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An important message from System 7 Today founder Dan Palka
 Topic: Acrobat for older Macs (Page 1 of 1)
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  RacerX (Profile)
  32 MB
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:12 am
Acrobat has always been a bundle of apps. Back with Acrobat 3 you got Acrobat Exchange, Acrobat Distiller, Acrobat Catalog and Acrobat Capture. With version 4 Adobe changed the name of Acrobat Exchange to just Acrobat.

Acrobat 5 started the practice of Adobe removing features with upgrades. Acrobat 5 doesn't come with either Acrobat Catalog or Acrobat Capture. For people (like me) who have both Acrobat 4 (or 3) and 5, the Catalog and Capture components can be added back into Acrobat 5.

Capture is a very important feature of Acrobat for me as I don't have any other OCR application. The version of Capture in both Acrobat 3 and 4 are the same (Adobe stopped work on the Mac version of the Capture Server after Acrobat 3 but continued to push the Windows version forward into an Enterprise ready product).

While Adobe did make Acrobat 5.0.5 (the main app) Mac OS X native, other parts were left out until the release of Acrobat 6... where Adobe divided the app into two applications; Acrobat 6 Standard and Acrobat 6 Professional. The upgrade path from Acrobat 5 to Acrobat 6 Standard isn't really an upgrade due to the loss of features.

Acrobat 4 is a great product and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs professional control over their PDF creations.

Acrobat 5 adds some nice features, but requires Mac OS 8.5 or later and is missing many other features. If you already own Acrobat 4, then you can move the missing parts to Acrobat 5 and it is an okay upgrade... but if you are starting out with no previous version of Acrobat, Acrobat 4 is your best choice.

With all these versions of Acrobat you can create PDF documents, modify those documents, add interactivity in the way of internal and external links, multimedia elements such as QuickTime movies, and forum fields.

Also Acrobat can be used for giving presentations. Rather than using Power Point, I use tools like Illustrator to make slides and then assemble them in Acrobat. I can then set up Acrobat (or Acrobat Reader) to display in full screen mode and I can set the type of transitions I want. And as mentioned above, I can add QuickTime content to a slide. And because this is all done as PDF documents, a presentations created with Acrobat in System 7 should have no problems working with later versions of Acrobat Reader (or Adobe Reader) on any other platform (Mac, Windows or Unix).
  dpaanlka (Profile)
  1024 MB
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:37 am
Goodness, thank you for that detailed description of what exactly the Acrobat family does. All I ever knew previous to this, was that you needed the full version of Acrobat to create PDF files. I now want to find a full version of the Acrobat 4 suite. I have Acrobat CS on my OS X machine but never really use it since eveyrything in OS X can make PDFs.

BTW, the Apple Fax software for the PowerBook Duo has an OCR component that works quite nicely as far as I can tell (I used it a few times).
  RacerX (Profile)
  32 MB
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:20 am
dpaanlka wrote:

BTW, the Apple Fax software for the PowerBook Duo has an OCR component that works quite nicely as far as I can tell (I used it a few times).
I'll have to check that out.

One of the features of Capture I like is that it is designed for archiving. What it does is after the OCR is done it'll place the original image back over the text version of the document. This means that the final PDF allows for searching and grabbing text while still letting you grab images or print out duplicates of the original scanned document.

What Adobe replaced it with is a web based service where you connect to a capture server at Adobe for doing the conversion. It works, but I really don't like being dependent on an outside source for things (I might not always be on the internet when I need this ability).

Considering what you get, the price of Acrobat 4 on ebay isn't that bad. Plus it always helps to get additional books on the subject. I have 5 books on Acrobat (covering versions 3, 4 and 5) including one that specializes on how to create Acrobat forms.

I've been a big fan of PDF ever since I worked in legal document imaging back in the late 90s. I felt that the use of Group 4 (multipage) TIFF documents which required proprietary software to access was a poor choice when compared to the features Acrobat could provide. This was right at the time that Adobe released the first large scale Acrobat Capture solution. Sadly that software wasn't compatible with our (pretty old) sheet-feeding scanners.

But yeah, anyone wanting to make sure that work you do with in System 7 plays not only nicely with the rest of the world, but play spectacularly on other systems will want to take advantage of what Acrobat 4 provides. And a very good companion to Acrobat is Illustrator (as PDF is one of Illustrator's native file formats).

I tend to learn faster by watching more than reading when it comes to software... so this page may be helpful to anyone wanting to see more of what Acrobat can do. It stops short of giving you a ton of help (because they want you to buy the CD of videos), but it is a great demo of some of the lesser known features of Acrobat (they also have pages on Acrobat 5, Acrobat 6* and Acrobat 7 for those of you with the newer versions).

* I think that Acrobat 6 was the version bundled with the original Creative Suite Premium.
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