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Home > Tools October 23rd, 2010

Comparison: What’s the Difference between Acrobat X vs. 9, 8, & 7?

One of the most frequent upgrade questions we’re seeing out there is what’s new, what’s different, what’s changed between Adobe Acrobat X (Acrobat 10) and previous versions? Or more simply put, what are the major new features in Acrobat X (Pro or Standard), versus Acrobat 9, 8, or even 7? Adobe calls it “the most compelling release yet” and these kinds of answers can help decide about upgrading…

See More of Adobe Acrobat X Now

Acrobat X was only announced this week, but thus far the early reviews have been very positive… PC Magazine calls it “mas­sively improved” and “faster and more powerful than ever,” with “finally a lucid, up-to-date interface” and “terrific corporate and automation features, including high-quality exports to Word and Excel documents.” Their review concludes that Acrobat X is “the most powerful, flexible, and best-designed PDF software ever written,” and “a giant step forward, and an essential upgrade for anyone who creates or manages PDFs.”

[ What’s the difference between Acrobat X Standard, Pro and Suite? ]

As to the specifics of what’s new, see our earlier release highlights overview, or a longer list (with details) at our product page here. For an itemized version-by-version feature compar­ison vs. previous releases, click to see either of the two full charts below… The top one is for Adobe Acrobat X Pro, and the bottom is for Acrobat X Standard:

See the Acrobat X Pro upgrade version comparison chart

See the Acrobat X Standard upgrade version comparison chart

[UPDATE (Oct. 2012) — Learn about the differences between the new Acrobat XI vs. earlier.]

See also the excellent FAQ, the video demos, or download a free trial of Acrobat X Pro!

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  1. liboum

    Dear Sir,

    I would like to know how to read an Acrobat X file with Acrobat 9?

    Thank you

  2. Chris

    We just installed Adobe X (10). The training company we use only offers courses on Adobe 9. Has much changed from 9 to 10? Would training on 9 still help staff to use and navigate through 10?

  3. melissa

    Are there any new features with form development in Acrobat X as compared to 9 Pro?

  4. pk

    Is it possible for Acrobat 8 Pro to open and read an edited PDF file done in Acrobat X?

  5. pk

    I read through the thread, but it doesn’t address specifically if “comments” are made in a PDF using Acrobat X, can those “comments” be read in Acrobat 8. We’re Mac-based if that makes a difference, and are running a PDF workflow.

    • Sure pk. Well, if you have specific needs with your setup that you want to confirm, your best bet is just to download and run the free trial of Acrobat X Pro in your shop… The tryouts are fully-functioning for 30 days, and can run side-by-side with earlier versions on the same machines without difficulty. This way you’ll be able run the new release through its paces, and verify everything you need to with respect to your workflow.

  6. Chris

    Which version would be able to merge layers of .DWG AutoCAD into one PDF file?
    Thanks !!

  7. Dave

    I use the “compare documents” tool to compare various versions of PDF produced by a tool I test. The version 8 tool was much better than the version 10 tool unless there is some setting I do not know how to use in version 10. What I need to be able to do is create one compare document which contains a side by side view so I can easily and quickly scroll down while viewing the side by side view to verify the only changes to the PDFs are the expected changes. Currently in version 10 I’ve only found a way to create a side-by-side comparision with totally separate PDF’s so I cannot quickly and easily scroll down to view the differences. Can version 10 be configured to do this?

  8. Brian Lambert

    I have an old Adobe Standard 9 on one machine that enables me to insert single pages from one PDF file into another PDF file. However, in my new version of Adobe Standard 10 (not Professional) it does not have this facility. Has this been stripped out of version 10?

  9. Brian Lambert

    Many thanks for information from manuals for merging information from one PDF file into another. However, using the option described in the manual to merge pages from one PDF into another, it does not appear to allow you to choose precisely where in the ‘mother’ document you can insert the additional pages. Could you please advise again.

    • Hello again Brian, I see from re-reading your previous comment that you meant inserting rather than merging – sorry about that…

      But the Adobe documentation page linked above covers that as well, a bit further down. There has been no material change to those features between Acrobat 9 vs. Acrobat X, the functions and capabilities are the same. However, it is true that the placement and names of some of the commands have changed (restructuring for cosmetic & organizational reasons).

