Adobe Launching New Version of Acrobat by Year's End

Adobe Systems Inc. will release version 7.0 of its digital document product Acrobat by the end of the year, including a new free Acrobat Reader with added reviewing capabilities, the company announced Monday.

Version 7.0 of Adobe Acrobat will make it easier for groups of people to create, share and annotate digital documents. A high-end version of the new software will provide capabilities for sharing complex documents such as engineering and design drawings. The new version of Adobe Reader, the widely used free software for reading digital documents, is getting more sophisticated capabilities, including the ability to join in document reviews.

Acrobat 7.0 Standard, which is used to create PDF files, lets users combine electronic documents, such as e-mails, Excel spreadsheets and Web pages, into one PDFfile. Recipients will be able to change and mark up files and re-distribut ethem.

Acrobat 7.0 Professional will allow engineers and architects to copy 3-D documents, such as blueprints created on specialized software, into PDF files and send them to clients, who can access them and make notes and changes with Adobe Reader.

The standard version is expected to cost US$299, with a $99 upgrade for current Acrobat users. The professional version, targeted at technical and creative professionals, is expected to cost $449, with a $159 upgrade for existing Acrobat users.

Both the standard and professional versions will be available in English, French, German and Japanese by the end of the year for Mac OS X and Windows. Acrobat Reader 7.0 will be available for Mac and Windows by yearis end and next year for Linux, Pocket PC, Palm OS and Symbian, the company said.