Adobe Systems has launched version 6.0 of its Acrobat PDF (portable document format) software, making it available in three versions.
Acrobat Elements, Acrobat 6.0 Standard and Acrobat 6.0 professional had been designed for different types of users, based on customer research, Adobe's marketing director for Northern Europe, Mark Floisand, said.
"We identified what components each type of industry or user uses and instead of having one product that people only use bits of, we evolved it to a family," he said.
Acrobat Elements is a simple version of the software for users who want to convert pages from Microsoft's Office and Outlook to PDF files with a "one button" option.
It would only be available for Windows - on a licensed basis for 1000 users or more, Floisand said.
Acrobat 6.0 Standard is for business users who need to create and distribute documents for review.
Users could track who had seen a document and check their identities using digital signatures, Floisand said. Previous versions of Acrobat software had allowed users to create PDFs from Web pages but most didn't know how to do it. The new version therefore gave a one-button option for capturing a page and saving it as a PDF.
Previous versions had also allowed digital signatures, Floisand said, but now it was "more elegant and refined." Acrobat 6.0 Standard was available for both Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms and could be bought off the shelf or under license, he said.
Acrobat 6.0 Professional had been put together for designers, engineers and any other users who were creating graphically complex documents, he said.
Searchable archives, review and markup tools and one-button PDF creation from design software including Autodesk's AutoCAD files, while retaining the layers in those files, would make it more useful than previous versions, Floisand said.
Large page formats were also supported, he said. Like the Standard edition, Professional was available for both Windows and Macintosh, individually or under license.
Professional and Standard will be available in mid-May for an expected street price of $US449 and $US299 respectively, exclusive of tax. Upgrades were available for users of Acrobat 4.0 and 5.0 for $US149 and $US99. Acrobat Elements has been available since March, costing from $US29 per seat for a minimum of 1000 seats.
Adobe Reader, the latest and renamed version of Acrobat Reader PDF reader software, will be available free from mid-May.