      If that’s still not helping for some reason, please be very specific about exactly what it is you’re doing in Acrobat 9 (step-by-step actions) that you can’t yet figure out how to do in Acrobat X. Thanks!

  10. Bob

    After coming from Acrobat 9 std, I’m finding Acrobat X std extremely frustrating. Like Brian, I’m finding a number of features and functionalities that seem to be missing from v9 std.

    Combining pdf’s – both open and not – is different, and actually more difficult, in my experience.

    Saving pdf’s in which pdf’s have been combined is different – I’m often told that I can’t save the pdf because it’s already open, even if it’s not.

    I used to be able to close a group of open pdf’s all at once with “close all windows”, but now I get stopped and asked if I want to save the “changes” in each one – when there have been no changes whatsoever.

    And finally, the last straw – I just found that Acrobat X Standard does NOT generate portfolios, even when v 9 Standard DID. And it’s not a feature that’s listed as a difference between std and pro.

    I’ve looked all over the preferences to see if there isn’t something I can change to make it work more like v9, but I can’t find anything. Usually I’m thrilled with the improvements between versions, but apparently all the improvements have been focused on features I don’t use.

    Any ideas on how I can change settings or anything?

  11. Samantha

    In Adobe Professional 8, I was able to do retrieve data submitted via PDF form by doing the following:

    Forms –> Manage Form Data –> Import Data

    How do I do this in 9? Thanks!

  12. Dave

    My department has a mix of Adobe Professional users, some have version 7, others have version 9. In order to export files to a PDF from a specific 3rd-party application, those using “7” must have the “Display PDF in web browser” box checked, and those with “9” must have it unchecked. However, with other applications, in order to export to a PDF, those using 9 must have that selection checked. Is there some other setting in Adobe 9 we should try to enable consistent experience for those users (without having to check or uncheck all the time), or does this appear to be an issue within the 3rd-party application? Thanks so much for any advice you can offer.

  13. Lily

    How do you edit bookmarks in Adobe Acrobat 10? I was able to right click on a bookmark to edit it in version 9, but it doesn’t pull that up in 10?

  14. Zeg Fanta


    Hi there, I think the question is clear however Lily did not put her question clearly. What she asked was how to combine files in one PDF file so that she could see the two files (created by Acro 10 and 9). This feature is available in Acro XI merging files into one as pages. Therefore, the question is which version has this feature (combining files)? I like to know the answer to the question.


    • Hey there Zeg, don’t quite follow you… Lily asked about how to edit bookmarks. The comment you replied to above (from Dave) asked about comparing documents. But it sounds like you’re talking about combining or merging files?

  15. Zeg Fanta

    Dear @ProDesignTools,

    You are right on the first point concerning, Lily, wrong on the second point. I dragged Lily into this and you compounded my problem by dragging into the confusion a person called Dave, I do not know. I felt trapped because I did not know why I chose Lily over Bob!

    I had similar experience like Bob. I have resolved my problem and I am okay now. I had an urgent project and decided it was not worth it. ProDesign, before I go I have to tell you that I learn a lot from the exchanges and your instructions. Some may be unrelated to the problem I have, but they prepared me to overcome problems that I run into other times! I hope Lily and also Bob are not unhappy that their problems were further confused.

    Thanks buddy!

  16. Bob

    Is the latest Acrobat Pro version (I believe now XI) compatible with version 9 in regards to command line arguments for postscript file creation? And if there are differences then by obtaining license for version XI can you downgrade back to version 9?

  17. Kerrie

    I have a Word template which contains user-created metadata fields. One of the fields is duplicated in the Word document, one of the duplicated fields is underlined the other is not.

    If using Adobe 9, the document PDFs perfectly. When using Adobe X the duplicate field that is not underlined has the letter ‘U’ inserted into the field before the text.

    Can anyone please advise what could be causing this?

  18. Siham Ahmed Balla

    i would like to combine several pdf files in one file.
    how this could be done?
    i have adobe reader 9.1