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Acrobat--PostScript for the Internet
by Glen Emerson Morris
Copyright © 1994 - 2010 by Glen Emerson Morris
All Rights Reserved
keywords: Internet advertising, Internet marketing, business, advertising, Internet, marketing.
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Adobe, the company which created PostScript and the desktop publishing industry a
decade ago, has created a new industry standard format for sharing DTP documents
electronically. Based on PostScript, Acrobat 2.0 is specifically targeted at advertising,
marketing, and publishing markets, and supports both business to business and business
to consumer electronic publishing.
Acrobat allows DTP programs like QuarkXPress, PageMaker, Illustrator, and PhotoShop
to create a PDF, or portable document file, when can be read, printed, and even edited
and modified on any Mac, IBM, or UNIX system with an Acrobat viewer. (The viewer
is free, other Acrobat packages range from $200 to $1500.)
Like desktop publishing, this is another one of those innovations that can't help
but change the balance of power between a lot of interests. It bypasses printing
presses, FedEX, and prepress expenses like color separations, and allows publishing
to be done faster than ever before, and in many ways cheaper.
The speed factor of Acrobat 2.0 has already made new services possible. The Associated
Press has incorporated Acrobat into AdSEND, AP's new digital delivery service that
lets advertisers use the AP's communications network to send ads to newspapers nationwide, in hours, or if necessary, in minutes. Properly priced, AdSEND could make FedEX
seem both slow and overpriced.
An even more immediate way to communicate is possible with a new system combining
Mosaic, an Internet BBS, and Acrobat. Instead of the usual text only interface, Acrobat
fills the screen with typeset quality text and full color graphics, virtually as
good as an off the rack magazine or major brand catalog. For two or three thousand dollars
a month a company could put a high quality catalog or publication on line on the
Internet, and reach potentially thirty million people.
The capacity limitations of current telephone technology still make CD-ROMs the best
way to communicate large volumes of information, like the Sears catalog or the Federal
Budget, and Acrobat 2.0 is ideal for this. Clinton used Acrobat 1.0 to distribute
the Federal Budget on CD-ROM to Congress, and a Sears catalog on CD-ROM is, at least,
The new version, Acrobat 2.0, is an even better way to publish electronically for
two reasons. The viewer required to read Acrobat documents is now free, so large
scale distribution is economical, and Acrobat's new indexing and search features
allow specific information to be found quickly, even in amounts of data greater than encyclopedias.
Every word is indexed, and all PDF documents present can be searched simultaneously.
Acrobat 2.0 has every quality needed to redefine publishing as we know it--groundbreaking
performance, a compelling economic argument, and a company behind it with the marketing
savvy and clout to make it the industry standard. As PostScript rewrote the cost of typesetting, Acrobat 2.0 is rewriting the costs of printing and distribution.
This time, the changes will be much more than just economic. The less it costs produce
and distribute a publication, the fewer advertisers it needs to support it, and the
fewer readers. The information content of traditional media is a balance between the
interests of the readers and the advertisers. That balance is at the heart of mass
communications, and the public consensus it creates. With the introduction of Acrobat
2.0, all the economic realities that created and maintained that balance have just gone
out the window.
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