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Fathoming the Top Ten Features of Acrobat 5

If you're looking for a quick rundown of the best features in Acrobat 5, and perhaps a reason to upgrade, you need to look no further. These ten things about Acrobat 5 warrant their places among the "best of the best."

Paper Capture plug-in

Acrobat 5 not only enables you to scan in paper documents for saving as PDF files, but also lets you convert the text scanned as a graphic into fully searchable and editable text by installing the Paper Capture plug-in. For those of you using Acrobat 5 for Windows, you need to download this Adobe plug-in from the Adobe Web site.

Web Capture plug-in

The Web Capture feature in Acrobat 5 lets you download entire Web sites (or only as many pages of the sites as you want) and save them as PDF files. Web pages saved as PDF files for offline viewing with Acrobat or Acrobat Reader retain all of their Web links.

Form creation and fill in

Acrobat 5 makes it easy to create your own electronic forms that users can fill in either with Acrobat or Acrobat 5. You can add a variety of different interactive fields and controls to the forms you create: text fields, combo boxes, check boxes, and radio buttons, along with buttons for submitting the form data by saving the information in a special form file that can be used with popular spreadsheet and database software.

Review comments

Acrobat 5 offers you a wide variety of commenting features that make it easy for a group of users to review copies of the same PDF document and give you their suggestions and corrections. The best thing about the Commenting features in Acrobat is how painless the program makes the process of collecting, collating, and summarizing all the comments made by individual members of the group into the original PDF document.

Tagged PDF files

Acrobat 5 introduces tagged PDF files as the foundation of its new accessibility features designed to greatly enhance the online reading experience for users with visual disabilities. A tagged PDF file saves information about each structural element used in the PDF document as well as information about its reading order. Tagged PDF documents support the use of special screen-reading Windows software, the new Acrobat Reader for mobile devices (Palm OS and Pocket PC), and the new Reflow text feature in Acrobat 5 and Acrobat Reader 5 that reflows the document text to fit the left and right page margins no matter how much you increase the magnification.

PDF Maker 5.0 for Microsoft Office (Windows only)

This Microsoft Office macro for Office 2000 and Office XP for Windows lets you convert any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document to PDF using either the PDFMaker toolbar or Acrobat pull-down menu that it adds to their applications. PDFMaker 5.0 not only makes PDF file conversion as easy as clicking the Convert to Adobe PDF button, but also enables you to completely customize distilling settings, convert all Word document styles into PDF document bookmarks, retain all hyperlinks, and create tagged PDF files.

Make Accessible plug-in (Windows only)

The Make Accessible plug-in enables you to automatically and effortlessly convert any of your unstructured, non-tagged PDF files into tagged PDF files.

Digital signatures and document encryption

Acrobat 5 introduces Adobe Self-Sign Security, an encryption feature that enables you to protect your PDF files from being opened and edited by unauthorized users and enables you to digitally sign your PDF documents with a signature that other users can verify as yours.

Extracting PDF content

Acrobat 5 makes it easy to extract text and graphics saved in any PDF document so that you can reuse them in other application software. You can extract specific sections of text and specific graphics through the operating system's Clipboard feature or save the entire file in a simple text, Rich Text Format (RTF), or even an HTML text file format.

Cataloging PDF document collection

Acrobat 5 makes it possible to do fast searching across a whole group of PDF files by organizing them into a PDF document collection, which you then index. By cataloging your PDF files, you ensure that you can retain access to valuable information in the files that you archive.

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