Adobe has announced the release of its latest portable document creation and viewing software family, including Acrobat X in Standard and Pro versions, Reader X, the Acrobat X Suite (includes Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Acrobat X Pro, Adobe Presenter 7, Adobe Captivate 5, Adobe Media Encoder CS5, Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES2) and new document exchange services at The updated applications bring a much simpler user interface, various enhancements to existing tools, as well as tightened security and a handful of new features.

On the document creation side, Acrobat X makes the process as easy as ever with print-to-file capabilities to produce PDFs from within any application, including Office via dedicated add-ons, or using the Web Capture function. It also lets you do far more with your documents – you can encrypt files, use the Recognize Text command to convert scanned documents into searchable PDF articles, collaborate on PDF files via SharePoint or services, integrate audio, video, 3D renderings and other media-rich content, among other things.

Meanwhile, the new version of Adobe Reader will feature the promised sandboxing security technology designed to add an additional layer of protection against attacks targeting the popular software. The feature will be enabled by default and essentially what it does is ensure that all operations required to process a PDF file, including JavaScript execution, 3D rendering, and image parsing, are run in a restricted manner to prevent malicious code from installing or deleting files, modifying system information, or accessing processes.

Other notable features of Reader X include better commenting tools and a new clean-screen reading mode that hides the menu bar, tabs and toolbars so that all you see onscreen is the document. The company is pushing hard into handheld territory with its latest release, which will be available next month not only on all desktop platforms, but also on Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7. Adobe Reader X will be downloadable at no cost, but the rest of the suite won’t come in cheap -- Acrobat X Standard is $ 299 ($139 upgrade), while the complete Acrobat X Suite can fetch up to $1199.