Adobe has made the final version of its Acrobat Reader software for the Palm OS handheld platform available for download from its Web site. Adobe released a beta version of the PDF (Portable Document Format) file reader for Palm OS in April. With the new version of the Acrobat Reader, users can view text and images in the PDF file format on PDAs (personal digital assistants) that run the Palm OS, including devices made by Palm, Handspring, and Sony. The new Acrobat Reader adapts PDF files for viewing on a small screen, Adobe said. Acrobat Reader for Palm OS comprises two components: a desktop application which runs on the Windows platform, used for preparing PDF files for the Palm OS and synchronizing them with the user's handheld device, and a reader which runs on the handheld device, designed to work well on small-screen devices. The desktop application runs on Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows ME and Windows 2000. Users must have Palm Desktop 3.0.1 or higher, or devices with Palm OS 3.1 or higher, Adobe said. Support for creation and transfer of PDFs from computers running Mac OS is planned in future versions of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, although Adobe would not say when these would be available. Tuesday's release offers users of Palm OS-based handheld devices something the Palm platform previously lacked: a rival to Microsoft's Reader software, installed on devices using its Pocket PC platform. Electronic books and manuals are commonly distributed in the two rival formats.