Template:Cleanup Template:Infobox software Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and web services developed by Adobe Systems to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF).[1]

The family comprises Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader), Acrobat (formerly Acrobat Exchange) and The freeware Adobe Reader, available for several desktop and mobile platforms, can view, print and annotate PDF files.[2] The commercial proprietary Acrobat, available for Windows and OS X only, can also create, edit, convert, digitally sign, encrypt, export and publish PDF files. complements the family with a variety of enterprise content management and file hosting services.


Since the early 1990s, the Acrobat product has had several competitors, some of which used their own document formats, such as:

By the late 1990s PDF had become the de facto standard. This has resulted in the development of both free and commercial programs that create or manipulate PDF. Adobe also allows Acrobat plug-ins to be developed by third parties, which can add extra functions to the Acrobat program.

Product namesEdit

Adobe has changed the names of the products of the Acrobat set regularly, also dividing, merging, or discontinuing products. Initially, the name "Acrobat" was used as the parent name of a set of products which included Acrobat Reader, Acrobat Exchange and Acrobat Distiller. Over time Acrobat Reader became Reader; and the name Acrobat Exchange was simplified to Acrobat. Between version 3 and 5, Standard and Professional versions were one product known simply as Acrobat.

Template:As of, the current main members of the Acrobat family are:[3] Template:Image frame Desktop apps:

  • Reader XI
  • Acrobat XI Standard (includes Acrobat Distiller)
  • Acrobat XI Pro (includes Acrobat Distiller)

Mobile apps:

  • Reader for Android (11.1.2)
  • Reader for iOS (11.0.1)
  • Reader for Windows Phone 8 (
  • Reader Touch (1.3)

Template:Image frame (Online services):

  • CreatePDF
  • ExportPDF
  • EchoSign
  • FormsCentral
  • Personal Storage
  • SendNow
  • Workspaces

Unlike most other Adobe products, such as members of Adobe Creative Suite family, the Acrobat products do not have icons that display two letters on a colored rectangular shape.


Version 1.0Edit

Acrobat 1.0 was released originally on 15 June 1993 for Macintosh computers. It was released later for the operating systems DOS and Windows 3.1. This was not available as single copies and was not initially free, with Acrobat Reader priced originally at $50 per user.[4] After a while, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States purchased a right to distribute the program Reader 1.0, effectively making it seem free to those who obtained it that way.

Adobe Acrobat 1.0 included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.0
  • Acrobat Exchange 1.0 (included PDFWriter printer driver and Acrobat Exchange application)
  • Acrobat Distiller 1.0, a software application that creates a PDF file from a PostScript source

Version 2.0Edit

Acrobat 2.0 was first released during September 1994 for the operating systems Windows and Macintosh. It included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.1
  • Acrobat Exchange 2.0
  • Acrobat Catalog, which creates searchable indexes for PDF files

Acrobat Professional 2.0 was also released, which included Acrobat Exchange plus the program Distiller.

Adobe also released the first Acrobat Plug-ins SDK; allowing third party developers to create plug-in programs for the Acrobat Exchange application.

Version 3.0Edit

Acrobat 3.0 was released during November 1996. It was the first release usable with Windows 95, and the last to be usable with Windows 3.1. It was also the first version to display PDF files inside web browsers, and the first to have form-filling functions. Later, an update to version 3.02 introduced extended forms capabilities and JavaScript. Adobe Acrobat 3.0 included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.2
  • A free Reader that allows searching (It was not part of the default copy)
  • Acrobat Catalog
  • A Distiller printer driver

Version 4.0Edit

Acrobat 4.0 was released during April 1999. It included:

Distiller Server 4.0, and Acrobat Business Tools 4.0 were also released at this time. Distiller Server was a version of Distiller for Windows, Linux and Solaris that is licensed to multiple users. Acrobat Business Tools was a limitedTemplate:Clarify version of Acrobat.

Version 5.0Edit

Acrobat 5.0 was released in May 2001. It included support for PDF version 1.4 and was the last version to be usable with Windows 95. Acrobat 5.0.5 was the first to be able to operative native in Mac OS X, but also operated in Mac OS 9.

