When to Use Acrobat CS5 PDF Files - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Although Acrobat is part of the Creative Suite 5, it’s not a design tool. So when does it make sense to use Adobe Acrobat PDF files?

Here are some examples:

  • When you want to review a document quickly and efficiently: When documents need to be reviewed or approved, Acrobat really shines. The reviewers don’t need to have the Creative Suite software — or whatever you used to create the document. They only need a program to view PDF files, such as the free Adobe Reader or the Apple Preview application.

    Recipients can then use commenting, markup, and annotation tools to add suggestions and edits to a file. You can even combine comments from multiple reviewers into a single document and manage the review process online or via e-mail.

  • When you’ve created a document that you don’t want others to edit: Your recipients may have the same software you used to build the document, but you can keep them from editing the original file by distributing it as a PDF file. Whether you want to secure a spreadsheet from editing or an InDesign document from modification, Acrobat includes security options that allow you to protect your original content.

  • When you’ve created a presentation that includes files from different programs: By converting the documents to PDF, you can combine them into a single file. For example, you can merge PowerPoint, Excel, and InDesign files into a single PDF document. Whether you need to protect your brand by keeping documents from being edited or simply want to ease the process of sharing files, PDF makes it easy.

  • When you have a sensitive document: If you have a document containing information that you don’t want unauthorized persons viewing or you don’t want printed, you can enhance the file security with the Adobe Acrobat security tools. With the security options, you can require users to enter a password to view the file, or you can limit other features, such as the ability to print or edit the document.