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MD56 PG 81_96.qxp:Layout 1 13-01-19 7:33 PM Page 88 REVIEW original, non-PDF format. If you're not careful, your source documents and PDFs can evolve along entirely separate paths. The interface for merging files into a single Acrobat document has become far more powerful and easier to manipulate. Files come together in a gallery-like window where you can drag thumbnails around to reorder pages, view and manipulate multipage sources as individual pages or stacks, building your document bookmarks as you go. The stacks allow you to reorder or trim down multi-page documents without affecting the original. Online and On-desktop Though Acrobat XI adds some exciting new online features, one of the highlights of the new release is an application that has moved back to the desktop: FormsCentral. It's a fast and lightweight, linking to your Acrobat.com account as well as a variety of easily customizable sample templates. FormsCentral now offers the option of building forms that can be posted as web page or distributed as a PDF that can still provide instant, online feedback. The online component provides data collation and advanced reporting tools as well as online payment capabilities. Online forms can include intelligent, conditional fields as well as convenience tools like calendar-based date-pickers. One of the more noteworthy features in Acrobat XI is the integration of EchoSign, an online service that allows users to let their clients attach and return legal signatures to Acrobat documents. It not only attaches a real signature (which can be created on a touch screen device as well as scanned in as a graphic), but also confirms delivery of the completed document with Adobe's Certified Document Services stamp. The new release offers support for mobile devices in other ways, as well. If you use Citrix's XenApp to connect to a virtualized desktop on the iPad, you'll find extensive Multi-Touch support. The new Adobe Reader for the iPad and Android give you direct and secure access to PDFs stored on Acrobat.com (unfortunately, at this point, that's the only cloud repository it can access directly). The new app will also let you comment and annotate documents, fill in forms and view dynamic media 88 MacDirectory content, all from the comfort of your tablet. And yes, Adobe Reader, both mobile and desktop, will finally let you save completed PDF forms (assuming that function is allowed by the form's creator). To make creating secure PDFs easier for a workforce with diverse skill sets (like one that includes managers), you can deploy the program with a set of Guided Actions that automate the often-complex steps. The program already includes several preset actions. These include a make-accessible action that will guarantee compliance with PDF/UA and WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards. On a similar note, companies can also deploy Acrobat XI with customized tool sets for different users' needs. Acrobat XI is really a landmark release of this venerable application. It will make many users happy and actually has the potential to make a positive impact on a business's productivity and overall bottomline costs. Electronic documentation, once a communication choke point is on its way to becoming a genuine gateway. Product > Made by > Price > Adobe Acrobat Pro XI Adobe Systems (Adobe.com) $449 (full version); Upgrades $199 System requirements > Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later Pros > Greatly enhanced editing abilities; Powerful forms editor; Suite of online tools Cons > Rating > Some version control issues if you're not careful