Will Acrobat Continue to Be too Bloated
We're slowly, but surely starting to think about Acrobat 7. Within the next six to 12 months one could expect a new version of Acrobat to come out. Or are we talking about new versions?
And we still want more. We want more XML support, more options to export editable page elements, more editing functions, you name it. And I am sure the Adobe engineers are already working hard on yet more features.
To some extent, this is a predictable situation for a mature product like Acrobat, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this summer. But unlike similarly mature products, such as Photoshop or Illustrator, Acrobat does very different things for very different people.
It enables creative professionals to generate 'print-safe' PDF files; it enables print service providers to accept these files and pass them through a PDF-based prepress workflow. But Acrobat is also a viewing, printing and document-collaboration tool in office environments. And, it's a front-end for enterprise data systems, either to collect data from people filling out PDF forms, or to publish documents with dynamic data in PDF files created on the fly. The list goes on and on, with the newest addition being a viewing application for layered AutoCAD files, thus extending Acrobat's reach into the engineering market.
In essence, all of this functionality is accessible in a single application. With Acrobat 6, Adobe split the application into four: Acrobat Professional, Acrobat Standard, Acrobat Elements and Adobe Reader. However, the division into four applications appears to be based on price-segmentation alone; Standard, Elements and Reader are all subsets of Acrobat Professional—the version that most of us (should) have.