The company demonstrated the product at a press event earlier this month, where the big emphasis was collaboration and productivity – more specifically, the “productivity gap” created by the challenges of working with documents. The company is releasing an IDC study that it commissioned showing (for example) that a company of 1,000 spends an average of 3.5 hours a week compiling different files and formats into one format, 3.7 hours gathering and consolidating feedback, and 3.4 hours consolidating data from forms. That adds up to an annual productivity cost of $15.9 million per year, the study says.
Adobe’s underlying message: By adding features (even relatively small ones) to Acrobat that address these inefficiencies, it can make a big difference on a company’s bottom line.
One of the big additions is a new tool for editing text and images. PDFs have already become less static thanks to Acrobat’s existing PDF editor, but the company says that with Acrobat XI, PDFs have become “completely editable.” For one thing, all the editing capabilities are unified in the Edit Text and Images tool (pictured above). Adobe has also added a “find and replace” text editing feature, and edited text automatically reflows, so you don’t have to worry about things like line breaks. In other words, it’s a lot more like editing any other document.
Acrobat XI also offers a drag-and-drop interface for merging multiple files into a single PDF. You can rearrange the documents within the PDF to your liking, as well as the pages within those documents.
Acrobat XI boasts improved integration with a number of other services, too. On the Adobe side, there’s integration with EchoSign, making it easier to provide electronic signatures from directly within the product. Beyond Adobe, users can also export their PDFs as PowerPoint presentations (expanding on the existing ability to export into Word or Excel).
Given the growing use of tablets and smartphones in a business context, it’s not surprising that Adobe Reader also comes in a touch-friendly interface now (pictured above), allowing users to not just read PDFs, but also annotate, fill in, and sign them.
Acrobat XI will be available within 30 days, Adobe says. Acrobat XI Standard has a list price of $299 ($139 for an upgrade from a previous version of Acrobat), while Acrobat XI Pro has a list price of $449 ($199 for an upgrade).