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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud – A Review

Adobe launched the Acrobat Document Cloud sometime back and we are here with a review about it for you. First things first; while Acrobat continues to retain the features that you are so used to having in the older versions, it has polished these up a little bit in order to make them shine out amidst the gamut of shiny and nifty new features that have been brought in.

What’s new?

  • Working on touch enabled devices.
  • Storing and sharing files online for instant access across devices.
  • Facility to send, track and confirm delivery of important documents electronically.
  • Ability to recognize text in scans (this existed previously as well) and then preview and correct suspected errors with a side by side view.
  • Automatically fix document photos to remove backgrounds and adjust perspective.
  • Integration with MS Word for Mac to create high quality PDFs. This existed in Windows apps since quite a while now.
  • Ability to edit text and reorganize pages on the move on an iPad.
  • Ability to turn scanned paper documents into instant editable PDFs.
  • A Smart auto fill option to allow quick and seamless form filling experience across devices.

True to its name, Adobe Acrobat Document cloud offers a seamless experience working with documents across devices and people. We tested the Document to editable PDF and found that the app worked instantly and recognized form fields perfectly fine. A quick test on an image scan proved that the application was smart enough and could not be tricked easily.

Earlier versions of Acrobat suffered with the serious flaw of not being able to recognize text correctly when the document was being exported to word processing applications. This has also been fixed now and the application highlights those letter/words that it is unable to recognize thereby requesting an intervention at an earlier time. A correction done to similar looking characters is cascaded resulting in you needing to cross verify it only once.

The auto fill is another nifty feature that Adobe has borrowed from the modern day browsers. Most of us tend to have tons of redundant data that we end up typing every now and then at multiple places. Since Adobe is looking to revolutionize the way people work with documents and forms, this comes in handy by allowing you to save up your details in a centralized repository that is synched across all the devices. Acrobat recognizes intelligently the kind of data that is expected out of a field and automatically provides you with just that and no more. Eg: It recognizes well which is an email field and would provide you with only the email ids as the options there rather than every other data that you have saved.

Adobe has also improved the document correction algorithm and provides a great feature that fixes bad scans and makes them look professional. This comes in handy when the user has no good scanner and uses his mobile to click pictures and send instead of scans. The algorithm not only skews and crops the document to the right fit and angle but also removes any unnecessary background color thereby aiding the several who may use this feature.

Adobe has also gone a step further in terms of the electronic signatures by allowing end users to track and confirm delivery in real time. This would be of great use when sending across important documents like contracts for signatures since eSignatures are now considered very normal thing to do. This information is available privately to the document sender and if needed can be made public as well.

The new Acrobat is now available as Standard and Pro versions and come in multiple pricing options that would suit just about every need.

Verdict?

The new Adobe Acrobat DC is definitely a giant leap by Adobe in the right direction. The only thing that one could ask for at this moment is integration with the multiple digital lockers that are coming up so that the data can be locked away on the cloud other than Adobe’s cloud alone. Acrobat has long been considered for use only as a paid model that would provide features like forms etc to the end user. Adobe could also probably look at opening up such elemental features to regular laymen users who tend to make use of quite some forms for various purposes and not restrict it to the paid versions alone.