Revamped — Better Interface, New Features

Over the weekend, Adobe launched a revamped version of, its web office and collaboration suite. This is the first major upgrade to the service since it left beta last summer (as covered by Thursday) and provides some much-needed productivity enhancements to this service.

An early concern of mine when Adobe made the leap to web services with was that it was trying to be everything to everybody, but this latest version of quells that doubt. Acrobat took the step of “crowd sourcing” its requirements gathering process for this new release, and incorporated over 35 ideas from users into the latest version.

New Features & Enhancements

No longer do you have to suffer through the white-text-on-black background used in the previous release. The new interface is more usable and spares you eyestrain (which is a productivity boost in its own right).

A major (and needed) restructuring of the file system organization is a highlight of this release. You can now organize your files in collections (vs. folders), and a file can exist in more than one collection.

Other improvements include:

  • Presentations (a web-based presentations application that Thursday wrote about here) and TablesĀ  (a web-based data management application) now join the full suite.
  • Buzzword and Presentations now include web image integration, enabling you to insert images directly from Flickr and Google Images. However, you need to know this feature doesn’t yet support Creative Commons or other image licensing.

  • New import and export options across the major applications. You can now import .ppt/.pptx files directly into Presentations — my testing showed this worked well for even moderately complex presentation (without multimedia). Acrobat Tables now supports exporting to major formats including .csv, .xls and .pdf. While I am disappointed Tables doesn’t have spreadsheet functions, I can live with the export options until the application gains them.

If you are looking for a well-designed collaboration platform for your geographically dispersed project team, I recommend checking out this latest release of

Have you tried out the new version of Share your comments below.

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