Adobe Acrobat


Acrobat is commonly referred to as "electronic paper" as it creates a facsimile copy of the original document for browsing on screen. Acrobat consists of a publishing tool that converts documents to the Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) and a reader for browsing the converted documents. The Acrobat reader is available free from the Adobe website. The Acrobat suite also includes Catalog which allows collections of PDF files to be searched word by word. Almost any document or diagram can be converted to PDF.

Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files can be converted to PDF with a utility program called PDFMaker (part of the Acrobat suite). PDFMaker converts any hyperlinks in the original documents to operational hyperlinks in the PDF file. It also sets up Word Tables of Contents with links to the pages they reference. Other Adobe products such as FrameMaker provide a direct conversion path to PDF with additional functionality such as hyperlinked indexes.


  • Very simple and fast to put existing documents online
  • PDF files are smaller than equivalent Word documents
  • Includes powerful LiveCycle editor for creating interactive forms
  • Free Acrobat reader software from Adobe
  • Hyperlinks in existing Word, PowerPoint and FrameMaker documents converted directly to PDF
  • Printed PDF documents look almost identical to original documents.


  • PDF is a proprietary format
  • (Free) Acrobat reader is required to view PDF files.