Breaking News: Adobe announces Acrobat 8 (exclusive videos)

Adobe just released Acrobat 8 and last week I got an exclusive look at it through my camera lens when Rick Brown, Director of Product Management of the Knowledge Worker business unit gave me a demo. I really liked the forms handling and collaboration features. It’s best to download the video and watch it off of your hard drive. I did two videos for PodTech News. One, the above demo, and two, an interview with Rick where we talk about the state of Acrobat.

The official press release is here.
Another press release is here on the Adobe Connect collaboration family of products.

The official Acrobat 8 site is here. The player isn’t updated yet (coming in November), I’ll watch for when that comes online, should be linked off of this site when it’s ready.

I originally planned these videos to be part of my new show, but my site isn’t quite ready yet, so we’re running these on PodTech’s news channel.

Things that caught my eye about the new Acrobat? The new forms engine. It kicks ass. You put in a document with a form layout on it (like what we used to do in Pagemaker for Thunder Lizard — a brochure with a form on it). It looks like something that you’d get in the mail. But then you stick it through Acrobat and it puts a form on it that you can fill out from your computer.

Also, this is where we see a good integration of the stuff Macromedia was working on (the collaboration pieces) with something Adobe was working on (Acrobat).

Is this important? Well, Adobe makes quite a bit of profit off of the Acrobat line and Microsoft is gunning for that profit big time.

This might not get on TechMeme but Acrobat/PDF technology is used all over the Web, so this is important news for all of us to pay attention to.

Update: actually it is on TechMeme and there are a few news articles over on Google News about Acrobat 8 too.

Comments

  1. i’d be interested to learn the answer to the question of why they can’t make the acrobat reader product more lightweight? foxit reader is awesome and approx 1MB — compared to acrobat reader (i know there are a bunch more features in full acrobat) bloat.

    and why does podtech only use quicktime video format — give us choices — quicktime plugin is *the* worst plugin experience and should be marked badware!

  2. i’d be interested to learn the answer to the question of why they can’t make the acrobat reader product more lightweight? foxit reader is awesome and approx 1MB — compared to acrobat reader (i know there are a bunch more features in full acrobat) bloat.

    and why does podtech only use quicktime video format — give us choices — quicktime plugin is *the* worst plugin experience and should be marked badware!

  3. Tim: I asked about that in the interview. They said that a good part of the work the team was doing was aimed at making it lighter weight. But, they also admit that their first priority is to make sure they have the highest fidelity reproduction (most faithfulness to what will get printed). That is where a lot of the bloat comes from. Oh, and the cool new collaboration and form features.

    I’m working on other formats. Unfortunately I don’t have the resources yet to do other formats. Personally I don’t mind Quicktime that much anymore. If it’s good enough for Rocketboom and Ze Frank it’s good enough for me.

  4. Tim: I asked about that in the interview. They said that a good part of the work the team was doing was aimed at making it lighter weight. But, they also admit that their first priority is to make sure they have the highest fidelity reproduction (most faithfulness to what will get printed). That is where a lot of the bloat comes from. Oh, and the cool new collaboration and form features.

    I’m working on other formats. Unfortunately I don’t have the resources yet to do other formats. Personally I don’t mind Quicktime that much anymore. If it’s good enough for Rocketboom and Ze Frank it’s good enough for me.

  5. I loooove Acrobat. Hopefully the output settings are easier to use in the version 8. I have a lot of trouble getting images to look right in version 7… even with high quality, low compression settings. Thanks for the review Rob.

  6. I loooove Acrobat. Hopefully the output settings are easier to use in the version 8. I have a lot of trouble getting images to look right in version 7… even with high quality, low compression settings. Thanks for the review Rob.

  7. Any chance version 8 could load any slower than version 7, or is that simply impossible? Acrobat was great back when it didn’t take 2 minutes to start on a brand new PC… What happened over there, did they let Team Bloatoshop work on the code?

  8. Any chance version 8 could load any slower than version 7, or is that simply impossible? Acrobat was great back when it didn’t take 2 minutes to start on a brand new PC… What happened over there, did they let Team Bloatoshop work on the code?

  9. FoxIt Reader rocks! On new machines I don’t even bother installing Adobe’s bloat, slow as a dead dog, reader.

  10. Hi Robert,

    I *hate* quicktime and now I can’t see your videos.
    I used to watch stuff you did in C9. Not that I like WMV, but as a plugin it’s way better.

  11. Hi Robert,

    I *hate* quicktime and now I can’t see your videos.
    I used to watch stuff you did in C9. Not that I like WMV, but as a plugin it’s way better.

  12. I hope you don’t have to download a music store to use the thing like you have to do with “Quick”time.

    I seriously doubt a newer acrobat could load any slower than 7. But then again, I haven’t heard anything about Flash Paper. So all logic is out.

  13. I hope you don’t have to download a music store to use the thing like you have to do with “Quick”time.

    I seriously doubt a newer acrobat could load any slower than 7. But then again, I haven’t heard anything about Flash Paper. So all logic is out.