This version did not include PDFWriter with the Macintosh release.[5]

Acrobat Reader 5.1, the subsequent version of Acrobat Reader usable with the Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions for forms saving.

Adobe also released Distiller Server 5.0 and Acrobat Approval 5.0, a limited version of Acrobat mainly sold to people who wanted to digitally sign PDF files or save fill-in forms.

Version 6.0Edit

Acrobat 6.0 was released during July 2003. This version introduced significant changes to the set of Adobe Acrobat:

  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 6.0 was released. It is a limited version of Acrobat Professional that includes Distiller but lacks Adobe Catalog, form design features and pre-press support.
  • Adobe Acrobat Elements 6.0 was introduced. It enabled PDF creation but was intended for the corporate market and was only volume-licensed for a minimum of 1000 licenses. It was available for Microsoft Windows only.
  • Acrobat Elements Server 6.0, a server software version of Acrobat Elements, was introduced.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader was renamed Adobe Reader.
  • Distiller printer driver was renamed Adobe PDF.
  • PDFWriter, a printer driver used to create PDF files, was discontinued in favor of the Adobe PDF printer driver to Distiller.
  • A new version of Adobe Catalog was included, which was not compatible with earlier products for searching.
  • Support for many operating systems was ended. Mac OS 9 was no longer compatible. No version of Adobe Acrobat for Linux or Unix was released. Adobe Acrobat Standard was not compatible with Windows 95 and Windows 98, although it was usable with Windows 98 SE. Adobe Acrobat Professional ceased to be compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me.

This version included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.5
  • Support for PKI (without a plug-in) via Microsoft CryptoAPI
  • Support for "Reader enabling", allowing Adobe Reader to save, sign or annotate PDF files if the PDF file allowed

Version 6 was criticized for its performance. Adobe Acrobat 6 is slow to load and use. The Acrobat 6 plug-ins for web browsers were also criticized for suffering from bad performance and potentially rendering one's web browser non-responsive.[6]

Version 7.0Edit

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 was released during January 2005:[7] It was the first version to include a mandatory product activation. It included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.6
  • Support for Adobe Policy Server rights management
  • Support for embedded 3D object information from the .u3d Universal 3D format

The Adobe Acrobat 7 set experienced multiple changes. Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional for Windows now included Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.0. Adobe Elements 7.0 was also released which was still only sold by volume licensing outlets but decreased the minimum licenses limit to 100 licenses. Finally, another edition of Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat 3D, was added to the set.

Adobe Acrobat 3D included all of the functionality of Acrobat Professional 7.0 as well as updated assistance for embedded 3D computer graphics, tools for capturing 3D content from OpenGL applications, and the Adobe Acrobat 3D Toolkit for converting CAD documents to PDF objects. Also included is a version of the capture tool for installation on Unix systems.

Acrobat 7 ended support for Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Me. However, Adobe released editions of Adobe Reader for Linux, Solaris (SPARC only), HP-UX and IBM AIX.

Version 8.0Edit


Adobe Acrobat 8.0 was released during November 2006.[8] It included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.7
  • Acrobat 8 Elements, which was withdrawn before its expected release during mid-2007[9]
  • Acrobat Connect (formerly Macromedia Breeze), a support application with online personal meeting rooms to collaborate in real time with as many as 15 participants

A later update 8.1 on June 2007 was released in order to be compatible with Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Vista, and 64-bit Windows operating systems.[10] Also during September 2007, Adobe Reader 8.1.1 released for Linux and Solaris (SPARC) users.

The Adobe Acrobat 8 set had a few changes. Acrobat 3D was now able to produce embedded PRC file format, a very compressed format for geometry and graphics which requires Reader 8.1 to display. It also supported Product Manufacturing Information and many different CAD formats.

Acrobat Connect Professional (formerly Macromedia Breeze) was also added to the set. It allowed scalable interactive web conferencing and multiple personal meeting rooms for everyone part of an enterprise.

