Adobe Acrobat is a suite of tools designed to handle PDF files. Based on the needs of the user, the Adobe Acrobat suite comes in two versions, Standard and Professional, each targeting a specific market segment. The two suites have the same interface but offer differing features.
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The PDF format appeared as a result of the dream of a paperless office. Initially designed as an internal format for the Adobe company, the first public version of PDF was in 1992. The first suite of tools to handle the PDF format came in 1993. Several releases along the years constantly improved both the format and the tools, but in 2003, with the release of Acrobat Reader 6, the software sold in Standard and Professional versions. Standard version aimed at home users while the Professional version focused on prepress users.
Both Adobe Standard and Adobe Professional integrate features for PDF manipulation, like PDF reading and editing, one-button conversion from Microsoft Office formats and encryption capabilities. Digital signing capability and the ability to compare and highlight the differences between two documents are just two of the additional features found in Adobe Professional. It also has support for multiple file format conversions, which allows better integration with other programs.
Adobe Standard is the suite for those who demand simple PDF manipulation, like home users or small companies. The Adobe Professional suite, which integrates all the features of Adobe Standard and additional features too, is aimed for prepress usage.
The two suites come with different price tags. As of 2010, Adobe Standard comes with a price tag of £194, while Adobe Professional sold for £291.
Adobe Professional integrates more complex features and it’s intended for a more specialised audience. If your PDF handling needs are not very high, Adobe Standard should provide you with all the features you need at a lower price.
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