New features summary | May 2020 release of Acrobat DC

Acrobat DC

Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is the complete PDF solution for working with your most important documents across desktop, web, and mobile devices. Get the latest Acrobat update – on the Help menu, click Check for updates and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update process.

Protected mode (sandbox) support in Acrobat

We’re introducing the Protected Mode (sandbox) feature in Acrobat. Earlier, it was only available in Acrobat Reader.

The Protected Mode (sandbox) is a core architecture change and covers all the features and workflows in Acrobat. By default, the Protected Mode is turned off.

To enable Protected Mode in Acrobat:

  1. On the menu, go to Edit > Preferences.
  2. From the Categories, click Security (Enhanced), and then select Enable Protected Mode at Startup (Preview).
  3. Quit Acrobat and relaunch.
Protected mode

How to verify whether the Protected Mode is enabled?

  • Open Windows Task Manager. If you see two instances of Acrobat.exe, then Protected Mode is enabled for Acrobat.

Adobe is testing the new protected mode feature in Acrobat. Therefore, the feature may not be available to all Acrobat users.

Streamlined Fill & Sign experience

The new streamlined Fill & Sign experience doesn't have the intermediate intent screen. When you choose the Fill & Sign tool, you directly land in the Fill & Sign experience and all the options are available in the toolbar.

Fill and Sign toolbar
Tools > Fill & Sign

Get the document signed by others

  • Share a read-only copy of the form - To share the form, click Next > Save As A Read-Only Copy > Continue. The form is uploaded to the server and certified by Adobe Sign. For more information, see Save or send a copy of the form.
Share a read-only copy of the document

You can share the document with your recipients using one of the following ways.

  • Get a shareable link – Creates a read-only link to the document that you can share with others for viewing.
  • Send a copy – Send a read-only copy of your completed document by email.
Share a copy of the signed document


Adobe is testing the new Fill & Sign experience in Acrobat DC. Therefore, the new experience may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

New Sign menu

The new Sign menu provides an easy access to all form-related tools like Fill and Sign, Request Signatures, Create Form, and Manage All Agreements.

Sign menu
Sign menu


Adobe is testing the new Sign menu in Acrobat DC. Therefore, the new menu may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

Simplified and guided redact experience

The new simplified and guided redaction experience makes it easier for you to remove sensitive content from PDFs.

Two-click redaction

To redact text and images in a PDF, you can do one of the following:

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat. Click Edit > Redact Text and Images.
  • Select the text or image in a PDF, right-click, and select Redact.
  • Select the text or image in a PDF, choose Redact in the floating context-menu.
Redact from the Edit menu
Redact from the Edit menu

Redact from the right-click context menu
Redact from the right-click context menu

Redact from the floating menu
Redact from the floating menu

After you mark text and images for redaction, it's now easier to apply redaction using one of the following ways:

  • Click Save or go to File > Save. You see a prompt to apply the redaction and save the file. Click Apply & Save.
Click Apply and Save

  • Click Apply in the blue ribbon at the top.
Apply redactions

In the Apply Redactions dialog, choose if you want to remove the hidden information by clicking the toggle button. Acrobat retains the chosen setting. Click OK.

Apply redactions

For more information, see Removing sensitive content from PDFs.

Simplified Redact tool

The decluttered Redact tool now shows only the two main options in the toolbar: Redact Text & Images and Sanitize Document.

Redact tool

Redact Text and Images: The Redact Text & Images action is selected by default. It enables you to start marking the text and images you want to redact without having to select any action in the tool. Click the drop-down to Redact Pages, Find Text & Redact, or set the appearance of redaction marks using Properties.

Redact Text and Images

Sanitize Document: The Remove Hidden Information is now an optional action within the Sanitize Document action. When you sanitize a document, it removes the hidden information as well. To selectively remove hidden information, click Sanitize Document and then click the Click Here hyperlink.

Sanitize Document

Cut, copy, and paste thumbnails in Organize Pages tool and page thumbnails

You can now organize the pages in a PDF using cut, copy, and paste options from the context menu in the thumbnail view of the pages in the Organize tool and the page thumbnails in Acrobat. Also, the options are supported across the documents - you can cut or copy in one document and paste in another document.

  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat DC and do one of the following:

    • Go to Tools > Organize Pages. Choose Cut or Copy from the right-click context menu of the page thumbnail, or from the Options menu (...).
    • Click the page thumbnails in the left pane of a PDF. Choose Cut or Copy from the right-click context menu.
    Cut, Copy from Organize tool page thumbnails
    Choose Cut or Copy from the context menu in Tools > Organize Pages

    Cut, Copy from the page thumbnails context menu
    Choose Cut or Copy from the context menu in page thumbnails

    Choose Cut, Copy from the Options menu
    Choose Cut or Copy from the Options menu (...)

  2. Click between the page thumbnails where you want to insert the page. You see an insertion bar giving a clear indication of where to paste the page. Right-click, or click the insertion bar, and then choose Paste.

    Select the location and choose Paste

Open Comments pane by default for PDF with comments

Acrobat now automatically opens the Comments pane when you open a PDF with comments. If you close the pane, Acrobat prompts you to choose whether you want to open the pane automatically next time for PDFs with comments.

Open the Comments pane automatically

Alternatively, you can set this preference manually:

  1. In Acrobat, go to Edit > Preferences (Windows), or Acrobat > Preferences (Mac).
  2. Under Commenting, deselect the option - Show Comments Pane When A PDF With Comments Is Opened. Click OK.

