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The user interface in Acrobat XI is consistent with that of Acrobat X; it still presents all PDF authoring and editing tools on the right-hand side of its creator window. In a welcome change, font formatting controls are now part of the top-level toolbar rather than being buried. When moving screen objects, guides pop up right on screen to aid with alignment. When clicking on an image, its editing tools pop up. The new version also now retains image position and scaling when replacing one image with another. This will be a huge time-saver when updating old forms or creating new ones from old.
A new "Export to PowerPoint" feature doesn’t require Office to be present to perform the conversion. When opening a converted PDF, it appears as the original but is editable within PowerPoint; vector graphics are converted to PowerPoint shapes and work just like any other PowerPoint object. Adobe's conversion algorithm even attempts to recreate the master slide layout, and it did so quite well in the demo. PDF files also can be saved to Excel and Word formats.
Adding a new touch to Acrobat XI, the tool now detects tablets and other mobile device types and can enable touch mode, which spreads icons out for easier access and better accuracy and control. The tool also now understands and supports touch device gestures such as flip-to-scroll and pinch-to-zoom. And while Acrobat XI doesn't run natively on non-Windows tablets, the Adobe solution invokes the Citrix Receiver to provide a conduit to the app running on a Xen server. It's also compatible with Microsoft's App-V solution. "For the bring-your-own-device [trend], we have a way to let you run Acrobat on those devices,” said Adobe's Grilli.
Acrobat XI is scheduled to begin shipping direct and through authorized Adobe resellers next month starting at $299; upgrades start at $139.
PUBLISHED OCT. 1, 2012