The Mac OS X version of Adobe Acrobat Pro was improved significantly: Adobe Acrobat for Macintosh was made a Universal binary that operated on both PPC and Intel architectures.

8.x product support ended in November 2011.[11]

Version 9.0Edit


Adobe Acrobat 9.0 was released June 2, 2008.[12][13] Support for version 9 ended June 26, 2013,[14] with the last available update being 9.5.5. This version included:

  • Support for PDF version 1.7
  • Support for Adobe extensions for PDF 1.7
  • The ability to create Acrobat forms was in Acrobat Standard, which was previously only available Acrobat Professional 6, 7 and 8
  • Support for real-time collaboration on PDF files with synchronized document views and chat
  • Improved Web Capture for copying entire web pages or just some parts into PDF
  • Integration with to enable storage and sharing of PDF files
  • Support for comparing and highlighting the differences between two versions of a PDF document
  • Support for playback of Flash Video or H.264 video in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader
  • Support for conversion of a variety ofTemplate:Which video formats to Flash Video for playback inside PDF
  • Support for creating PDF maps by importing geospatial files that retain metadata and coordinates
  • Support for Optical character recognition (OCR) on PDF files using ClearScan. Adobe ClearScan technology creates and embeds custom Type1-CID fonts to match the visual appearance of a scanned document after optical character recognition. ClearScan uses these newly created custom fonts instead of system fonts or Type1-MM

The Adobe Acrobat 9 set includes a new program: Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended for Microsoft Windows. This product includes Adobe Presenter as well as the features of Acrobat 3D.

Adobe Reader 9 ends compatibility with Adobe Reader Extensions 5 and 6 which permit Adobe Reader client software to save changes to filled-in forms in PDFs. Adobe Reader Extensions 6.1 and newer are still usable. Legacy PDFs will still be viewable, however they will open with the warning "This document enables Reader capabilities that are no longer enabled in this Reader version."[15]

The Adobe Acrobat 9 set also omitted the multiple document interface. Previous versions of Adobe Acrobat activated multiple PDF files in the same window. Acrobat 9 however, only uses the single document interface scheme, wherein each PDF file is activated in an instance of Adobe Acrobat.[16]

Version 10.0Edit

Adobe Acrobat X (version 10.0) was released on November 15, 2010.[17][18] This version is supported by Adobe until November 15, 2015. It included "sandboxing" protection for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Compatibility was ended for Windows 2000 and Power PC based Apple Macintosh computers.

Adobe Reader X is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.[19][20][21][22] Compatibility with Linux is not planned.[23]

Version 11.0Edit

Adobe Acrobat XI (version 11.0) was announced on October 1, 2012.[24] This version is supported by Adobe until October 15, 2017. The graphical user interface for desktop systems is carried over from version 10. Some new features include a completely redesigned PDF editing experience, exporting PDF files to Microsoft PowerPoint, touch-friendly capabilities for mobile devices, and integrated cloud services. LiveCycle Designer is no longer bundled (but remains a standalone product). Acrobat XI was released to the market on October 15, 2012.

Adobe Acrobat XI is available for Windows XP or later (excluding Windows Vista) and Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later.[21]

Reader TouchEdit


File:Adobe Reader Metro.jpg

Originally called Adobe Reader For Windows Tablets (Version 1.0) was released on the Microsoft Windows Store on the second week of December 2012,[25] based on the Adobe Reader Mobile engine found in the iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows phone versions, is the first application written by Adobe Systems for the Windows 8/RT Metro Style interface. The current versions offers only basic PDF reading features, subsequent patches will bring more complex features to catch up with the more feature complete iOS and Android versions. Adobe Reader for Windows Tablets supports both ARM and Intel x86/x86_64 architectures and can be used both via touch and the more classic keyboard+mouse combination. The main features are:

  • Windows 8 Native App and UI
  • Semantic Zoom to jump between pages
  • Bookmarks and search feature
  • Opening password protected PDF
  • Select and Copy text