  14. Just to echo the first commenter – don’t bother with Acrobat Reader, just get Foxit reader. Like #2, all I do with PDFs is view them, and nothing does it faster than Foxit.

    “But, they also admit that their first priority is to make sure they have the highest fidelity reproduction (most faithfulness to what will get printed)”

    -not so. The whole point of PDF is that always prints out right, every time, and it does whatever reader you use. Acrobat Reader is so slow because of all the junk plugins it loads, like the forms stuff. You might need that stuff in some businesses, most home users don’t need to bother and should just get Foxit.

  15. Just to echo the first commenter – don’t bother with Acrobat Reader, just get Foxit reader. Like #2, all I do with PDFs is view them, and nothing does it faster than Foxit.

    “But, they also admit that their first priority is to make sure they have the highest fidelity reproduction (most faithfulness to what will get printed)”

    -not so. The whole point of PDF is that always prints out right, every time, and it does whatever reader you use. Acrobat Reader is so slow because of all the junk plugins it loads, like the forms stuff. You might need that stuff in some businesses, most home users don’t need to bother and should just get Foxit.

  16. Hold down the SHIFT key when you launch Reader or Acrobat and it will skip loading the plug-ins. If you want it to never load a plug-in, just move the plug-in files from the plug_ins directory to Optional (or some other, inert location). You can learn about the plug-ins and their filenames by selecting Help > About Adobe Plug-Ins…. (These are Windows-specific tips that can be adapted to Mac.)

    For command-line PDF manipulation, try my free (gpl) pdftk: http://www.pdftk.com. I’m planning a new release this week. Java and C# fans should check out iText: http://www.lowagie.com/iText/

    Oh, and please buy my book, PDF Hacks. ;-)

    Cheers- Sid

  17. Hold down the SHIFT key when you launch Reader or Acrobat and it will skip loading the plug-ins. If you want it to never load a plug-in, just move the plug-in files from the plug_ins directory to Optional (or some other, inert location). You can learn about the plug-ins and their filenames by selecting Help > About Adobe Plug-Ins…. (These are Windows-specific tips that can be adapted to Mac.)

    For command-line PDF manipulation, try my free (gpl) pdftk: http://www.pdftk.com. I’m planning a new release this week. Java and C# fans should check out iText: http://www.lowagie.com/iText/

    Oh, and please buy my book, PDF Hacks. ;-)

    Cheers- Sid

  18. > last week I got an exclusive look at it

    I am wondering why you say that your look was “exclusive”? All us editors got one-on-one previews from the Adobe marketing people of Acrobat Pro 8, Connect, and Acrobat 3D.

  19. > last week I got an exclusive look at it

    I am wondering why you say that your look was “exclusive”? All us editors got one-on-one previews from the Adobe marketing people of Acrobat Pro 8, Connect, and Acrobat 3D.

  20. Thanks for putting it up in a format that I could easily watch in Safari. Video quality was really good — probably too good for a simple interview. Not that it matters for me with a fast connection.

    One thing that TheServerSide.com does that adds a lot of value is to put bookmarks on their videos so you can see an agenda and easily skip back and forth.

  21. Thanks for putting it up in a format that I could easily watch in Safari. Video quality was really good — probably too good for a simple interview. Not that it matters for me with a fast connection.

    One thing that TheServerSide.com does that adds a lot of value is to put bookmarks on their videos so you can see an agenda and easily skip back and forth.

  22. ralphg: did anyone else put those previews up in video format for the rest of us to see? So far I only see one video and it’s mine. That’s the definition of exclusive.

  23. ralphg: did anyone else put those previews up in video format for the rest of us to see? So far I only see one video and it’s mine. That’s the definition of exclusive.

  24. Acrobat Reader, like ICQ, seems to be one of those applications that gets worse with every new release. Here are the only two features that 99 percent of its users care about:

    * Ability to display PDF files
    * Speed

    Unfortunately, Adobe seems to focus on other aspects. Like secretly loading a big wopping memory footprint when you start your computer to make it seem like its Windows and not Acrobat Reader that takes forever to load.

    Oh, yeah, almost forgot about the feature they seem to be most focused on: Adding modal dialogs that display behind the main application window and hinder me from viewing my document until I answer whether I would like to download some sort of download manager that will allow me install a component that lets me organise pictures (since apparently I have never heard of flickr, or even the darn Windows XP file manager which has the exact same functionality).

  25. Acrobat Reader, like ICQ, seems to be one of those applications that gets worse with every new release. Here are the only two features that 99 percent of its users care about:

    * Ability to display PDF files
    * Speed

    Unfortunately, Adobe seems to focus on other aspects. Like secretly loading a big wopping memory footprint when you start your computer to make it seem like its Windows and not Acrobat Reader that takes forever to load.

    Oh, yeah, almost forgot about the feature they seem to be most focused on: Adding modal dialogs that display behind the main application window and hinder me from viewing my document until I answer whether I would like to download some sort of download manager that will allow me install a component that lets me organise pictures (since apparently I have never heard of flickr, or even the darn Windows XP file manager which has the exact same functionality).

  26. Also, did you ask about the rumours that the Reader has already been released but hasn’t finished loading on any of the reviewers’ computers yet?

