Software Review: Hands on with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended: The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of High-Tech 3-D Collaboration

Putting it all Together

Assembling your portfolio is the simply a matter dragging each of your files into the provided portfolio editor, choosing a layout, personalizing it by adding a welcome message and header that can include graphics, selecting a color scheme, specifying file details and publishing it to PDF format. I did it, and it only took a few minutes - the flow is extremely intuitive.

Figure 6 – The Portfolio Editor

Once you’ve pulled together all your presentation material, which can include a variety of rich media documents, stand alone video, audio, PDF files, Web pages and more, you consolidate and share your work in a customized PDF Portfolio. The finalized portfolio is a PDF file that can be viewed by any one who has the Adobe Reader 9.

Sharing and Collaborating

Acrobat 9 Pro Extended comes with built-in capability that enables you to share your work

and collaborate with project team members around the world.

You click on the ‘Send & Collaborate Live’ menu pick to synchronize your documentview and share it with team members.

Activating this option allows you to signin to where you first inviteyour attendees via email. When they join you by clicking an email link every action you take in your PDF document, like changing pages or zooming in to a portion of a page is seen by them. And to participate, all they need is the free Adobe Reader 9.

Once attendees are signed in to the collaborative meeting they’ll also be able to on-screen chat or hook up by phone. And, as the meeting’s initiator you can also allow team members to see your desktop in real time, or turn over control to another person’s desktop.

Video: Synchronizing Document View in Acrobat 9 Pro Extended


Adobe has evidently put tons of thought and time into this product, and it shows. The melding of Flash and Acrobat have yielded a collaborative tool that has even more features and capabilities than I’ve mentioned in this short review, and it has arrived just as the need for collaborative solutions are becoming a ‘must have.’ Whether you’re trying to address team challenges in mechanical design, software development, architecture, marketing, or need to coordinate any effort you should seriously consider this cost effective tool. Adobe offers a free 30 day trial, and I’d strongly recommend that you visit their site and give it a try; it’s bound to open your eyes to new business possibilities.


By: David Heller

David Heller has written more than twelve technical and fiction books published by Addisson-Wesely, Simon-Schuster, Prentice-Hall, McGraw Hill, and more, was a technical writer and professional columnist, and has devoted the past fourteen years to the Internet business primarily focused on MCAD/CAM, Electronic Design Automation, Architectural Engineering & Construction, and Geographical Information Systems.

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Review Article
  • Dimensional Engineering Mentor December 23, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Michael'
    While the subject matter and review of Adobe 9 are interesting it would appear that Adobe 9 falls far short of Teamcenter,PLM Express, or other Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that it will need to compete with in the engineering / manufacturing sector.
    Mr. Heller is obviously impressed by fun graphics and bright colors, more so than with actual practical functional deployment of such a software within industry or across a global supplier base. This article is vague at best on the usefulness and compliance with existing standards such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Y14.41 - 2003 standards for Data Sets and Associativity.
    As stated in this article to edit the posted model one must detach the model from the .pdf format and make edits then reformat into .pdf for sharing and collaboration. While I'm a fan of the very accessable .pdf format being used to share data across a global company or through a global supplier network, this detaching and reattaching violates the tenants of the Master model philosophy. That philosophy holds that there shall be one model, source of all design and manufacturing data, visible to all, but editable by one. The article is vague as to whether or not anyone can make edits with a copy of your .pdf document and acad software (like your supplier or customer who should not have design rights) or if these edits must be made on a master model and all viewers are automatically updated. Adobe being innteroperable with NX, Catia, or PRO-E software, not just CAD models, would be real innovations for Adobe, and worthy of an article.
    The article presents Adobe 9 as another possible toy for Management and IT to be distracted with, but in the end pails in comparison with real PLM software.
    I'm sure it would be useful to a bunch of marketing or sales people who don't need to be accountable for their design data.

      6 of 9 found this review helpful.
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