What is Adobe Acrobat?

Understanding Adobe Acrobat can greatly enhance your professional toolkit, whether you're working in a highly collaborative design field or an office environment that requires frequent document annotation and archiving. With the increasing demand for remote work capabilities, Adobe Acrobat has become an essential tool for professionals in various industries, offering the ability to encrypt, protect, sign, and notarize documents without in-person interactions.

Key Insights

  • Adobe Acrobat offers a versatile platform for creating and sharing high-quality PDF files, enhancing remote work access and efficiency.
  • The software provides an efficient means for preserving vital documents securely, making it a valuable tool for professionals and individuals alike.
  • Three different versions of Adobe Acrobat cater to different user needs; the freeware Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Standard for professional use, and Adobe Pro for expanded functionalities and integrations.
  • Learning Adobe Acrobat can significantly improve one's workflow in various career paths, from collaborative design tasks to document preservation.
  • A variety of training programs, including those offered by Noble Desktop, can help individuals master Adobe Acrobat, with options for live instruction and self-paced, on-demand courses.
  • Adobe Acrobat is used across various professions, including business professionals, administrative positions, and roles within the justice system, making its understanding a valuable asset in the job market.

Adobe Acrobat is the most common software application for reading, editing, and utilizing PDF files. Released by Adobe in 1993, Acrobat has become one of the world's most ubiquitous professional software applications and is utilized in almost all professional industries. There are two versions of the application, one freeware and the other a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Learning the functions of either version can improve your professional development. In this overview, you’ll learn more about Adobe Acrobat, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

What Can You Do with Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is a versatile software program that lets users create and share PDF files that can be read and edited on almost any device. The program is important for both collaborative design work and for documenting and archiving important documents. Using Adobe Acrobat makes remote work more accessible and efficient since Acrobat includes authentication and documentation features that allow users to encrypt, protect, sign, and notarize documents without meeting with a signee in-person. These built-in collaboration features can improve both workflow efficiency and the kinds of work that is practical for a given company or organization.

Adobe Acrobat is also one of the most commonly used tools for archiving and preserving important documents. PDF readers can produce high-quality scans of physical documents and display them on almost any modern device. This ability makes Adobe Acrobat a valuable tool for making rare or sensitive documents more accessible to the public. It also ensures that individuals can easily create and access backup versions of physical documents they want to keep protected. Since Acrobat also has significant privacy and security features, learning Acrobat is an excellent way to ensure that these documents are appropriately protected when you need others to access them.

How Do You Download/Get Adobe Acrobat? How Much Does it Cost?

There are three different versions of Adobe Acrobat available to users. One, Adobe Acrobat Reader, is a limited-functionality freeware version of the program that allows you to read, save, and send PDF files. There is also Adobe Standard, which gives users access to basic annotation, editing, and signing features. The final option, Acrobat Pro, is a complete version of the application and is available through an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Both versions are available for download on the Adobe Acrobat homepage.

Acrobat Reader is a free version of the application, though it is significantly limited in its advanced functionalities. Ideal for individuals wanting to read and perform basic annotations on PDF files, this program is ideal. It is available for both Windows and Mac devices.

Adobe Standard is designed for individual users who need Acrobat in a professional setting. This version of the program allows you to create fillable form documents, add signatures to PDFs and add passwords and other security features to your PDF files. Licensing this version of the program will cost users about twelve dollars a month and is only available for Windows devices.

Adobe Pro includes all of the features of Adobe Standard and is available on iOS devices. In addition, Pro users will be able to convert PDFs to other file types, such as word or excel documents, and they will be able to compare multiple versions of PDFs to track differences and changes between versions. Pro also offers increased privacy features, such as a redaction tool and integration with other Adobe applications like Illustrator or XD. This version of the program will cost users approximately twenty dollars a month for individual use or bundled with other Adobe software applications for about fifty-five dollars a month.

Many educational and professional institutions offer free or discounted licenses for Adobe Acrobat and its sister applications, so consider exploring alternative pricing options for the best deals.

What Are the Benefits of Learning Adobe Acrobat?

Since it is a versatile tool with many important functions, learning Adobe Acrobat will pay long-term dividends for anyone working in an office environment or a creative career field. Learning Adobe Acrobat will help you improve your workflow by bringing several important daily tasks under the same banner and allowing you to use one program to serve many different functions. While learning Adobe Acrobat isn’t enough to build a career, it is a skill that is useful in a significantly diverse range of career paths. Whether you are looking to annotate and comment on a file easily or compile many documents together for review, using Adobe Acrobat can make your life significantly easier.

