|Initial release||June 15, 1993|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry Tablet OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone|
The family comprises Acrobat Reader (formerly Reader), Acrobat (formerly Exchange) and Acrobat.com. The basic Acrobat Reader, available for several desktop and mobile platforms, is freeware; it supports viewing, printing and annotating of PDF files. Additional, "Premium", services are available for reader on paid subscription. The commercial proprietary Acrobat, available for Microsoft Windows and macOS only, can also create, edit, convert, digitally sign, encrypt, export and publish PDF files. Acrobat.com complements the family with a variety of enterprise content management and file hosting services.
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 came to being in 1993 and had to compete with other products and proprietary formats that aimed to create digital documents:
- Common Ground from No Hands Software Inc.
- Envoy from WordPerfect Corporation
- Folio Views from NextPage
- Replica from Farallon Computing
- WorldView from Interleaf
- DjVu from AT&T Laboratories
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.
By April 1, 2015, the Acrobat family consisted of:
- Acrobat XI Pro (for Windows and macOS)
- Acrobat XI Standard (for Windows only)
- Reader XI (for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS)
- FormsCentral (web service with desktop client)
- EchoSign (web service)
- Acrobat.com (web service)
- PDF Pack (web service)
- Send (web service)
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. Apps 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 and mobile apps.
The UI 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.
Adobe Acrobat family products
- Acrobat.com is the web 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 users with a web browser and an Adobe ID only.
- Acrobat Distiller is a software application for converting documents from PostScript format to Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format), the native format of the Adobe Acrobat family of products.
- 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 Reader is the freeware version of Acrobat developed by Adobe Inc. to view, create, fill, print and format files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android 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.
- Document Cloud is part of the Acrobat family developed by Adobe Inc. to edit, create, save online, print and format files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for users with a web browser and an Adobe ID only.
- Fill & Sign is part of the Acrobat family developed by Adobe Inc. to fill, sign, and manage files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android users only.
- Scan is part of the Acrobat family developed by Adobe Inc. to scan, crop, and manage files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for iOS and Android users only.
- Sign (formerly EchoSign and eSign) is part of the Acrobat family developed by Adobe Inc. to fill, sign, and manage files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It is currently available for iOS and Android users only.
- Acrobat Approval allows users to deploy electronic forms based on the Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).
- Acrobat Business Tools is a discontinued component of the Acrobat family that was distributed by Adobe Systems with collaboration and document review features.
- Acrobat Capture is a document processing utility for Windows from Adobe Systems that converts a scan of any paper document into a PDF file with selectable text through OCR technology.
- Acrobat Distiller Server is a discontinued server-based utility that was developed by Adobe Systems to perform centralized high-volume conversion of PostScript documents to PDF formats for workgroups.
- Acrobat eBook Reader is a PDF-based e-book reader from Adobe Systems. Features present in Acrobat eBook Reader later appeared in Digital Editions.
- 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.
- FormsCentral was a web form filling server for users with Windows, macOS, or a web browser and an Adobe ID only. It was discontinued on July 28, 2015 and was replaced by Experience Manager Forms.
- 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.
Supported file formats
The table below contains some of the supported file formats that can be opened or accessed in Adobe Acrobat.
|Acrobat Data File||ACRODATA|
|Acrobat Forms Data Format||FDF|
|Adobe Illustrator File||AI|
|Acrobat Index File||PDX|
|Acrobat Job Definition File||JDF|
|Acrobat Language Plug-in||LNG|
|Acrobat MIME Encoded Job
|Acrobat Security Settings File||ACROBATSECURITYSETTINGS|
|Acrobat Sequence File||SEQU|
|Acrobat XFDF File||XFDF|
|Adobe Color Separations Table||AST|
|Adobe Dictionary Data File||ENV|
|Adobe Joboptions File||JOBOPTIONS|
|Adobe Linguistic Library Data File||LEX|
|Adobe MARS File||MARS|
|Adobe Portable Document Format
|Adobe Profile File||APF|
|Apple QuickTime Movie||MOV|
|Design Web Format File||DWF|
|Drawing Exchange Format File||DXF|
|Encapsulated PostScript Format File||EPSF|
|Flash MP4 Video File||F4V|
|Flash Video File||FLV|
|Hypetext Markup Language||HTM, HTML|
|iTunes Video File||M4V|
|Plain Text File||TXT|
|PostScript Image Data File||PSID|
|Product Representation Compact
|Shockwave Flash Movie||SWF|
|Universal 3D File||U3D|
|XML Data Package||XDP|
|XML Paper Specification File||XPS|
Internationalization and localization
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 warning
February 2009 warning
February 2013 warning
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 warning
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.
