The bar has been raised over the past several years in software aimed at PDF creation, editing and management with companies like Nuance taking aim at Adobe and staking a claim to this segment.
But Adobe has continued to aggressively move forward and, with Acrobat X Pro for Mac, it has delivered a solid and elegant application that fits in nicely with advances made on Mac OS X.
In evaluating Acrobat X Pro for Mac, we were interested in three issues in particular:
• Did the software have a footprint that made installation on a Mac with a small amount of on-board storage feasible and easy?
• Were there advances over previous versions of Acrobat Pro that make this a compelling application?
• Does pricing make this software attractive or prohibitive?
Acrobat Pro X for Mac requires 1.2 GB of hard drive space, which is about one-third the requirement for Windows systems. This is reasonable, and even with 64 GB of hard drive space on some newer MacBook Air machines is not a deal-breaker in and of itself. It’s not a fat piece of software, and Acrobat X Pro installed within a few minutes.
But just because it’s easy to install and takes up no more than a reasonable amount of drive space, that doesn’t mean it’s worth it. Looking at some of the new features, we wanted to know how much more efficiency Acrobat X Pro brings to the table and how much more potential to improve key enterprise needs including document management, collaboration and efficiency. In particular, we liked the new “Action Wizard” that is a key feature in this application. Not only is it possible to short-cut through the application to key features including “Publish Sensitive Documents” and “Archive Paper Documents,” it allows one to create their own action short cuts.
Simply put, the ability to customize action short cuts, including creating or removing watermarks, cropping, editing and using text-recognition (OCR) each have the ability to cut minutes off of even the simplest of tasks. (Creating a wizard action to add a watermark to a document takes 1-to-2 minutes, but can save a couple of minutes each time this action is taken. We found this to be a great way to build efficiency in document creation and customization.)
Acrobat X Pro for Mac also provides a neat feature: One-button screen capturing into PDFs. For collaboration of, say, application development or content creation, this is a very effective and welcome feature.
Another area of efficiency involves Acrobat X Pro’s way of touching the cloud. Specifically, Adobe has integrated a new feature, called SendNow, into Acrobat X Pro -- which allows for two-button e-mailing of documents, or online document sharing, right from the application’s console. This is a neat integration of an online service with content creation and another efficiency added to the Acrobat Pro series.
This leads us to our third question: Is it cost-effective or cost-prohibitive?
Adobe has priced Acrobat X Pro at $449, or $199 as an upgrade. In this new software era where a plentiful array of “apps” are free or cheap, this may be viewed by many as expensive. But where content creation, collaboration, document management or document flexibility are required, Acrobat Pro X cuts through legacy inefficiencies and brings value to the table. We’ve liked this software on Windows for a number of years but the new version, on Mac OS X, just works well.
The CRN Test Center highly recommends Adobe Acrobat X Pro for Mac.