On February 1, 2013 Adobe Reader for Windows Tablet has been officially renamed to Adobe Reader Touch to tell Hybrid Desktop Windows 8 Users which version of Adobe Reader may have (Modern UI or Desktop Version).[26] Name change apart, the changes include:

  • Easier Document Navigation With Mouse and Keyboard ([+] and [-] Zoom Buttons)
  • View Sticky Notes


Version 1.1 was released on April 11, 2013. The changes include:

  • Printing
  • Keyboard shortcuts for Find, Open, Print and Close


Version 1.2 was released on June 27, 2013. This update adds:

  • Go To Page for quicker navigation
  • Notes to your document
  • Highlight, Strikeout and Underline with Selection and Markup Tool to text
  • View Notes attached to text markup
  • Save and Save As functionality


  • Fill and Save PDF Forms
  • Change Color of Highlight, Underline and Strikeout text markups

Reader for AndroidEdit


The first Android edition of Adobe Reader X was released to the Android Market (now Google Play Store) on November 18, 2010.[27] Main features include:

  • Text Search
  • Password Protected Documents
  • Quick Jump Between Pages In Documents
  • Sharing A Document
  • Fit-To-Screen Viewing Mode
  • PDF Portfolios
  • Performance & Security Enhancements


Version 10.1 was released on October 9, 2011 With added support for Android Tablets,[28] The new features include:

  • Tablet Friendly UI
  • Navigation using Bookmarks
  • Text selection copy
  • View Comments
  • Faster document open time and flips
  • Always responsive UI
  • Smoother Pinch-Zoom experience
  • Visibly less "white" as you navigate the document
  • Intermediate rendering feedback for complex documents
  • Scrubber Thumbnails
  • Support for viewing PDFs protected with Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management
  • Support for viewing PDF Packages
  • Higher Quality image rendering


Version 10.5 was released on the Google Play Store the 6 March 2013,[29] this major update brings many new features and improvements to Reader For Android:

  • Go to Page
  • Night Mode
  • Smart Zoom
  • Screen Brightness Lock
  • Undo In Freehand Annotation
  • Sync last position on
  • Forms Central PDF Validation
  • Google Cloud Print
  • "Back" after clicking an internal link or bookmark


  • Store in Private Data area for improved security
  • Open http links to PDF documents
  • View Notes attached to text markups


  • Ability to Purchase Adobe PDF Pack and Adobe ExportPDF Services directly from Adobe Reader
  • Conversion of Documents and Images in PDF with Adobe PDF Pack
  • Export PDF File in Word or Excel format with Adobe ExportPDF
  • New and improved search experience
  • Online Help
  • New and improved UI with MultiWindow support

Reader for iOSEdit


On October 9, 2011 Adobe Systems Inc. released a port of Adobe Reader X (10.1) for the Apple iOS devices, featuring an optimized UI for both for the iPhone/iPod Touch and the iPad.[30] The iOS port was at feature parity with the Android version 10.1, the main features are:

  • Text Search
  • Password Protected Documents
  • Sharing documents with the "Open With..." command
  • Multiple Viewing Modes
  • PDF Portfolios
  • Tablet Friendly UI
  • Navigation using Bookmarks
  • Text selection copy
  • Print via AirPrint Framework
  • View Comments
  • Faster document open time and flips
  • Always responsive UI
  • Smoother Pinch-Zoom experience
  • Visibly less "white" as you navigate the document
  • Intermediate rendering feedback for complex documents
  • Scrubber Thumbnails
  • Support for viewing PDFs protected with Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management
  • Support for viewing PDF Packages
  • Higher Quality image rendering
  • Security and Stability Improvements
  • Support for deleting PDFs from the list (using swipe gesture)


Version 10.5 was released on the Apple Store the 9 March 2013,[31] this major update brings many new features and improvements to Reader For iOS:

  • Go to Page
  • Night Mode
  • Smart Zoom
  • Screen Brightness Lock
  • Undo In Freehand Annotation
  • Sync last position on
  • Forms Central PDF Validation
  • VoiceOver Support for Accessibility
  • Bluetooth Keyboard Support for Form-Field Navigation.