- "Overview — Acrobat and Adobe Reader DC Release Notes". Adobe Systems. 2021-05-11.
- "21.001.20155 Planned update, May 11, 2021". Adobe Systems. 2021-05-11.
- "20.001.30025 Planned update, May 11, 2021". Adobe Systems. 2021-05-11.
- "17.011.30196 Planned update, May 11, 2021". Adobe Systems. 2021-05-11.
- Adobe Systems. "Adobe Reader". Google Play. Google Inc. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
- Adobe Systems. "Adobe Reader". App Store. Apple. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
- Adobe Systems. "Adobe Reader". Google Play. Google Inc. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
- "Download new and previous versions of Adobe Reader". Adobe.com. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Adobe – Adobe Reader download – All versions". adobe.com. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 12 Feb 2021.
- "Download a free trial of Acrobat XI Pro". Adobe.com. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 12 Feb 2021.
- "Adobe Acrobat family". 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2008.
- "Adobe Reader". 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2008.
- Borzo, Jeanette (14 June 1993). "Paperless: Tools resurrect hope for paperless office concept". InfoWorld. 15 (24). ISSN 0199-6649.
- Eckerson, Wayne (26 July 1993). "Farallon gives Adobe Acrobat run for money". Network World. International Data Group. 10 (30): 86. ISSN 0887-7661.
- Jarrin, Christopher (22 July 1996). "Reading what you sow". InfoWorld. 18 (30): 66. ISSN 0199-6649.
- "Acrobat XI Pro FAQ". adobe.com. Adobe Systems. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015.
- Heller, Martin (April 9, 2015). "Review: Adobe Acrobat polishes its act". InfoWorld. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Frank, Blair Hanley (October 13, 2015). "Adobe teams up with Dropbox as part of Document Cloud upgrades". IDG News Service. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Release Notes - Acrobat, Reader". Acrobat Help. Adobe Systems.
- "Document Cloud Product Tracks — Enterprise Administration Guide". Adobe.com. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Adobe Security Bulletin". helpx.adobe.com. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "11.0.23 Planned update, November 14, 2017 — Acrobat and Adobe Reader Release Notes". www.adobe.com. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "Adobe Support Policies: Supported Product Versions". Adobe. 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
- "Adobe Acrobat DC FAQ". helpx.adobe.com. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- "Adobe Releases Acrobat Approval 5.0". www.infotoday.com. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
- "Acrobat family - Product comparison". web.archive.org. 2003-04-07. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
- "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.
- "Security Bulletins and Advisories". adobe.com. Adobe Systems.
- "Adobe PDF Security Issues, Acrobat Vulnerabilities, PDF Cracks". Locklizard.
- "Security Bulletins and Advisories – Adobe Acrobat". adobe.com. Adobe Systems.
- Brockmeier, Joe (30 March 2005). "Unexpected features in Acrobat 7". LWN.net. Eklektix. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
- "McAfee Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2009" (PDF). McAfee Avert Labs. February 2010. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "2010 Threat Predictions" (PDF). McAfee Labs. December 2009. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 9 May 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.
- "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.
- "Security Advisory for Adobe Reader and Acrobat". Adobe Systems.
- "Security Advisory for Adobe Reader and Acrobat". Adobe Systems.
- "Adobe Releases Security Updates for Acrobat, Reader, and Digital Editions". United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.
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