Adobe Acrobat Does New Tricks with PDAs

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By Jay Wrolstad, Wireless.NewsFactor.com Acrobat Reader, a recognized industry standard for transferring Web content to desktop PCs and other Internet-enabled devices, is now available in a beta version for Pocket PC users. The new version broadens the reach of Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE – news), which also rolled out several new cross-media software products Monday. Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC, which can be downloaded at no cost from Adobe’s Web site, represents one facet of Acrobat’s strategy to deliver graphic-rich content in real-time on any device, Adobe said. Users of PDAs (personal digital assistants) running Microsoft’s Pocket PC operating system now can view Web content in the ubiquitous Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Corporate Market Targeted Among the PDAs now supporting the Adobe Acrobat 5.0 reader for Pocket PC are the Hewlett-Packard Jornada, the Compaq iPAQ and the Casio Cassiopeia. Adobe earlier this year introduced its PDF reader to Palm OS-based devices, and the company said it already has surpassed 1 million downloads. Aimed primarily at the corporate market, Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC lets users read, navigate and search Adobe PDF documents, including product manuals, reference guides and other graphically rich content, in original format or reflowed for viewing on a smaller handheld screen, the company said. Shipping Soon PDF files created with Adobe’s Acrobat 5.0, InDesign 2.0 and PageMaker 7.0 software are automatically tagged with information about page structure and organization, the company said, enabling text reflow on handheld devices. The reader is compatible with Windows 98 (news – web sites), Windows ME (news – web sites), Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 (news – web sites), and requires Microsoft ActiveSync 3.1 or 3.5 and a PDA with minimum memory of 16 megabytes (MB). The shipping product initially will be offered in English only and will be available by year-end, Adobe said. New Tools for Designers Adobe, which claims to be the second largest PC software company in the United States with annual revenue of more than US$1.2 billion, on Monday also announced the rollout of products for Web designers and graphic artists, including Adobe InDesign 2.0, Adobe Illustrator 10, Adobe AlterCast, XMP (extensible metadata platform) and the Adobe Studio Web site. InDesign 2.0 is aimed at Web publishing layout designers, while Illustrator 10 is an updated version of Adobe’s graphics tool for cross-media design professionals, Web designers and Web developers publishing artwork. The two applications are the first OSX-compliant products from Adobe. AlterCast is built on Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator technology and supports industry-standard image file formats. The XMP publishing platform offers a common framework for Adobe applications and partners that standardizes creation, processing and exchange of Web of documents. Adobe Studio comprises a Web site offering design resources and a subscription-based service that brings together designers and their clients.

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