Utilizing Adobe Acrobat to preserve important documents, particularly scanned documents, allows users to save space. Since 2015, Adobe has shifted to a Cloud storage system that lets users upload and store PDF documents, making them easier to access. The PDF format is also a viable way to save large numbers of documents so that they will be readily accessible regardless of where you intend to view them. This cloud system provides users with an easy way to collect disparate documents, combine related documents into a single file, or create backup copies of essential documents. The software allows business owners and private citizens to preserve and store copies of sensitive documents that they wish to keep safe: property deeds, marriage certificates, or other legally identifying information.

Read more about why you should learn Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe Acrobat Careers

Adobe Acrobat is used across various industries because it is versatile in its functions. Any professionals who want to share and collaborate on documents will want to learn how to use Acrobat. In addition, Acrobat is frequently used to store and share copies of essential documents, create digital versions of sensitive or one-of-a-kind documents, or allow for improved online workflow by letting employees sign and notarize documents through email exchanges. While Adobe Acrobat skills won’t be enough to find a new career, they will provide students with valuable tools to help them succeed.

Some of the most common professional Acrobat users are business professionals who need to archive, collect, store, and transfer important files and documents. Acrobat offers robust tools for displaying documents on any device. PDF files are the most commonly used files for scanned documents, an essential method of creating replicable and transferable copies of physical documents. Making sure that reports are easily accessible and recorded is much easier working with Adobe Acrobat than with a tool like Word.

Acrobat is also essential to any administrative position, as it automates many routine documentation tasks. Any position that regularly requires employees to create, fill out, collect, or organize administrative records will almost certainly require knowledge of Adobe Acrobat since it makes the kind of data administration that undergird large firms possible. Jobs in health are perfect examples of those who need Adobe Acrobat for day-to-day functions. Medical administrators, for example, working at hospitals, must keep detailed records of thousands of forms that hundreds of different stakeholders fill out daily. Without Acrobat, the data entry alone from paper forms would be overwhelming. Thus, hospital administrative staff ideally has tools like Acrobat to make this part of their employment possible.

Acrobat is also helpful for anyone who needs to scan and create multiple copies of documents, images, files, or other non-digital information. For example, librarians may be tasked with digitizing holdings to make archives more accessible and less prone to deterioration. Lawyers and other employees within the justice system may quickly make copies of sensitive documents or transfer important information that is impossible to view in a word document or a jpeg image. Hiring managers must create PDFs of job materials for hundreds of applications to make this information accessible to search and digest. These are just a few of the myriad ways that Adobe Acrobat can help streamline workflow in unexpected places.

How to Learn Adobe Acrobat

Individuals wanting to learn Adobe Acrobat will have a few options available. Since it is a reasonably ubiquitous program, some courses will teach enrolled students basic Acrobat skills to prepare them for everyday application use. Other courses will provide the same students with more in-depth knowledge of advanced Acrobat skills, often taught alongside other commonly used Adobe professional programs. No matter how you want to learn the skill, there is an Adobe Acrobat class that suits your needs.

Potential students often find that they learn best in a live instruction environment since live instructors can assist students in overcoming challenges in their learning and guide them through Acrobat’s features. Personalized learning benefits gaining software skills like Adobe Acrobat since students wishing to learn this application likely want to do so quickly. Learning with a live instructor can help ensure that students don’t get stuck on an issue and linger too long on any given aspect of their learning. Prospective class members can enroll in live Adobe Acrobat training courses in-person or online.

Prospective students interested in learning Acrobat at their own pace or who don’t want to wait for a training seminar to become available may wish to enroll in an on-demand Acrobat course. These self-paced classes give trainees a collection of course material, often pre-recorded video lectures, and allow them to review and practice those materials when it is most convenient for them. The individualized pacing makes these classes ideal for students who want to spread their Acrobat training over a few days when it is most convenient. These courses are also a helpful way to accelerate your Acrobat training since students can purchase an on-demand course and avoid waiting for a live training seminar to be scheduled in a student’s window of availability.

Similarly, students who want to gain basic Adobe Acrobat skills quickly may want to take advantage of free training resources. Acrobat is an accessible enough program for trainees who want to learn basic but essential functions with little assistance. While more complex tasks, particularly those undertaken by professional designers or office professionals, require more training, students can learn basic PDF functions quickly. Students interested in these training options may explore the videos available on Noble Desktop’s Creative Cloud playlist on their official YouTube channel or Noble’s Learn Acrobat hub, a carefully curated collection of free tutorials, articles, and resources.

