Today, Adobe announced a new version of Acrobat . . . Acrobat XI (11). The latest version of Acrobat offers many new features that will be valuable to legal professionals

I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks, but here’s my . . .

  1. PDF Editing
    For years, I’ve been saying that PDF is primarily an archive format, but Acrobat XI makes it easy to make significant text and graphic edits to PDFs. Text wraps when you edit it and you can easily replace images. You can even add to a bullet list and search and replace text. The redesigned Content Editing panel (see below) makes the process easy to understand.
  2. Easier PDF/A Conformance
    Acrobat XI can convert just about any existing PDF to PDF/A. If the regular conversion steps fail, Acrobat XI can reconvert the file via PostScript (e.g. automatically print to the AdobePDF printer) or rasterize pages as necessary to bring the file into compliance.
  3. Save PDF to PowerPoint
    When I tried this feature, it floored me! Acrobat can convert PDFs to editable PowerPoint files complete with backgrounds, artwork, and bulleted text.
  4. Redesigned Combine Panel
    The Combine documents experience in Acrobat XI is much improved. You can visually swap in pages, change order, and see thumbnails of existing files. Acrobat XI Combine works better on the Mac than previous versions. Mac users now can see thumbnails and convert Office file types, too. You still need to have Microsoft Office on your computer, of course.
  5. FormsCentral
    Acrobat has long had tools to create forms, but the process involved creating an original file in another program and then laying form fields on top of the PDF later. Acrobat XI includes FormsCentral, a new standalone tool that allows you to create both PDF and web forms and collect the data. FormsCentral includes a nice library of pre-built forms to get you started.
  6. WebMail Support
    Use Yahoo or Gmail? You can now send email directly from the File menu in Acrobat (File> Send File . . .). You can configure multiple email accounts, too, and set the default mailer.
  7. Create PDF and Run Action
    You can now run an Action directly from a file in Microsoft Office. For example, you might convert a contract to PDF then automatically show the Bookmarks panel and password protect the file.
  8. Easy Signature Workflows
    Acrobat now allows you to easily sign a document by typing your name, drawing your signature or using a signature stamp. You can then easily add your signature to any document or even send it for additional signatures using Adobe’s EchoSign eSignature service.
  9. Restrict Editing Easily
    With Acrobat’s new ability to edit PDF, you may wish to protect the important documents you share. Acrobat XI includes new, easier single-step method to add this restriction.
  10. Customize Panel Toolset
    Sometimes you just need the tools you use everyday available where you want them! Acrobat XI allows you to create your own custom Toolset with just the tools you need. From a single customization window, you can create your own panel and Quick Tools (toolbar icons).