We work with a lot of law firms and for the most part, they work with a pretty standard set of tools. Some form of Adobe may it be the free Reader or the pay Pro version is almost always a part of these set of tools. It has come to our attention that some people do not know the difference between the free and pay versions of Adobe Acrobat. We try to shed some light on this question in this Legal TechTalk post.
Adobe Reader is free software that can be downloaded here. It’s basically for viewing PDF documents, reading and printing them, but NOT for creating or editing them. With Adobe Reader you have the ability to edit fillable PDF forms, you know the ones I’m talking about, with the highlighted blue text boxes? You can also digitally sign documents, and also add comments and markups to documents.
Adobe Acrobat Pro does everything Adobe Reader does plus a LOT more. With this version of Adobe Acrobat, you can merge PDF files into a single larger PDF, easy for reporting and document consolidation. With Pro you also have the ability to convert other document types such as Word docs or even Excel spreadsheets into secure PDF files. You also have the ability to create fillable forms. This comes in handy for contracts and other documents where you only want the recipient to input certain requested data and not be able to change a document in it’s entirety. Recipients can then fill in this form with free Adobe Reader. Within pro, under the PDF creation options, you also have the ability to add audio and video to enhance a document.
We have firms that use both the pay and free versions of Adobe Acrobat. It all depends on your need. If you simply need to view PDF’s and add comments for collaboration, perhaps a free version is all you need. If you create PDF’s and have the need to edit and convert files to PDF, you may need to look here to buy Adobe Acrobat Pro. The provided link for Adobe Acrobat Pro is a link to a great software shop online with EXCELLENT prices. If your interested in buying Adobe Pro, they usually have the best price, plus it’s a download so no waiting for shipped software. Download the trial here, wait for the company to email you the serial after your purchase and then install the trial and input the serial on install, the install will ask if you have a serial number. You’ll have a full working version of Adobe Acrobat Pro in no time.
If you don’t want to spend the money on Pro but need to convert files to PDF for security, download bullzip. It creates a virtual printer that when printed to creates a PDF document. It asks where you want to save it and in no time you have your document in un-editable PDF form. We also have law firms that take the Adobe Reader, Bullzip approach. It’s free and works great!