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Adobe announces Document Cloud for managing and signing PDF files anywhere

Over the years, Adobe has made a habit of taking loosely related software and bundling it together, as it did with Creative Cloud. Now the company is taking a similar approach with PDF and document-signing tools in its new Document Cloud service.

Adobe has found that many of its customers are still forced to print documents in order to sign them, so one of the goals of Document Cloud is to “address the waste and inefficiency associated with document processes” according to the press release the company issued earlier today. This means tying its electonic document signing solution EchoSign — now branded as eSign Services — together with document-management and control services as well as software for both computers and mobile devices.

Part of this includes a new version of Adobe’s PDF powerhouse Acrobat, now branded as Acrobat DC. New features include a touch-enabled interface and “Photoshop imaging magic” that allows any paper document to be imported into a digital format. The interface will remain consistent across phones, tablets, and PCs, making for a more standardized user experience than what is currently in place.

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While Acrobat DC handles editing documents, eSign Services will handle securely signing them. This close integration is a clear attempt at taking business back from DocuSign, which has become the de facto standard for electronically signing PDFs. Those with heavily PDF-based workflows will also appreciate Send & Track, which intelligently tracks documents, allowing users to keep track of who has opened a document and when.

As with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the new Document Cloud service is subscription-based, though is significantly cheaper at $15 a month. For those who want to edit PDFs, but don’t need the rest of the Document Cloud service, Acrobat DC will also be available as “a perpetual license” after release. Both the service and the new software are expected to become available within 30 days.