Earlier this summer, Adobe launched Acrobat 9. New features abound, including file-sharing capabilities that will be helpful in a variety of office applications, and several functionalities, such as the ability to work with BIM files, are directed squarely at the A/E/C market.

The most universally useful feature in the new suite is the portfolio tool, which lets users group different kinds of files—drawings, text files, e-mails, and rich media—into one compressed PDF portfolio. Viewing options allow each portfolio to be customized or branded appropriately, and all recipients of Adobe 9 files can view every type of content, regardless of whether or not they have the original parent program on their computer.

Some of the interactive functionalities are targeted at the A/E/C market. Acrobat 9 Pro Extended allows users to share views of files on different computers; this includes BIM files, which means project teams can discuss planning or design questions even though not every member has the BIM or 3-D modeling program. The full Acrobat 9 suite includes Standard, Pro, and Pro Extended versions, which retail for $299, $449, and $699, respectively. A free Adobe Reader 9 is also available.