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Subject: Why Upgrade to & Some Information About Acrobat 7!
From: Dov Isaacs <isaacs@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 18:55:35 -0800
Members of the Framers lists: Given that Acrobat 7 has been announced by Adobe and will be shipping before the end of the year (per Adobe's press releases a few weeks ago), I thought that I would give the lists some "heads up" on features of this new release that should or could be of interest to you from someone who is actually using pre-release builds of the product for actual production. At least you will have some credible information (I would at least like to think of myself as credible) to assist in making any informed purchase decisions in terms of "if" and/or "when." (1) Most important of all, Acrobat 7 is fully-compatible with FrameMaker 7.0 (with all the Adobe-supplied updates applied) and FrameMaker 7.1 under Windows. This includes use of either printing to the "Adobe PDF" PostScript printer driver instance or using the "save as PDF" feature of FrameMaker. Of course, if you are a glutton for punishment or if you are running FrameMaker in Classic Mode on MacOS X, you can still "manually" generate PostScript from FrameMaker "to file" and then let Distiller's "watched folder" take the process from there or you can manually feed the Distiller the PostScript file. (Shlomo should be able to chime in as to compatibility of his TimeSavers product with Acrobat 7 and will likely chime in on this!) (2) The launch times for Adobe Reader 7 and Acrobat 7 are DRAMATICALLY improved over the equivalent times for the version 6 and even Acrobat versions all the way back to at least 4. Nasty hacks such as manually or programmatically moving plug-ins to improve launch time are now actually counterproductive. Reader and Acrobat actually loads only the components that it actually needs to display the first document and loads other components as needed. The goal of being able launch a fully-configured Acrobat 7 under 5 seconds on a typical system has been met! (3) The simple but fast "find" function from Acrobat 5 and earlier is back in Acrobat 7 and Reader 7 addition to the more advanced "search" function that was added in Acrobat 6. Chose what is appropriate for the task at hand. (4) Regardless of whether you are currently using only the Distiller bundled with FrameMaker or would be upgrading from a previous version of Acrobat, Acrobat 7 Pro is the only version of Acrobat that makes sense for the needs of typical FrameMaker users. Acrobat 7 Standard is really a "lite" version. (5) Acrobat 7 Pro's Distiller provides the capability to properly convert FrameMaker's RGB PostScript into CMYK PDF at distillation time via joboptions without the need of any third party programs or Acrobat post-processing plug-ins. (Still no simple way to handle spot color without such Acrobat post-processing plug-ins such as Pitstop!) You can even produce a valid PDF/X-1a file directly from FrameMaker via the "save as PDF" feature!! (6) The awkward link feature in Acrobat 6 was fixed to work as well or better than in Acrobat 5. (7) Acrobat 7 Pro has a tool for fixing hairline problems (you know all those stupid 1 pixel wide lines from AutoCAD et.al.) in PDF files. (8) Acrobat 7 Pro has a tool to convert existing PDF files (either current page, range of pages, or whole document) to CMYK, RGB or even grayscale using ICC color management (i.e., the equivalent of the best conversions that you can do in Photoshop). (9) The cropping tool is significantly improved. (10) You also have a built-in transparency flattener, a watermarker, a printing marks generator, and a fairly sophisticated n-up printing feature (NOT general imposition such as you would get with Quite Imposing) in Acrobat 7 Pro. (11) The Acrobat 7 Pro preflighting capability has been improved including support for PDF/X-Plus (the standards of the Ghent PDF Workgroup of which Adobe is now a member). (12) For those of you who need to deal with content originating in Microsoft Office, the PDFMaker facility can now handle Office transparency and clipped images in a manner that yields PDF files that are much more reasonable either for standalone use and/or for placement inside of FrameMaker documents (you know, all those PowerPoint slides you need to shove into FrameMaker documents as "figures"). (13) Acrobat 7 (not Adobe Reader) is strictly a Windows 2000, Windows XP, and MacOS X product. Resource requirements (other than disk space for installation) are comparable to Acrobat 6. (14) Very many (but not all) bugs and limitations seen in Acrobat 6 have been fixed, especially in terms of opening, displaying, and printing gnarly, somewhat non-kosher PDF files from non-Adobe sources. :-) (15) Acrobat 7 Pro does NOT come with Ginzu knifes, doesn't make mounds of coleslaw, and you cannot buy it on a plan with just 3 EZ payments! For what it is worth, I have been using pre-release builds of Acrobat 7 Pro for several months now while assisting the Acrobat development and QE team in the finding and fixing of pre-release anomalies ("all for one, and euphemism!") and for ALL my Acrobat/PDF use for the last three weeks. I have been fairly well impressed by its features, performance, general stability, and quality -- and I am not an "easy" customer to please (they shudder every time I appear on the 15th or 16th floor of Adobe's West Tower in San Jose worrying about what I found NOW to complain about!). I am sorry if this tome has made me seem like a marketing shill, but the fact is that Adobe's Acrobat engineering team really did listen to much feedback from end users like yourselves and produced a new release that is at least worth your consideration. - Dov ** To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxx ** ** with "unsubscribe framers" (no quotes) in the body. **