Adobe’s PDF (portable document format) is a compact and efficient way of distributing product specifications, brochures and other formatted documents. It’s convenient because the file size is kept to a minimum, relatively complex page formatting is supported and the document can be viewed ‘inline’ when using newer Web browsers. To create PDF files you’ll either need a plug-in for a DTP/graphics package, a third-party file conversion tool or this, the latest suite of PDF tools direct from Adobe.
Acrobat 5.0 is targeted mainly at businesses looking to distribute information across multiple platforms in a common format and style, including Web developers. This latest version adds enhanced security and copy protection, including 128-bit encryption based on user-specified passwords. You can control the type of access allowed to your PDF documents, too, by disabling printing, restricting the editing of comments or requiring login for specific elements.
The Distiller tool, which converts PostScript files into PDF format, is present in this latest package, as is the option to import the contents of a Web site – you decide the depth of links imported and other factors – and store it as a PDF file. This could be useful if you want to keep track of site changes over a period of time (for live sites only).
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