It’s new! Top Ten new features of Acrobat Pro XI for Legal Pros

Today, Adobe announced a new version of Acrobat . . . Acrobat XI (11). The latest version of Acrobat offers many new features that will be valuable to legal professionals

I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks, but here’s my . . .

Top Ten New Acrobat Pro XI Features for Legal Professionals

  1. PDF Editing
    For years, I’ve been saying that PDF is primarily an archive format, but Acrobat XI makes it easy to make significant text and graphic edits to PDFs. Text wraps when you edit it and you can easily replace images. You can even add to a bullet list and search and replace text. The redesigned Content Editing panel (see below) makes the process easy to understand.

  2. Easier PDF/A Conformance
    Acrobat XI can convert just about any existing PDF to PDF/A. If the regular conversion steps fail, Acrobat XI can reconvert the file via PostScript (e.g. automatically print to the AdobePDF printer) or rasterize pages as necessary to bring the file into compliance.
  3. Save PDF to PowerPoint
    When I tried this feature, it floored me! Acrobat can convert PDFs to editable PowerPoint files complete with backgrounds, artwork, and bulleted text.
  4. Redesigned Combine Panel
    The Combine documents experience in Acrobat XI is much improved. You can visually swap in pages, change order, and see thumbnails of existing files. Acrobat XI Combine works better on the Mac than previous versions. Mac users now can see thumbnails and convert Office file types, too. You still need to have Microsoft Office on your computer, of course.
  5. FormsCentral
    Acrobat has long had tools to create forms, but the process involved creating an original file in another program and then laying form fields on top of the PDF later. Acrobat XI includes FormsCentral, a new standalone tool that allows you to create both PDF and web forms and collect the data. FormsCentral includes a nice library of pre-built forms to get you started.
  6. WebMail Support
    Use Yahoo or Gmail? You can now send email directly from the File menu in Acrobat (File> Send File . . .). You can configure multiple email accounts, too, and set the default mailer.
  7. Create PDF and Run Action
    You can now run an Action directly from a file in Microsoft Office. For example, you might convert a contract to PDF then automatically show the Bookmarks panel and password protect the file.
  8. Easy Signature Workflows
    Acrobat now allows you to easily sign a document by typing your name, drawing your signature or using a signature stamp. You can then easily add your signature to any document or even send it for additional signatures using Adobe’s EchoSign eSignature service.
  9. Restrict Editing Easily
    With Acrobat’s new ability to edit PDF, you may wish to protect the important documents you share. Acrobat XI includes new, easier single-step method to add this restriction.
  10. Customize Panel Toolset
    Sometimes you just need the tools you use everyday available where you want them! Acrobat XI allows you to create your own custom Toolset with just the tools you need. From a single customization window, you can create your own panel and Quick Tools (toolbar icons).

16 Responses to It’s new! Top Ten new features of Acrobat Pro XI for Legal Pros

  1. Do you have an SDK?

  2. Pingback: Hot off the Presses: Acrobat XI – What Can it Do for Lawyers? « Oregon Law Practice Management

  3. Michele Ballagh says:

    I like to use the portfolio function to create digital document briefs. The problem is that you can’t print the index for the portfolio from Adobe Acrobat. For a voluminous index, its unbelievably time-wasting to have to recreate the index in Word so that I can add it to an affidavit, etc.

    I’ve used an add-on called Joel’s Portfolio utilities for several years which makes it possible to download the index into an excel spreadsheet and then from there turn it into a word document that I can manipulate. . However, this add-on doesn’t seem to be available anymore to download onto new computers.

    Its such a basic function that I can’t believe Adobe hasn’t yet made it possible in all their upgrades. I know that I won’t be upgrading until this function is added as I’m afraid that I’ll lose Joel’s Portfolio utilities entirely from my existing computers.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      You might look at the AutoPortfolio product from It offers a number of functions that can be performed on Portfolios.

  4. Laura K says:

    Are you still able to hit the delete key to redline text? Is there somewhere in the settings to set this up?

  5. Terri Begley-Allen says:

    Rick do you ever do on-site training? If so, woud you be willing to come to Alaska? If not, could you recommend a person(s) who could provide Adobe XI training specifically for paralegals? We are interested in it’s use & functions in the legal environment. (Redacting, Bates #ing, Portfolios, Binders, high volume document managment, etc.)

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Sorry, I don’t do training, but the prospect of some good salmon fishing in Alaska does sound tempting . . .
      To find an Adobe Certified Training Provider in your area, go to:
      You can select the Adobe product(s) and your state.
      This list may actually represent only a small subset of the trainers in your area since it only lists the ones which have passes Adobe’s rigorous testing.
      A web search such as “Acrobat training in STATE” or “Acrobat training in CITY” may yield good results, too.

  6. Richard Ohle says:

    going nuts…. I am a building inspector I take hundreds of inspections and put them together numerically in a PDF file which I bookmark. I should note here that I am new to Mac but have used acrobat pro on a PC. Every now and then I get a message about creating a portfolio ( no idea what that is) . I do know that when I had this problem on a PC all I had to do was to print it on Adobe printer and I could reinsert the document without a problem. Well now I’m on a MAC and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do this.

    So I guess the basic question is how do I use the Adobe printer and where is it?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      You should use the Combine function. When doing so, ensure that Portfolio is not checked. Using Combine, you can take many PDFs and order them the way you want to create a new PDF. You can edit the Bookmark name in the Combine window.

  7. Faye Cobarrubias says:

    I cannot print all pdf documents in portfolio by batch printing. I keep getting failure message even though I can print the docs individually.

  8. Barbara A. says:

    I created my form in Word and converted it to a PDF. I have lines where clients could handwrite their answers in the past. Now I want the text to wrap on the lines when a client types in their answers. The two lines I had for written text have become two separate text fields and the text clients type in one field does not wrap to the next line, the text just gets smaller on the same line! How do I fix my form so that I can still have lines that clients can type on but the text wraps to each line without the font getting smaller? Thank you!