Adobe builds Document Cloud for Acrobat

Adobe has extended its cloud services to now include documents, with a new Document Cloud option, designed to maximise the use of its Acrobat software. There’s a new cloud-based version – Acrobat DC – that will be available both via subscription and one-time purchase.

To some extent, Acrobat is a victim of the success of the PDF format. Many programs can now read and write PDFs, so that there’s less need to invest in Adobe’s Acrobat software. This version gains a new Tool Centre for quicker access to commonly used tools. It also uses Photoshop imaging magic to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file that can be sent for signature.

And of course, it includes the Document Cloud service. Basically, Adobe’s pitch is that the way that we use documents is slow and inefficient and that its new cloud service will sort out this problem for us. To make the point, Adobe has commissioned a report titled Paper Jam: Why Documents are Dragging Us Down, which claims that “83% of workers feel their success and ability to be productive at work are slowed down by outdated ways of working with documents” – or to put it another way, none of us like paperwork. Naturally, this neatly glosses over the many other online document services that exist, such as Microsoft’s Office365, Google docs and Dropbox. The other problem is that if we move away from paper to digital, and therefore online services, and continue to adopt HTML5, then there’s less need for static document formats like PDF. After all, you’re reading this on a HTML5 web page, where a few years ago I might have published via a PDF and before that on paper.

Still, to sweeten the deal, Adobe will include its EchoSign tool, now renamed as eSign Services, with the Acrobat DC subscription. Thus it’s now possible to send and sign any document from any device. There’s also a new Mobile Link which links with the Fill and Sign part of eSign so that people can create, edit, comment and sign documents directly on their mobile devices and can autofill across devices. One neat feature is that you can use the camera on your device as a portable scanner to easily convert any paper documents to digital, editable files that can be sent for signature.

It should be available within 30 days. Acrobat DC will also be included with the Creative Cloud.

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