• Price: 395 . 135 . 245 . 79

  • Company: Adobe

  • Pros: Pro version of Adobe’s primary PDF creator can now merge multiple documents into packages, and offers self-correction and better collaboration.

  • Cons: The upgrade price is expensive. Preflighting and JDF menus are still complex and need careful reading of the help files.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 7 out of 10 We rate this 7 out of 10

Adobe Acrobat is not the kind of product that sets the designer’s pulse racing. However, an upgrade that promises improved preflighting and automatic fixing of some PDF problems can only enhance your working life.

Admittedly, the Standard version is uninspiring – it’s the Professional edition that offers the meat of the upgrade. The preflighting improvements alone would cost about £100 if you bought the functionality in plug-in form, but at £135 plus VAT, the version 8 upgrade is pricey.

Acrobat 8 is the first Creative Suite application to be run natively on Intel-based Macs. It’s included in Adobe’s Creative Suite 2.3 bundle too.

 border=0 /><BR></div>
</p>
<p>
All versions supply two components: Distiller, which creates PDFs through the print menu; and the main Acrobat application, which can add security, bookmarks, and interactivity to PDF files. While you could merge PDF files before, Acrobat 8 can create a package that keeps multiple PDFs as separate documents – and it can hold TIFs, JPGs and MS Office native files. 
</p>
<p>
Acrobat 8 boasts a redesigned user interface and a new Wizard-style opening window that can take you to the main features. There’s a new PDF 1.7 file format, but older versions can be written.
</p>
<p>
The Professional edition’s extra production-oriented tools include an improved preflight self-checking tool that can automatically fix some common problems as they are detected. Acrobat supplies pre-defined ‘fixup’ correction tools – the choice of whether or not to apply them can be saved into the preflight profile script. 
</p>
<p>
<b>Standard issue</b>
</p>
<p>
Fixups inside preflight profiles can now be specified as part of the JDF (Job Definition Format) job ticket, too. These document specification files can be written by Acrobat Pro and supplied to other users to suit the print process.
</p>
<p>
Preflighting can be used to validate the industry-standard PDF/X files required by many printers and publishers – Acrobat 8 can write the new PDF/X-4 proposed standard as well as the established X-1 and X-3 standards.
</p>
<p>
However, both are tricky to set up, and most designers will want to use JDF files and preflighting settings created by production professionals such as printers.
</p>
<p>
Some of Acrobat 8’s additions – such as integration with Adobe’s Connect collaboration system for businesses – will appeal to few designers, but most will welcome the extra preflighting and production tools. However, £135 just for these is too much in our minds.
</p>
</div>
</section>
<footer>
<style>
#fbSendToAFriendFormContainer{top:0}
</style>
<div class="shareLinks">
<p>Share this</p>
<div class="socialIcon facebook">
<div data-gd-plugin="facebook-public-share"></div>
</div>
<div class="socialIcon twitter">
<div data-gd-plugin="twitter-public-share" data-gd-tw-text="Acrobat 8 Professional review @digital_arts" data-gd-tw-url="http://digitalartsonline.co.uk/reviews/creative-software/acrobat-8-professional/"></div>
</div>
<div class="socialIcon googlePlus">
<div data-gd-plugin="google-plus-one-public-share"></div>
</div>
<div class="socialIcon emailButton">
<img src="http://cdn2.digitalartsonline.co.uk/graphics/icons/emailShare.png" alt="send to a friend" style="margin-top: 3px" />
</div>
<div style="clear: both"></div>
</div>
<div class="sendToFriendFormContainer">
<div id="fbSendToAFriendFormContainer" class="formContainer smallForm">
<fieldset class="registrationFormFieldSet formContainer smallForm">
<div class="closeSendToFriend">X</div>
<a href="#topoffbSendToAFriendForm" name="topoffbSendToAFriendForm" id="topoffbSendToAFriendForm" class="topOfFormPlacer"><!-- x --></a>
<form name="fbSendToAFriendForm" id="fbSendToAFriendFormID" action="" method="post" class="genericForm ajaxForm" enctype="multipart/form-data">
<h4>Email this to a friend</h4>
<div id="sendToAFriendErrorMessage"><!-- x --></div>
<div id="recipientEmailFormFieldContainer" class="textformFieldContainer formFieldContainer mandatory">
<span class="inputWrapper">
<input type="text" name="recipientEmail" id="recipientEmailFieldID" class="formtext " value="Friend
Characters remaining: 335