by Lowell Rapaport
Need a fax machine? an e-mail station? A scan-to-file utility? Adobe’s all-in-one solution to such problems is it’s Acrobat Messenger program. Based on Adobe’s Acrobat technology, Messenger combines scanning with e-mail and fax software to provide a total communication system.
Using Messenger is easy, even for technophobes. A log-in screen keeps track of users on the system. The main window of Acrobat Messenger is divided in half. The screen’s left side has two tabs for scanning and delivering files. The right side is used to preview the documents. The program lets you rotate the image and add notes to the scan. When you finish, you click the delivery tab. You can e-mail or save the scan as either a portable document format (PDF) or jpeg file. You can send the file to a Web server and e-mail the URL, or, if you have a fax modem attached to the computer, you can fax the scan. Once you’re satisfied the destination is correct, just click the red button on the screen to send the file.
The only drawback is its rather stiff system requirements. The software supports the use of low-end desktop computers as clients, but these aren’t very useful when you still have to walk over to the server to load the documents that need to be scanned.
At $1,499, Messenger is expensive compared to ordinary fax machines, but the combination of fax, e-mail, and scan-to-file features would be hard to duplicate using generic software and hardware. If you have an office where complex equipment is an issue, Messenger is an excellent choice.