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Acrobat.com: A Replacement For Other Office Applications?

Acrobat.com: A Replacement For Other Office Applications?

Acrobat.com

    At first glance, Acrobat.com doesn’t seem like anything special. We’ve seen Buzzword before, of course. And we’ve seen all the various Google application, as well. Acrobat.com can’t have anything new to offer, right?

    Adobe Buzzword

    Like I said, Acrobat.com looks like a pretty version of every other set of office applications out there at first glance. But that impression fades very quickly. Really, Adobe Buzzword is pretty much the only similarity to a true office suite — Acrobat.com isn’t offering spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides. The time they might have spent on such endeavors has gone to Buzzword, and the application is a solid product. Adobe picked up Buzzword last year and turned it into the centerpiece of Acrobat.com

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    Adobe Buzzword has the standard offerings of most online word processors — Share your brilliant prose with your friends! Watch edits happen in real time! Access your documents from the furthest corners of the globe! You know the drill. But even the great Google missed a few points on Google Docs, a lesson from Buzzword has learned. Most important for shared documents is the addition of version control. It’s surprisingly easy to revert to that version you thought you saved over in Buzzword — less so in most other applications. When using Buzzword, controls for such things as commenting are simply more intuitive than Google Docs and its ilk. I keep comparing Buzzword to Google Docs for a simple reason — I use it quite a bit. I started using Google Docs because, well, it’s pretty well integrated with Gmail. But I’m a bit tempted to make the changeover.

    Create PDF, Share & My Files

    Off to the right hand side of Acrobat.com are three tools that seem to have the same sort of presentation as Adobe Buzzword. These three, however, haven’t been given the Adobe name. Create PDF, Share and My Files have a bit of the little brother feel — they just don’t seem to have gotten as much love growing up.

    Create PDF has a bit of a stunted feel to it. Sure, it’s a great tool if you don’t have Acrobat — just upload a file and hit one button to get a PDF. But Adobe has limited users to five PDFs (this month? this year? ever? It doesn’t say). Five PDFs really isn’t a lot. Adobe’s suggestion for users who need more than five PDFs isn’t exactly helpful, either:

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    If you need more than 5 Adobe PDF creations, we recommend you purchase Adobe® Acrobat® 9 software to get the full power of PDF creation on your desktop.

    Share has a bit more flexibility, although it too has limits. For those of us constantly sending big files, Adobe’s document sharing tool could come in handy. Users get five gigabytes of space for free, making for a simple way to share sizeable files. There will probably come a point for most users when they have to start removing documents in order to put up new ones, but I consider that a workable solution. But what I really like about the Share function is the fact that each file gets its own unique website address, making it trivial to embed documents in your website.

    Arguably, Share and My Files are the same tool. My Files is just a file organization system and Share is the icing on the top — permissions for those files. They use the same five gigs of storage. Adobe has also put some restrictions on My Files that extends to Share. Most importantly, there is a long list of file formats that cannot be uploaded and therefore cannot be shared. Executable files, music and video files and archive files are all forbidden.

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    Adobe ConnectNow

    Beyond Adobe Buzzwords, the other selling point is Adobe ConnectNow. It’s a conferencing application with all the bells and whistles: screen sharing, whiteboards, audio and video. This is the free version, so users are limited to three people. Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro can handle plenty more, but with a price set significantly higher than free.

    As long as you’re planning a small conference, ConnectNow can be a good option. The user interface is fairly intuitive. My dad could probably figure out which icons to click to start a video conference or to upload a file, although I won’t go so far as to claim that my grandmother could handle it. There isn’t anything I haven’t seen before in an online conferencing application, though.

    The Verdict

    Tempting as Adobe Buzzword’s version control system is, I don’t think I’m going to take the time to transfer all my files over. Buzzword is nice, and the rest of the tools on Acrobat.com are useful. But they aren’t quite innovative. I’ll keep my login and might have a few group projects that I’ll run off of Buzzword, rather than Google Docs, but I have no reason to make a full change over.

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    I’m ready for the next great thing in web applications and, sad to say, Acrobat.com isn’t it. The interface is very well-designed, but there isn’t anything that really makes it stand out from all of the other application suites out roaming the internet. I don’t really object to the restrictions that Acrobat.com places on users (though I’d appreciate a clear explanation of a few points). It’s free and you get what you pay for. But Adobe has made several applications in the past that I was willing to pay for, and I’d hoped that Acrobat.com would be a little more in line with that quality.

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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