  • Enhanced integration with
  • Options to flatten when Sharing files
  • View notes attached to text markup
  • Updated iPhone UI
  • Delete and Rename files in


  • Ability to buy Adobe CreatePDF service using In app purchase
  • Convert an image to PDF using Adobe’s CreatePDF service
  • Create PDF files from a variety of file formats using CreatePDF service
  • Ability to buy Adobe ExportPDF service using in app purchase
  • Export PDF files to various formats (Word, excel, etc..) for editing using ExportPDF service

Internationalization and localizationEdit

Language availabilityEdit

Adobe Acrobat is available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. Arabic and Hebrew versions are available from WinSoft International,[32] Adobe Systems' internationalization and localization partner.

Specific features for Arabic and Hebrew languagesEdit

The Arabic and Hebrew versions are developed specifically for these languages, which are normally written right-to-left. These versions include special TouchUp properties to manage digits, ligatures option and paragraph direction in right-to-left Middle Eastern scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, as well as standard left-to-right Indian scripts such as Devanagari and Gujarati. The Web Capture feature can convert single web pages or entire web sites into PDF files, while preserving the content's original text encoding. Acrobat can also copy Arabic and Hebrew text to the system clipboard in its original encoding; if the target application is also compatible with the text encoding, then the text will appear in the correct script.


The latest security bulletins from Adobe are published on their Security bulletins and advisories page.[33] There have been security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat on January 10, April 10 and August 14, 2012, and January 8, 2013.[34]

From Version 3.02 onwards, Acrobat Reader (now Adobe Reader) has included support for JavaScript. This functionality allows a PDF document creator to include code which executes when the document is read. Malicious PDF files that attempt to attack security vulnerabilities can be attached to links on web pages or distributed as email attachments. While JavaScript is designed without direct access to the file system to make it "safe", vulnerabilities have been reported for abuses such as distributing malicious code by Acrobat programs.[35] Adobe applications had already become the most popular client-software targets for attackers during the last quarter of 2009.[36] McAfee predicted that Adobe software, especially Reader and Flash, would be the primary target for software attacks during 2010.[37]

September 2006 warningEdit

On September 13, 2006, David Kierznowski provided sample PDF files illustrating JavaScript vulnerabilities. Since at least version 6, JavaScript can be disabled using the preferences menu and embedded URLs that are launched are intercepted by a security warning dialog box to either allow or block the website from activating.[38]

February 2009 warningEdit

On February 19, 2009, Adobe released a Security Bulletin announcing JavaScript vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9 and earlier.[39] As a workaround for this issue, US-CERT recommended disabling JavaScript in the affected Adobe products, canceling integration with Windows shell and web browsers (while carrying out an extended version of de-integration for Internet Explorer), deactivating Adobe indexing service and avoiding all PDF files from external sources.[40]

See alsoEdit


  1. Script error
  2. Script error
  3. Script error
  4. Script error
  5. Adobe Systems Inc., Help file for Acrobat 5.0 stated: "Note: PDFWriter is a custom install option and is supported for Windows only".
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. Adobe – Acrobat 7 Elements : FAQTemplate:Dead link
  10. Script error
  11. Adobe products and Enterprise Technical Support periods covered under the new Lifecycle Policy
  12. Script error
  13. Script error
  14. One Year from Now: Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9 EOL. Adobe Reader Blog.
  15. Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES Update 1 Upgrade Center, see 'Previous generations' tab for information on the missing support [1]
  16. Script error
  17. Script error
  18. Script error
  19. Script error
  20. Script error
  21. 21.0 21.1 Script error
  22. Script error
  23. Script error
  24. Script error
  25. Script error
  26. Script error
  27. Script error
  28. Script error
  29. Script error
  30. Script error
  31. Script error
  32. Script error
  33. Adobe Security bulletins and advisories
  34. Security Updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, Jan. 8, 2013
  35. Script error
  36. Script error
  37. Script error
  38. Script error
  39. Script error
  40. Script error

External linksEdit

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