The main function of Adobe Acrobat is creating, viewing, and editing PDF documents. It can import popular document and image formats and save them as PDF. It is also possible to import a scanner's output, a website, or the contents of the Windows clipboard.
Because of the nature of the PDF, however, once a PDF document is created, its natural organization and flow cannot be meaningfully modified. In other words, Adobe Acrobat is able to modify the contents of paragraphs and images, but doing so does not repaginate the whole document to accommodate for a longer or shorter document. Acrobat can crop PDF pages, change their order, manipulate hyperlinks, digitally sign a PDF file, add comments, redact certain parts of the PDF file, and ensure its adherence to such standards as PDF/A.
Adobe Acrobat was launched in 1993 and had to compete with other products and proprietary formats that aimed to create digital documents:
Adobe has renamed the Acrobat products several times, in addition to merging, splitting and discontinuing them. Initially, the offered products were called Acrobat Reader, Acrobat Exchange and Acrobat Distiller. "Acrobat Exchange" soon became "Acrobat". Over time, "Acrobat Reader" became "Reader". Between versions 3 and 5, Acrobat did not have several editions.[clarification needed] In 1999, the Acrobat.com service came to being and introduced several web services whose names started with "Acrobat", but eventually, "Acrobat.com" was downgraded from the name of the family of services, to that of one of those services.
Unlike most other Adobe products, such as members of Adobe Creative Suite family, the Acrobat products do not have icons that display two letters on a colored rectangle.
In April 2015, Adobe introduced the "Document Cloud" branding (alongside its Creative Cloud) to signify its adoption of the cloud storage and the software as a service model. Programs under this branding received a "DC" suffix. In addition, "Reader" was renamed back to "Acrobat Reader". Following the introduction of Document Cloud, Acrobat.com was discontinued as their features were integrated into the desktop programs and mobile apps.
The GUI had major changes with the introduction of Acrobat DC in 2015, which supports Windows 7 and later, and OS X 10.9 and later. Version numbers are now identified by the last two digits of the year of major release, and the month and year is specified; the previous version was 12, but examples of the DC (Document Cloud) Acrobat product family versions are DC June 2016, version 15.016.20045, released 2 June 2016 and DC Classic January 2016, version 15.006.30119, released 12 January 2016. From DC 2015 the Acrobat family is available in two tracks, the original track, now named Classic, and the Continuous track. Updates for the Classic track are released quarterly, and do not include new features, whereas updates for the Continuous track are issued more frequently, and implemented silently and automatically.
The last pre-DC version, Acrobat XI, was updated to 11.0.23 version (and this was the final release) on November 14, 2017, support for which had ended a month earlier on October 15, 2017. In September 2020, Adobe released a feature to make documents easier to read on phones called "Liquid Mode" using its Sensei AI.
Acrobat Pro is the professional full version of Acrobat developed by Adobe Inc. to edit, create, manipulate, print and manage files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for Windows and macOS users only.
Acrobat Standard is the standard full version of Acrobat developed by Adobe Inc. to edit, create, manipulate, print and manage files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for Windows users only.
Acrobat Elements was a very basic version of the Acrobat family that was released by Adobe Systems. Its key feature advantage over the free Acrobat Reader was the ability to create reliable PDF files from Microsoft Office applications.
Acrobat InProduction is a pre-press tools suite for Acrobat released by Adobe in 2000 to handle color separation and pre-flighting of PDF files for printing.
Acrobat Messenger is a document utility for Acrobat users that was released by Adobe Systems in 2000 to convert paper documents into PDF files that can be e-mailed, faxed, or shared online.
Acrobat Reader Touch is a free PDF document viewer developed and released on December 11, 2012, by Adobe Systems for the Windows Touch user interface.
Send & Track (formerly SendNow and Send) was a service that lets you send files as links, track files you send to specific individuals, and get confirmation receipts when others view your file. It was completely discontinued as of July 11, 2018.
Hidden helper toolsEdit
Acrobat Synchronizer is a tool installed along with Acrobat versions. While running in the background, it maintains the accuracy of Acrobat files imported to Acrobat.
RdrCEF (also known as Adobe Reader Cloud Extension Feature) is a tool bundled with Acrobat that runs a process that handles cloud connectivity features.
Supported file formatsEdit
The table below contains some of the supported file formats that can be opened or accessed in Adobe Acrobat.
Adobe Acrobat is available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. Arabic and Hebrew versions are available from WinSoft International,Adobe Systems' internationalization and localization partner.
Before Adobe Acrobat DC, separate Arabic and Hebrew versions were developed specifically for these languages, which are normally written right-to-left. These versions include special TouchUp properties to manage digits, ligatures option and paragraph direction in right-to-left Middle Eastern scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, as well as standard left-to-right Indian scripts such as Devanagari and Gujarati. The Web Capture feature can convert single web pages or entire web sites into PDF files, while preserving the content's original text encoding. Acrobat can also copy Arabic and Hebrew text to the system clipboard in its original encoding; if the target application is also compatible with the text encoding, then the text will appear in the correct script.
A comprehensive list of security bulletins for most Adobe products and related versions is published on their Security bulletins and advisories page and in other related venues. In particular, the detailed history of security updates for all versions of Adobe Acrobat has been made public.
September 2006 warningEdit
February 2009 warningEdit
February 2013 warningEdit
Adobe has identified critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions. These vulnerabilities could cause the application to crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There have been reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited to trick Windows users into clicking on a malicious PDF file delivered in an email message. Adobe recommended users update their product installations.
January 2016 warningEdit
Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Acrobat and Reader for Windows and Macintosh. These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.
^"Adobe - Security Bulletins: APSB13-15 - Security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 2015-11-26. Release date: May 14, 2013; Last updated: August 8, 2013; Vulnerability identifier: APSB13-15
^"Security Advisory for Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Acrobat". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 2018-04-19. Release date: October 28, 2010; Last updated: November 16, 2010; Vulnerability identifier: APSA10-05
^"Update available for vulnerabilities in versions 7.0.8 and earlier of Adobe Reader and Acrobat". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 2018-05-21. Release date: January 9, 2007; Last updated: January 16, 2007; Vulnerability identifier: APSB07-01
^"Acrobat family - Product comparison". 2003-04-07. Archived from the original on 2003-04-07. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
^"What is Adobe Acrobat Synchronizer? | Techwalla".
^"RdrCEF.exe Windows process - What is it?". www.file.net. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
^"Adobe Acrobat DC 2019 Overview and Supported File Types". fileinfo.com. Retrieved 2021-04-21.
^"Adobe Acrobat Professional software – Communicate and collaborate with the essential PDF solution, enhanced features for Central and East European and Middle Eastern users". Winsoft-international.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
^Naraine, Ryan (15 September 2006). "Hacker Discovers Adobe PDF Back Doors". eWeek. Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings Inc. Retrieved 5 August 2011. David Kierznowski, a penetration testing expert specializing in Web application testing, has released proof-of-concept code and rigged PDF files to demonstrate how the Adobe Reader program could be used to initiate attacks without any user action.[permanent dead link]
^"Security Updates available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9 and earlier". adobe.com. Adobe Systems. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
^"Vulnerability Note VU#905281". US-CERT. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009.