrobat line of products remains the premier option, with the latest productivity enhancements. The latest version adds new collaboration tools, organisation, and other office-related features but at a price: system performance. Those with top-end PCs or Macs should have no trouble, but everyone else will notice some performance decrease with all the new bells and whistles within the Professional edition. The Standard version, which costs AU$270 less and sacrifices a few of the most workgroup-critical features but still provides the most essential functionality without as much of a performance hit.

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional is available for Windows 2000 and XP and Mac OS X. For Windows, simply download or start the installation from the CD. To get up and running with a Mac, drag the Acrobat 7.0 Professional folder (again, either as a download or from a CD), which contains Acrobat 7.0, Acrobat Distiller, and an uninstaller, to your Applications folder -- no wizards or complex installation decisions required. The app comprises more than half a gigabyte, however, so copying the files can take a while on a computer with a slow hard drive.

The interface is unchanged from 6.0, with the exception of new toolbar buttons for Commenting and Markup, Send for Review, Security, Signature, and the single-button Create PDF option. There are also new tabs along the left side of the document window that allow you to access reader comments and file attachments.

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