Adobe modernizes the PDF with updates to Acrobat, Adobe Scan

PDFs are the universal language for documents and Adobe is working to modernize the standard format with new tools. On Monday, October 1, Adobe launched a new Adobe Acrobat DC, opening up more possibilities for the PDF format with expanded tools and artificial intelligence. Along with changes to the subscription software Acrobat DC, the update also brings new tools to the free Adobe Acrobat Reader app and Adobe Scan.

Adobe says the changes to modernize the PDF are based directly on user feedback. Inside Adobe Acrobat Reader, users can now use the free app to fill out forms, sign documents and review PDFs without leaving the app. The update adds Adobe Sign directly into Acrobat Reader. 

Using Adobe Sensei, the company’s artificial intelligence, the app will now also recognize blanks in a form. Previously, the user would have to draw a box around where to place the text. With the update, users can tap on the blanks and type, simplifying the process.

The update also brings more PDF editing tools to tablets. The option is part of the paid option for Acrobat Reader and is only available for tablets.

Acrobat DC, which is part of the Document Cloud subscription as well as the all-apps subscription, can now easily sync across devices, get team feedback and edit PDFs. Users complained that the process of reviewing a PDF and suggesting changes as a team was tedious, so Adobe is introducing new share and review tools. Similar to making comments inside a document software, the new review tools in Acrobat DC allows users to add comments to a specific spot in the PDF. Other users can then respond to the tags. Mentions with the “@“ tag will also notify a specific user about the comment. While the subscription is required to initiate the editing process, others can review the PDF and make comments with just a web browser.

The home view across Acrobat DC for desktop, Acrobat Reader for mobile and the browser-based Adobe Document Cloud are now almost identical. The change allows signed-in users to continue working with one PDF on a different device.

Adobe Scan also sees the option to scan multiple business cards at once. The update allows the cards to be imported as separate contacts, expanding the earlier update adding the option for single business cards. The update also brings additional language support to Adobe Scan.

The updates are now available. Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Scan are available as free downloads with optional in-app purchases. Acrobat DC requires a subscription.

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