In an ongoing effort to provide branders with all they need to make the best of their brands, BrandingPower will be providing an ongoing series of articles covering programs of which every brander should be aware. These tools are tools we have used or are currently using. These articles are to serve as an overview and are not intended to have you purchase anything. If you do purchase any program that we feature, please know that we do not receive any form of compensation.
Today’s digital world requires a consistent method for branders to communicate with others. For communication to be effective it is important that it is consistent. Consistency can be something that is tricky, especially when it comes to transferring files from one device to another, such as from your computer to a tablet or vice-versa. Maintaining consistency should be important for branders as we try to protect our brand while promoting our assets in accordance with our established standards. This is where Adobe Acrobat can be an aid to branders.
In 1991 Dr. John Warnock had a goal of developing a product that would allow people to take files from any application, send electronic versions anywhere, and have the recipient be able to view and/or print them without the originating program. Warnock called his dream The Camelot Project. By 1992 Warnock’s project had launched and was developed into the Portable Document Format (PDF). By ensuring the user that their files contained all of the items needed—fonts, images, page layout, spreadsheets, etc.—PDF quickly became the format businesses relied on to convey their material.
In the 28 years since it was conceived, Acrobat has grown into a necessary branders’ tool. In my opinion it is one of the most important tools with regard to getting information out in a controlled manner to those with whom you do business. Let’s look at some of the top reasons for branders to use Acrobat.
Thanks to laws enacted in several countries, properly signed electronic documents are legally enforceable. This is great if you’re a brand that needs to send our contracts, bids, or other documents that require the recipient’s signature. With Acrobat setting up electronic signatures is easy, especially with new tighter integration with Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Office Integration
Once installed you can easily convert your Microsoft Office files into PDFs from within your favorite office program (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) or from Acrobat itself. Acrobat retains the formatting and additional information that goes into making your files look correct. This allows you to convert Acrobat files back into that same files from which they were created. So, if you created a PDF of that PowerPoint file and then lost the PowerPoint file, you can convert the PDF back to PowerPoint easily.
Scan to PDF
Creating a PDF of a printout you have might not sound like a big feature, seeing as how you could just scan a file to a JPG to get it digital if you wanted. Acrobat, however, allows you to take the scan to the next level. When you create a PDF from a scan Acrobat will apply character-recognition technology so you can access and edit the text of the file. No longer do you need to retype that 20-page paper.
If you have multiple files that you deal with routinely you can use Acrobat to combine them all into one PDF that you can then send out. Combining PDFs allows for you to create a single custom PDF when you need it. Say you have a prospect who asked for a Sales Sheet, Brochure, Quote, and FAQ. You have all the files already; you can combine them so you only need to send one file instead of 4 separate ones. This is handy on a follow-up phone call where you can have them pull up a specific page number without having to guide them to individual files.
Have you ever downloaded a PDF form from a website and wondered how it was made? The answer is more than likely with Acrobat. Acrobat allows you to open a form that you created and quickly create a fillable (and signable, don’t forget) form.
For many branders, they have some form of a free PDF reader installed on their computers. On Apple computers, Preview allows for free PDF viewing. Some web browsers such as Chrome have the capability built in. This often leads to many branders thinking that they have Acrobat installed on their system. If you think that you have Acrobat installed on your system a good way to find out is if you see it listed in your application folder.
When it comes to purchasing Acrobat, there are a few options and this leads to one of the main down points many people have for Adobe software. A few years back Adobe switched their programs to a monthly (or yearly, depending on your preference) subscription model. As of this writing you can purchase (subscribe) to Acrobat DC (the latest version) for three different prices; $24.99 monthly, $14.99 annual billed monthly requiring a contract, or $14.99 per month annual prepaid which is a one-time yearly payment of $179.88. These price points can be confusing at first, but keep in mind that this is for the Acrobat PRO DC version. For Windows users, they offer their standard version for a slightly reduced rate, but it comes without several features. There are also business licenses and enterprise packages.