The family comprises Acrobat Reader (formerly Reader), Acrobat (formerly Exchange) and Acrobat.com. The basic Acrobat Reader, available for several desktop and mobile platforms, is freeware; it supports viewing, printing and annotating of PDF files. Additional, "Premium", services are available for reader on paid subscription. The commercial proprietary Acrobat, available for Microsoft Windows and macOS only, can also create, edit, convert, digitally sign, encrypt, export and publish PDF files. Acrobat.com complements the family with a variety of enterprise content management and file hosting services.
Since the early 90s the Acrobat product has had several competitors, some of which used their own document formats, such as:
Adobe also allows third parties to develop Acrobat plug-ins, which can add extra functions to the Acrobat program.
Adobe has changed the names of the products of the Acrobat set several times, 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 versions 3 and 5, Standard and Professional versions were one product known simply as Acrobat.
In April 2015, Adobe introduced the Adobe "Document Cloud," along with the first of several applications with "DC" at the end of the name. One of the main goals was to have all of a user's PDFs available on any of the user's devices, such as editing a PDF on an iPad and then later retrieving it on a PC. As of October, 2015, the "Document Cloud" also includes integration with Dropbox and includes electronic signature improvements, although at least some features require a subscription.
Mobile applications with the Document Cloud (DC) launch:
Acrobat.com (Online services):
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 rectangle.
The UI had major changes with the introduction of Acrobat DC in 2015, which supports Windows 7 and later, and OS X 10.9 and later. Version numbers are now identified by the last two digits of the year of major release, and the month and year is specified; the previous version was 12, but examples of the DC (Document Cloud) Acrobat product family versions are DC June 2016, version 15.016.20045, released 2 June 2016 and DC Classic January 2016, version 15.006.30119, released 12 January 2016. From DC 2015 the Acrobat family is available in two tracks, the original track, now named Classic, and the Continuous track. Updates for the Classic track are released quarterly, and do not include new features, whereas updates for the Continuous track are issued more frequently, and implemented silently and automatically.
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, Adobe Systems' internationalization and localization partner.
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.
A comprehensive list of security bulletins for most Adobe products and related versions is published on their Security bulletins and advisories page and in other related venues. In particular, the detailed history of security updates for all versions of Adobe Acrobat has been made public.
Adobe has identified critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions. These vulnerabilities could cause the application to crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There have been reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited to trick Windows users into clicking on a malicious PDF file delivered in an email message. Adobe recommended users update their product installations.
Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Acrobat and Reader for Windows and Macintosh. These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.
Release date: May 14, 2013; Last updated: August 8, 2013; Vulnerability identifier: APSB13-15
David Kierznowski, a penetration testing expert specializing in Web application testing, has released proof-of-concept code and rigged PDF files to demonstrate how the Adobe Reader program could be used to initiate attacks without any user action.
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