We all know Adobe Acrobat, if not the ‘pro’ editor, at least the reader for the hundreds of .PDF files we all have read.
So what is so wrong about Acrobat Pro? I don’t know how to start… So much I was borderline nervous breakdown using it. Remember, this software costs 17.99€/month, or over 200€ per year.
First things, first. Acrobat is not really an editing software, its purpose is NOT to layout some documents but modify pre-exported content. Fine. But most of the times, the Acrobat printer export is producing an awfully useless content that MUST be edited. Here is where the pain starts.
So as promised a few weeks ago, here is my Adobe Acrobat Pro review.
No alignment tools
Yup, you can display a grid, that’s about it. It’ll snap to the grid, mostly in an unexpected way. And also will snap-fuck when selecting content if the mouse moves by a micron. No guides. Terrifying.
The only way to center an object is by making the container of the object to be as large as the page. You’ll say, well, that’s good enough. It would, if Acrobat was not resizing the container to fit the content every fucking time. I spent most of my documents editing time re-making the containers the width of the page. And again, and again, and again.
No respect for your layout
Acrobat may decide to split a container with several lines of text into one container per line, or worse like one container per ‘whatever Acrobat feels might be a block of some sort’. See previous point to understand how painful that is.
Lengthy images import
You might think a 6 cores Xeon processor @ 3.5GHz and 32GB memory would be enough for any text and image editor in the world, especially with quite ‘low’ resolution (for someone like me working in CGI). Well, nope. If you want to create a PDF document out of several pre-baked pages which are images, beware my friend, beware.
Arbitrary font picking
You’ve selected a font in particular? Be prepared to switch everything you may write or paste in a new container to that font, because Acrobat will always pick its favorite, beloved one.
Arbitrary line height
That one is one of the most disturbing. If you copy and paste text, if you write text and hit enter for a new carriage return, you might get different line heights every time. But the worst in all that, is that you CANNOT CHANGE IT AFTERWARD. There is just no tools for that, period. I’ve had to write/copy my text in .TXT files to make sure the formatting was entirely removed and then paste everything swiftly PRESS SAVE and pray. Wow.
Slower than a meat lover at a vegan conference
Acrobat is so incredibly slow in everything it does. Display, import, export, move, rotate, crop, edit, write… You can just say it’s freaking slow.
Text recognition is a joke
Don’t expect it to work good in any case. Don’t expect it to work at all if there are words absent from the dictionary (it doesn’t seem to recognize characters but whole words, so clever. If that is not the case, I have no idea why then very specific technical words are not recognized and regular words are).
Basic tools absent from default UI
Some very basic tools like cropping are absent from the default UI. In fact the default UI is mostly empty. You have to customize Acrobat to fulfill basic editing jobs first. And naturally, this customization process is everything but smooth and comfortable to do. One hour more in the groin before working.
So all in all my experience with Acrobat Pro was a gigantic WTF. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone and I praise the computer lord of the things that somebody decides to abandon the PDF format to anything else. I was already quite annoyed by Microsoft Word and Excel which are part of the tools I’m ‘forced’ to use, but Acrobat Pro has set the lame bar so high it’s out of this world.
I give this software a 5/7. And I mean 5 divided by 7, so that is around 0.7.