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October 4, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Adobe Systems Inc has given its Acrobat electronic publishing software a multimedia make-over. New features in Acrobat 2.1 include a full-text search engine for CD-ROM developers, the ability to embed World Wide Web hyperlinks into Acrobat documents, and Movie Tool, which extends the Acrobat Portable Document Format, PDF, file format to handle multimedia elements including QuickTime and AVI video and audio files. This version moves Acrobat away from its simple ‘electronic paper’ metaphor, positioning it closer to a multimedia authoring tool. Version 2.1 of Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe’s Web site at, along with ‘Weblink’, a plug-in for Acrobat Exchange which enables it to build active HyperText Mark-up Language links into Portable Document Format documents, enabling it to work with with Web browsers. Weblink currently supports Netscape Communications Corp’s Navigator and Spyglass Inc’s Enhanced Mosaic, which will be bundled with the retail version of Reader. Rather than building its own Web browsing capabilities into Reader, Adobe’s application launches the user’s own Web browser as required. Movie Tool is only available for the Macintosh and Windows versions of Acrobat Exchange, and gives multimedia authors control over the placement and layout of a digital video file and the way it will be displayed. Movie playback is supported in Reader 2.1. The Windows and Macintosh versions of Adobe Acrobat Exchange 2.1, which support the new features are in beta, and will be launched this month for $200. SunOS, Sun Solaris and HP-UX versions are expected next month for $300. Acrobat Search for CD-ROMs, will be launched next month at $700 and gives CD authors unlimited distribution rights on a per CD-ROM title basis with Acrobat Reader 2.1 bundled.

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