Note: This is a repost of an article published in Australian Personal Computer (APC Mag) in May 2010
Adobe’s online service, Acrobat.com, is free, has great apps and lets you share files.
Sharing electronic documents can be a real challenge and we often find ourselves dealing with bounced emails, FTP accounts and other issues. Adobe’s free Acrobat.com cloud based service was designed to make it easy to share information quickly and easily and is a combination of many useful features, including a word processor [that I’m writing this article with), a presentation and tables tool, web conferencing and more.
For this article we’ll be focusing on sharing files. First you need a free Acrobat.com account. Browse to http://acrobat.com and click the Sign Up button. Enter your email address, create a password and other details, then click Sign Up and you are ready to go.
Once logged in, you will see a list of your files. These are stored online and can be accessed by anyone that you give permission to [and anywhere). Let’s start by uploading a file of your own. In the ‘Actions’ palette on the left-hand side, click on ‘Upload’ and then browse and select the file you wish to upload.
Click on the file name, and if you uploaded a PDF then Acrobat.com will l show you a preview. You can zoom in and out and navigate through the pages. To download the file again, click ‘Download’ to copy the file back to your computer. No matter where you go now, you can store and access up to 5GB of files on any computer by browsing to Acrobat.com and logging in.
Adobe has introduced Acrobat.com Workspaces, a new collaboration space that lets teams inside and outside of organizations work together on projects.
With Workspaces, team members can store and organize project content online, and easily share and manage team access to files – eliminating the need to continually e-mail updates.
Teams can create Shared Workspaces to store and share a set of files related to a project, letting distributed team members work together across times zones and firewalls, with no special file sharing software or IT involvement necessary.
Workspaces help increase the productivity of project teams by letting members efficiently work together through central, easy-to-use Workspaces. Users simply access an online Workspace to review and collaborate on documents.
Acrobat.com users can create one free Shared Workspace, while Premium Basic subscribers can create 20 Workspaces and Premium Plus subscribers can create an unlimited number of Workspaces.
In November I wrote about “must see” Acrobat.com improvements made by Adobe to its free online collaboration service. In the press release about the latest version there was mention of work done by scanR to bring mobile integration to Acrobat.com users. This release for iPhone is now live on the iTunes app store.
Adobe have upgraded Acrobat.com over the weekend to the new “Unity” release, bringing the same collaboration benefits currently offered for documents & meeting rooms to your slides & spreadsheets.
I’ve been using Buzzword, Adobe’s online word processor, ever since Adobe acquired Virtual Ubiquity and the fact that I can now have Presentations & Tables, all in a unified organizer is fantastic. Do I still use Microsoft Word, Powerpoint & Excel? Sure I do, but the collaborative nature of Acrobat.com is seeing me change the way I work and I’m progressively sharing more of my work while its still in progress, rather than waiting till i’m finished, and having other people add their input as I’m writing is fantastic and has sped up the way I work.
The biggest benefit is that there are no more annoying file sharing issues, concerns around which is the latest version, or worrying about what software everyone involved has. If you have Flash 9 or above (99.3% of Australians do!) then you are good to go.
This morning I gave a keynote presentation at the Future of the Book conference in Auckland, NZ. My intent was to talk about what Adobe is doing in three areas related to Book Publishing: Meeting Customer Expectations,Speeding up workflows & monetizing your ideas and effort.
My talk included an update on PDF, a look at EPUB and the support in the Adobe toolset, and how Flash & AIR are allowing us to create really engaging experiences.