Adobe is testing this new feature in Acrobat DC. Therefore, this new experience may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

Modernized print dialog box

The new improved Print dialog box fits into all supported screen-resolutions without showing a scroll bar.

New improved print dialog box

Summary of changes in the Print dialog box:  

  • Changed the label Auto portrait/landscape to Auto.
  • Horizontally aligned the radio button options under Pages to Print, Page Sizing & Handling, and Orientation sections.
  • Moved the Comments & Forms section in the left panel.
  • Changed the label Current Page to Current.
  • Added padding in each section.
  • Horizontally aligned the Save Ink/Toner checkbox.
  • Reduced the text box area of Pages in the Pages to Print section.
  • Compact page preview area keeping the ratio intact.
  • Compact More Options.

Cloud-powered search suggestions

The new cloud-powered search option in Acrobat shows search suggestions related to your search keywords. When you search for a word, it not only provides matches for the searched word but also related words and synonyms found in the document. Additionally, it considers what you meant even when there is a typo or misspelling.

For example, if you search for the word ‘standards’ in a PDF, you see the matching word (standards) and suggestions based on the actual meaning of the word (‘requirements’, ‘guidelines’, 'compliance', and so on).


When you use this feature, Adobe does not store a copy of your PDF and all communications are encrypted.

Cloud powered smart search

To enable or disable cloud-powered search, click the settings icon ( ), and then choose Cloud-Powered Search.

Settings to enable cloud powered search


Adobe is testing the new cloud-powered search suggestions in Acrobat DC. Therefore, the new experience may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

PDFMaker add-in for Microsoft Excel on Mac

PDFMaker is now available for Microsoft Excel on macOS. The PDFMaker is supported for MS Office 2016 (ver. 16.35) and later versions. Use the Acrobat > Create PDF add-in to create PDFs and the Create and Share Adobe PDF add-in to create and share Adobe PDFs in Acrobat DC. 

 When you click Create PDF, you are prompted to choose whether you want to use the Adobe Create PDF cloud service or the local conversion. You can choose the cloud service to create high-quality PDFs.

Acrobat add-in in MS Excel
Acrobat > Create PDF

Create And Share Adobe PDF
Microsoft Excel Home > Create and Share Adobe PDF

Google Chrome extension for Acrobat on Mac

Adobe Acrobat extension for Chrome is now available on macOS. Enabling the extension adds the Acrobat PDF Creation toolbar and the right-click context menu options to convert web pages or links to PDFs.


Adobe is testing the new Chrome extension for Acrobat DC on Mac. Therefore, the extension may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

New Fill & Sign in Acrobat option in Google Chrome

The new Fill & Sign option for Chrome helps you open a PDF form in Acrobat directly from Chrome. When you open an online PDF in Chrome, Acrobat detects if it is a PDF form and displays a persistent Fill & Sign in Acrobat option. To fill and sign the form, do one of the following:

  • Click Fill & Sign in Acrobat in the persistent menu.
Fill & Sign option in Acrobat extension in Google Chrome

  • Click the Acrobat extension in the top-right corner of the browser window, and then click Fill & Sign.
Fill & Sign option from the Acrobat menu


Adobe is testing the new Fill & Sign option in Chrome extension for Acrobat DC. Therefore, the option may not be available to all Acrobat DC users.

Flash content disable in 3D files

Adding Flash content in 3D PDF files is now disabled and no longer supported. You will see one of the below dialogs when you encounter Flash content in a PDF.

  • When Flash Player is not installed on your system:
Flash content removed message

  • When Flash Player is installed on your system: A message is displayed asking you to turn off using Flash Player.
Flash disabled warning message

Choose one of the following:

  • OK - Disables the preference Use Flash Player For Playing 3D and Multimedia Content. FlashPlayer is not used to play flash content. The PDF uses the native OS media players, like Windows Media Player on Windows or QuickTime on macOS, to play the audio or video content in the PDF.
  • Ask me later - The preference Use Flash Player For Playing 3D and Multimedia Content is enabled, and FlashPlayer plays the flash content. The message is displayed again if the user opens a PDF file with flash content.
Enable or disable FlashPlayer preference
Edit (menu) > Preferences > 3D & Multimedia

Full Check feature in Accessibility renamed to Accessibility Check

The Full Check feature in the Accessibility tool is renamed to Accessibility Check for easy identification for the intended task and better discoverability of the feature.

Full check in Accessibility tool
Full Check (Old name)

Accessibility check in Accessibility tool
Accessibility Check (New name)

Authorization scope changes for Gmail in Acrobat

Acrobat now uses the REST APIs that require limited permissions like compose mails and read contacts only to create a draft and send an email from Acrobat. (Earlier, Acrobat used the IMAP/SMTP protocol that required permissions to read, compose, send, and delete emails from your Gmail account.)

Permissions required by Acrobat to add Gmail account
Permissions required by Acrobat (New prompt)

Permissions required by Acrobat to add Gmail account
Permissions required by Acrobat (Old prompt)

Performance improvement in PDF rendering

Multiple improvements in caching are made to enable smooth rendering of heavy PDF files.

Contextual help content from within the application

Acrobat now provides contextual help that allows single-click access to the help content in the context of the tool or feature you’re using. For example, If you are using the Edit tool, clicking the Help menu, or help (?) icon, or pressing the F1 key takes you to the Edit PDF help page.

Click help to see the contextual help

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