Adobe’s PDF format has become the universal standard for exchanging business files. Here are some things you might not know.

  • Acrobat 7.0 is virtually identical to Acrobat 6.0. There is one difference, but it is a critical one: Acrobat 7.0 opens like lightning. Click on the icon and bang! the program is onscreen. Almost everyone has spent too many hours watching the Acrobat 6.0 logo remain interminably onscreen while the program loads; you understand how important this is. It’s true for the Reader as well as the full versions of Acrobat.
  • For that reason, if you’re using Acrobat Reader 6.0, click on Help / Check for updates now and make your way to the current version of Reader 7.0. You’ll have to run the update repeatedly, you may have to close and restart Reader when prompted, you might not want to “schedule automatic updates” (just one more background service to slow down the computer), and you should keep an eye out to remove the Yahoo Toolbar that’s automatically installed if you’re not watching.
  • Adobe created Acrobat Elements last year. It’s a slim version of Acrobat licensed cheaply to big companies; currently the minimum sale is 100 licenses. It creates PDFs with a minimum of fuss, including access to security features; many people don’t need the additional features of the expensive Standard or Professional editions. But you can’t buy Acrobat Elements in the stores.
  • Dell purchased a volume license for Acrobat Elements 6.0 and started offering it on some new desktop computers for somewhere between twenty and forty dollars. It’s a great deal! If you can get your hands on the CD that ships with that new Dell computer, there’s no license check to prevent you from installing it on another computer.
  • But it would be wrong.
  • Adobe has now released Acrobat Elements 7.0, but apparently Dell hasn’t upgraded its license; as of today, Dell is still offering Acrobat Elements 6.0.
  • Last thing: please practice with your scanner so you don’t e-mail 10 and 20Mb PDF files. They don’t have to be that size and big file attachments are killing e-mail systems left and right.