by Ryan Seggelke
Flipped out over Acrobat
30, 2000] With
the boom of internet popularity, millions of people come in touch with
Adobe Acrobat Reader every day. Yet many are confused about what Acrobat
is and what it is not. A few simple clarifications will help surfers
know what to expect out of this increasingly common web tool.
Adobe’s purpose in creating Acrobat was to help users view
documents that were created on different platforms. (In other
words, someone could create a PDF file, Acrobat’s native file
format, on a PC and then have someone view it on a Macintosh or
UNIX system.) Acrobat’s PDF files also eliminate the need for
the end user to have all the
different fonts and/or graphics used
in the documents. Essentially that means that the end user is
guaranteed to see exactly what the creator intended. (This is a
wonderful thing for those of us who are used
to fighting with missing graphics and fonts.)
users need to realize that Adobe Acrobat Reader is not the same
thing as Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat Reader is free to everyone and can
be downloaded at Adobe’s website (www.adobe.com).
Acrobat is a software package which includes several different
programs, including Acrobat Reader, that must be purchased. What
Acrobat Reader does is very limited in comparison to what the
entire Acrobat suite does. What people fail to realize is that
Acrobat Reader only allows you to view and print PDF documents.
You cannot create or edit PDF files with Acrobat Reader. If you
want to create PDF files, you’ll have to buy Acrobat. The latest
release is Acrobat 4.0.
(To top of second
of Acrobat Reader as you do Flash. When you downloaded and
installed the free software for viewing Flash files, that did not
mean that you could create Flash files. To create Flash files, you
need to purchase Macromedia Flash just as you would need to
purchase Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files.
all that Acrobat allows you to do, it’s no wonder it has become
so popular. Some of the many PDF file features include adding
notes (they’re like pop-up Post-Its), sound bites and movie
clips. PDF files are not just good for spreading information; they
can be used as forms for gathering information for polls, surveys
and applications. With worldwide availability on the web, PDF
files can also be used as a powerful promotional/marketing tool.
Since Acrobat overcomes the hurdles of missing fonts and graphics,
the cross-platform PDF format is becoming a very serious component
in the printing industry, as it is used in both proofing and
One could easily argue
that Acrobat has been and will continue to be a major element in
making the internet so useful. There is no doubt that the
awareness of Acrobat will spread as the internet continues to
flourish. Consequently, the importance of knowing what it is and
how to use it will also grow in the years to come.