adobe_logo_2009.jpg The latest release from companies looking to dominate the document space is Workspaces from Adobe (news, site) which aims to take email out of collaboration and enable enterprises to coordinate work on projects with teams that span multiple organizations.

So it’s not ever going to be like SharePoint (news, site) but neither is its pricing with the current release coming as both a free edition and a Premium Edition. It does aim to enable collaboration on files across the widest spectrum possible both inside and outside of enterprise firewalls.

Document Collaboration

By creating a Workspace users extend their work team to everyone who needs to work on a particular file rather than having to share them using email, which as we all know is time consuming and risks major problems on multi-user projects.

On the Acrobat blog, writing on the release of Acrobat Workspaces, Rick Treitman, Director of Product Management for, said that while collaboration on documents or files was one of the big advantages, the real plus stems from the fact that there are no limits to the number or location of the people that share that file.

The only limitations on use are those stipulated by the creator or administrator who has complete control to the level and kind of sharing that can be done on documents and by whom.

Workspaces Features

So what is it you get? The first thing to say is that it is relatively easy to set up and while there is a free edition it probably won’t work well for larger companies that would need to use larger Workspaces on a regular basis.

Workspaces: Working in a Workspace

However, with an Premium Basic subscription users can create up to 20 online Workspaces and with Premium Plus subscription they can create an unlimited number of Workspaces, so size is not really an issue.

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Workspaces: Creating a Workspace

Other features that enhance sharing include:

  • Easy sharing for large files
  • No special IT or software requirements
  • All file formats, except for video and audio files supported
  • Assign co-ownership for permissions
  • Sharing based on permissions granted

Collaboration is easy and simply requires inviting individuals or team members that you want to access a Workspace by email with the Workspace's owner acting as administrator and controlling document access.

Users can work on documents and spreadsheets, and PDFs can be opened using Acrobat's online viewers and editors. Each file can be up to 100MB in size with increases planned in the coming months. At the moment workspaces cannot be accessed using Acrobat’s mobile app but this is planned in future upgrades.

There are a lot of collaboration tools out there at the moment and this is just another one even easier to use than most. If you want to try it out download the free version and go to the Acrobat blog where you will find step-by-step instructions to get you up and running.