adobe1[1] Adobe has released the newest version of its Acrobat system, Acrobat X. The release comes just a few weeks after Acrobat released version 9.4 to patch critical security flaws.

The press release is full of claims that it provides better security and efficiency and enables better collaboration. I have little doubt that most ordinary users will probably never touch even a tenth of these new features, and probably won’t notice the difference in general.

Christopher Dawson at ZDNet reports on one feature he finds particularly interesting, however—it simplifies the process by which students can build digital portfolios of their works. Users can not only convert multiple documents in different formats into a single PDF, but can even incorporate files in their native formats.

He also points out that one of the features it brings is something that various other e-book platforms have had for a while—the ability to annotate PDFs, and even share the annotations with others.

If it sounds like I’m gushing, well, I am. Educators spend inordinate amounts of time trying to bring a variety of documents together in a usable form for students. Students, on the other hand, often lack the tools or wherewithal to assemble a meaningful portfolio. And students with special needs often end up without adequate supporting documentation to demonstrate that they have met state standards because portfolio management is so difficult. Acrobat X literally solves all of these problems in a smooth, polished package. Add in features ranging from document automation to SharePoint integration and you have a really powerful tool that just happens to fit the education vertical to a T.

While this certainly does sound like a big step forward, especially for uses in education, I still catch myself wondering whether Acrobat X is secretly the long lost brother of Speed Acrobat…


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail