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Chapter One. The World According to Acrobat > One, Two, Buckle Your Shoe

One, Two, Buckle Your Shoe

Despite Adobe's long leadership role as a graphic arts software developer, it created Acrobat (originally code-named Carousel) to solve a problem in the corporate world. Back in 1993, when Acrobat was first released, companies were creating documents using a wide variety of applications—primarily Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but also word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications from other companies. Many of these documents were text heavy; however, color graphics were quickly finding their way in, especially in presentations. The problem was that unless you printed and distributed hard copies to your colleagues, there was no way to ensure that your document's layout would remain intact—including the appearance of type and the position and appearance of graphics. Digital file exchange wasn't reliable because document creators had no way of knowing whether the receiving parties were on the same operating systems, much less whether they had the same applications and fonts on their hard drives or the appropriate color capabilities on their monitors.

Enter Adobe Acrobat. Well, enter Acrobat and No Hands Software's Common Ground and a couple other contenders for the portable document crown. You see, in the early 1990s the myth of the paperless office loomed large: Many believed that the rise of the Internet would lead to the demise of paper. Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) files were a giant step toward the realization of the paperless office.


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