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Adobe Acrobat 9: berry cool!

by David R. Mankin

There’s a commercial on TV for a major cellular phone carrier in which a young businessman gets out of a cab, the cab drives away, and he realizes that his presentation for his meeting is still in the cab.  The sales pitch is for how one can reliably have a document sent from their cell smartphone to the board room.  This got me thinking.  What if there was no board room to zap the file toward?  What if there was no printer at the presentation site to help you recreate your lost document?


I use Acrobat regularly on Windows-based machines and Macs.  I test files with Reader on those two operating systems, and even have a Linux computer equipped with Reader for testing purposes.  I also carry a Blackberry with me everywhere.  It never occurred to me to see what the Blackberry would do with a PDF email attachment… until I saw that commercial.

A quick visit to Adobe’s website reveals that there is no official Adobe release of Reader for the Blackberry, although if you specify “Mobile” as your OS, you are directed to a site where a $15 product called Adobe Reader LE 2.5 is available.  The list of supported mobile devices is very limited, and Blackberry isn’t one of them.

Time for the grand experiment:  I emailed a PDF file to myself.  The Blackberry sounded its new mail chime, and I retrieved the message.  I gave the command to “Open Attachment”, and much to my delight… my Blackberry’s default file viewer showed me my image-based PDF file!  Clicking on the smartphone’s menu button, and found some convenient controls enabling zooming, rotating, and fit to page!

So now I get to make my own commercial – in which I get out of a cab, realize I forgot my proposal printout, pull out my Blackberry… and squint my way through my presentation.  Ideal?  No. Potential deal-saving feature that few know about? You bet!

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