Forms are the key to Acrobat 8.0 Professional

As I am no longer “inside the Adobe-loop”, I found out about the announcement courtesy of Robert Scoble’s post. Of all people!

My first question: where is the beta of the Reader? With Acrobat 7.0, the beta Reader shipped very close to the announce. Also, Intel Mac users; I am assuming its Universal binary, as the system requirements clearly mention “Intel” processors. There are still too many Windows-only features for a denizen and poster-child for cross-platformness (read Forms Designer).

OK, onto the good stuff. Forms are the bane of everyone’s existence. Even lawyers.

Every paper form that I have to fill out I cringe. Purposely, I filled in the last Census online.

All forms should be online/digital/electronic.

They should be smart, and know who I am. There have been some attempts at getting browsers to remember data.

They don’t have to match printed forms; if a physical (or wet) signature is required: I should be able to just print + sign. Smarter forms will let me fill in online and submit online or via email. Securely.

Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional:

Enable advanced features in Adobe Reader

Enable anyone using free Adobe Reader software to participate in document reviews, fill and save electronic forms offline, and digitally sign documents.

If you are small organisation, and just want to collect data quickly, it looks like Acrobat 8 (Professional) is going to help out. The Datasheet has a footnote “For ad-hoc forms distribution and data collection for up to 500 people”

One of the most frustrating, and therefore commented on missing abilities has been for people to be able send out forms, and have anyone with the free Reader fill it in, and send it back. Previously, the only mechanism has been to purchase a big block of code called “Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extension Server

This lead to all sort of hocus-pocus Javascript libraries, and server-hackeries. Thankfully, software is making it simpler. Like it should be.

I note with interest that guys at in Melbourne has missed this one as at 6:30pm AEST.