  27. Also, did you ask about the rumours that the Reader has already been released but hasn’t finished loading on any of the reviewers’ computers yet?

  28. Heh but if they made it lighter where would they put all the endless DRM that requires your computer to reboot every time acrobat updates? Basically they have another product that everyone has come to hate for it’s bloat, lack of features for the bloat and generally bad behavior around upgrades and other side functions.

  29. Heh but if they made it lighter where would they put all the endless DRM that requires your computer to reboot every time acrobat updates? Basically they have another product that everyone has come to hate for it’s bloat, lack of features for the bloat and generally bad behavior around upgrades and other side functions.

  30. Like others mentioned above, I haven’t used Adobe much in the last 2 years since I first discovered Foxit. I discovered the free PrimoPDF and I don’t use Adobe Acrobat Pro anymore either.

    Some of the DRM plugins don’t work in FoxIt though…

  31. Like others mentioned above, I haven’t used Adobe much in the last 2 years since I first discovered Foxit. I discovered the free PrimoPDF and I don’t use Adobe Acrobat Pro anymore either.

    Some of the DRM plugins don’t work in FoxIt though…

  32. Concept: Kids have balloons with washers to keep them from flying away.
    Robert’s washer, Amanda’s washer, Bill’s washer, Steve’s washer, Russ’s washer. All washers are transparent and layered over the top of the acro-”bat” document (no commercials here).
    “Washers” are comments on text, which in the authors view needs to be “cleaned” up. Meta data comments on the viewable/ document. Click a washer and the 3-D balloon tethered off page with a leader can then be displayed with user-defined check box in the balloon. Bill, do you concur (check y/n)? Team reads once, checks once. Time critical documents (oh no another automatic action alert email)can force action or inaction. No excuses TOOL addition.
    Just a thought! Chew on it awhile. It is nice to talk to the elves before Christmas LOL.

    Programmers hate application folks until they are challenged by the concept. You can’t do that …think,think,think… you can’t do that, can you???..think, think think. Flex the teams muscle. Beta2? Look, listen, learn works great for adding functionality to software. The designers will kill you though unless you improve the zones they work in also.

    “KISS” principle with the dev group and watch the speed of implementation and innovation (TOOLS).

    I vote for the functional video. I can get pepsi/coke-d to death at the superbowl. Besides don’t we go to trade shows for the free drinks and free demo’s? Sales pitch=click close. Advertising is only to expose a great product to those who are not in the Know. Slick sales sell products in the short run only.

  33. Concept: Kids have balloons with washers to keep them from flying away.
    Robert’s washer, Amanda’s washer, Bill’s washer, Steve’s washer, Russ’s washer. All washers are transparent and layered over the top of the acro-”bat” document (no commercials here).
    “Washers” are comments on text, which in the authors view needs to be “cleaned” up. Meta data comments on the viewable/ document. Click a washer and the 3-D balloon tethered off page with a leader can then be displayed with user-defined check box in the balloon. Bill, do you concur (check y/n)? Team reads once, checks once. Time critical documents (oh no another automatic action alert email)can force action or inaction. No excuses TOOL addition.
    Just a thought! Chew on it awhile. It is nice to talk to the elves before Christmas LOL.

    Programmers hate application folks until they are challenged by the concept. You can’t do that …think,think,think… you can’t do that, can you???..think, think think. Flex the teams muscle. Beta2? Look, listen, learn works great for adding functionality to software. The designers will kill you though unless you improve the zones they work in also.

    “KISS” principle with the dev group and watch the speed of implementation and innovation (TOOLS).

    I vote for the functional video. I can get pepsi/coke-d to death at the superbowl. Besides don’t we go to trade shows for the free drinks and free demo’s? Sales pitch=click close. Advertising is only to expose a great product to those who are not in the Know. Slick sales sell products in the short run only.

  34. hum, in recent years I’ve taken to replacing all the readers with foxit and all the writers with PDFcreator. (google for 2 seconds and find two great free applications)

    Seems to satisfy 99.9% of all the people I’ve installed it for (and that amounts to quite a lot). It’s usually just the marketers for whom we shell out the rather high acrobat pro license price since they want to edit/merge/insert and do the form stuff.

  35. hum, in recent years I’ve taken to replacing all the readers with foxit and all the writers with PDFcreator. (google for 2 seconds and find two great free applications)

    Seems to satisfy 99.9% of all the people I’ve installed it for (and that amounts to quite a lot). It’s usually just the marketers for whom we shell out the rather high acrobat pro license price since they want to edit/merge/insert and do the form stuff.

  36. [...] I finally decided to write one more post for my blog after a long time and in future I will be a bit regular (atlest three one post a week). I wanted to write but most of the time I was unsure what to write about. So I decided to find how and what other bloggers write. This is my attempt to answer the question “what do I blog about ?”. I searched the internet, did some analysis and came up with this report. Here goes the list of top 10 topics to write about in a blog : 1. Post about industry news A good example is Scobleizer posting about the release of acrobat 8 . Keep a regular watch on the industry related to your interest. Post about something unusual or interesting happening in the industry. [...]