Information Today
Volume17, Number 4 • April 2000
Adobe Systems Releases PDF Merchant, Unveils CoolType, Announces New Partners

Adobe Systems has announced the immediate availability of Adobe PDF Merchant software, a server-based application that secures electronic content for distribution and sales via the Internet. Adobe PDF Merchant provides publishers, authors, resellers, and distributors with the security and confidence needed to deliver electronic books directly to consumer devices. Additionally, Adobe unveiled CoolType, which improves the clarity of type on LCD displays.

Adobe PDF Merchant can be integrated with existing e-commerce and transaction servers, creating a seamless solution for encrypting volumes of Adobe PDF files and selling them over the Web. Once the content is secured, Adobe PDF Merchant creates an electronic key, which can be used within Adobe Acrobat software or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to unlock and read the material.

“Adobe’s PDF Merchant is an important step in enabling the publishing industry to distribute content securely and effectively,” said Robert Bolick of McGraw-Hill’s Professional Book Group.

“Adobe has focused on the intersection of publisher and consumer interests in developing Adobe PDF Merchant and Acrobat Reader,” said Joe Eschbach, vice president of Adobe’s ePaper Solutions Group. “What will drive the growing electronic books market is the breadth of content available to people. Therefore, we have worked with end-users and leading publishers to broaden the number of titles available in a sharper, cleaner reading experience.”

The company also announced that a number of partners will implement Adobe PDF Merchant within their e-commerce services: BookZone, Chapters Online, DeepCanyon, Internet Interactif/Point Net Communications, Mazer Corp., PublishOne, Qpass, RoxyBooks, Sheet Music Plus, and Virtual Publishing.

Eschbach said: “Each of these companies maintains a unique and vital link in the publishing and delivery chain. We will continue to develop innovative technologies that help them expand the content options available to their customers.”

According to the company, CoolType improves the resolution for text displayed on an LCD screen as much as 300 percent, making reading much easier on even the smallest hand-held devices. Providing sharper text and graphics on LCD screens will help make the plethora of hand-held devices a more suitable platform for reading longer documents. Adobe is also developing technologies to re-size and re-flow content to fit any device, while maintaining the high fidelity and printing capabilities of the Adobe PDF format.

Adobe and Palm Computing, Inc. (, a 3Com company, also announced an intention to integrate Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) technologies and the Palm Computing platform geared toward the growing consumer market for electronic publishing. This effort signals an intent to bring a new level of convenience and portability to Adobe’s customers and to deliver Palm users with a wealth of new content, from electronic books to business work-flow documents.

Over the past few months, Adobe has announced relationships with Barnes & Noble, Inc.; Everybook, Inc.; Glassbook, Inc.; InterTrust; Iomega Corp.; Octavo Corp.; Pearson PLC; Reciprocal, Inc.; R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.;; Seybold Publications; Simon & Schuster, Inc.; and Xerox Corp.

Adobe PDF Merchant commerce-server version is available now at an estimated U.S. street price of $5,000 per server, with a per-transaction fee obligation. Currently, it is available through the store in English to U.S. and Canadian customers only. The company intends to integrate the new technologies into existing ePaper Solutions products during the second half of this year.

Source: Adobe Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA, 800/833-6687, 408/536-6000;

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