Acrobat for the first time makes it almost as easy to edit text and graphics in a PDF as it is in a word-processor, though with significant limitations that I’ll get to in a moment. The formerly clumsy process of merging documents into a single PDF now gets a streamlined and powerful interface. New form-editing and document-signing features make it easier than ever to add electronic signatures to documents via computers, tablets, and smartphones. Acrobat XI preserves the simplified interface that Adobe introduced in Acrobat X, but it’s learned a lot of smooth new moves.
For anyone who (like me) regularly creates PDF files, the best new feature in Acrobat XI is its completely overhauled and enhanced ability to edit PDF documents. Acrobat always included touch-up features for correcting typing errors or replacing a few words, but the results often looked bad and the whole process felt clumsy.
Now, when you click Edit Text & Images in Acrobat’s Content Editing tools, every paragraph in the document appears with an outline around it, and you can simply click inside a paragraph and start typing—or you can run a Find and Replace if you need to change the name of your new product a hundred times in the same document.
As you edit, words wrap correctly at the ends of lines. Formatting icons let you change paragraph alignment, so you can get full justification instead of ragged-right formatting. If you click a plus-sign icon next to the Format item on the editing menu, you get access to detailed typographic controls over kerning and spacing, just as in Adobe’s high-end graphics and layout software. You get similar power over images. Right-click on an image and the menu offers options to flip or rotate the image, plus an option to replace the image entirely.