Read the complete guide on how to learn Adobe Acrobat.

A Brief History of Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat was released in 1993; it was built to serve as the primary application for displaying Adobe’s newly developed Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Both developments were intended to compete with other emerging software applications meant to create and display digital documents. Over the years, Adobe Acrobat has become the most commonly used application for this purpose, and PDF files have become the most commonly used method of displaying digital documents.

In 2008 Adobe released an open license version of the PDF patent. In 2015, Adobe shifted Acrobat, alongside many other programs, to a Cloud storage and subscription-as-service model, more commonly known as the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Comparable Applications

Students wanting to learn Adobe Acrobat may also be interested in learning other elements of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Since Acrobat is an accessible and easy-to-learn program, building on your Acrobat training with more focused creative tools may be an ideal way to jumpstart your career. Plus, Acrobat is already heavily integrated with the rest of the Creative Cloud, and students who license Acrobat are likely to also benefit from licensing other Creative Cloud applications.

The most commonly used Adobe Creative Cloud applications are design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. These applications allow users to edit and manipulate photos, create illustrated vector graphics designs, and build vibrant page layouts for print mediums and webpages. Many students learn Creative Cloud tools in conjunction with one another since they are closely linked. Many training programs will include an overview of using Acrobat since it is one of the more common ways to save and distribute completed design files. These are creative design skills, so students learning them will also need to learn theories of design and principles of composition, which can be a challenge for students unfamiliar with working on professional artistic projects.

Students may also want to learn more advanced Creative Cloud skills, such as video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro or motion graphics with Adobe After Effects. These are more complicated than Adobe Acrobat or other simplistic video editing tools; thus, their digital animation and editing tools require more training than their more basic 2D counterparts and significantly more training than something like Acrobat. However, these skills are vital parts of in-demand career fields, so anyone interested in starting a new career path will want to learn more specialized and niche skills than Adobe Acrobat (on its own).

To learn more about the skills that make up the Adobe Creative Cloud, consider exploring the course offerings available through Noble Desktop.

Learn Adobe Acrobat with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Individuals hoping to learn Adobe Acrobat will have a few options available. Noble Desktop offers private and group Adobe Acrobat training in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus and online in live digital classrooms. These courses allow students to learn advanced Acrobat skills with the assistance of live instructors. Enrollees will work with hands-on examples that mirror the kinds of real-world applications for which they will employ Acrobat, and can ask questions and receive direct feedback from their instructors. Enrollees attending these courses will benefit from small class sizes, even online. Anyone who takes a course through Noble can retake that course within a calendar year, giving individuals s even more opportunities to master Adobe Acrobat.

Those wanting to learn Adobe Acrobat can enroll in Noble’s Adobe Acrobat Training course. This course is beginner-friendly and designed to get students comfortable with the key functionalities of Acrobat that they require in their day-to-day lives. This course will get new students up to speed by teaching them how to edit, merge, combine, arrange, share, and protect PDF files using Acrobat. This class is a great way to learn the ins and outs of Adobe Acrobat quickly. In this course, students will learn everything they need to know about storing, annotating, and working with PDF files. 

Another advantage to learning Adobe Acrobat is that it is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools and is therefore both heavily integrated with those applications and is one of the best ways to display designs on any device. Creative professionals, in particular, will want to learn Adobe Acrobat as part of their training in other Adobe Creative programs. Students learning skills like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign will want to ensure they know how to improve their workflow efficiency using Acrobat.

Key Insights

  • Adobe Acrobat is the most commonly-used software application for viewing, editing, and protecting digital documents.
  • Developed in 1993 to compete with other proprietary document display programs, Acrobat has become the industry-standard application for professionals in almost every industry.
  • There are three different versions of Acrobat that users can download. Adobe Reader is a freeware version that lets users view PDF files. Users create files and forms and utilize privacy features using Adobe Standard. Pro expands privacy options and is more closely integrated with the other Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
  • Students interested in learning more about Adobe Acrobat may consider enrolling in a professional skills training program through Noble Desktop. These training programs are available both in-person and live online.

How to Learn Adobe

Master Adobe with hands-on training. Adobe software is the industry standard for designers, video editors, and other creative professionals. Adobe's most popular applications include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat.

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