Collaborating on creative reviews through any web browser.

Adobe InDesign brings its new Share for Review features to life with Adobe Acrobat Services APIs.




Employees: More than 22,000 worldwide

San Jose, California


Developed Share for Review feature twice as fast with PDF Embed API


Adobe Acrobat Services ›

Adobe PDF Embed API ›

Adobe InDesign ›

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Streamline review cycles with a feature that allows creators to send for review from Adobe InDesign

Improve accessibility to reviewers with high-fidelity PDF drafts embedded within a web browser

Increase review engagement with high-fidelity PDF drafts embedded within a web browser

Incorporate feedback into the InDesign draft without switching apps

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Increased productivity with Share for Review, including improvements of up to 6 times faster for 3 reviewers

Uses high-fidelity PDF rendering for better review experiences online

Developed a prototype of the Share for Review feature in a day

Cut development time by 50% working with the PDF Embed API compared to third-party options

Collaboration is a critical part of the design process. Creative teams share ideas, talk to clients, and encourage feedback to refine their designs into a strong and unique message.

Adobe InDesign has been the industry-leading application for layout and page design for print and digital media for more than two decades. Part of the software’s success comes from how the software continuously evolves with features that help users work faster, produce layouts more easily, and spend more time polishing their stunning designs.

The Adobe Creative Cloud team knows that this review process is essential for creators, but it can also be challenging. A designer’s colleague, supervisor, or client might not have access to Adobe Creative Cloud apps, so the designer needs to export the project as an image or PDF file. Then the designer needs to attach it to an email; track down edits over email, text, phone, or in meetings; and then carefully apply all comments to the working file.

The Creative Cloud team wanted to rethink the review process with a shared, collaborative interface for reviews within the InDesign application. The question for engineers was how to deliver complex InDesign layouts in a common format that anyone could view and comment on. The Creative Cloud development team found its answer by using the Adobe PDF Embed API to render high-quality PDFs in any web experience, complete with annotation tools for commenting.

“The Share for Review feature gives our users an easy, web-based interface that makes the time to share reviews three times faster, according to a recent Pfeiffer Report,” says Madhuri Murlikrishnan, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Creative Cloud Services at Adobe. “Working with the Adobe PDF Embed API, we can display InDesign files as high-quality PDFs and make reviews more collaborative and accessible.”

“The Share for Review feature gives our users an easy, web-based interface that makes the time to share reviews three times faster.”

Madhuri Murlikrishnan

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Creative Cloud Services, Adobe

Bringing a new feature to market

When the Creative Cloud development team first started working on the Share for Review function, team members quickly agreed that they needed to convert InDesign files to PDF to maximize quality then render the PDF in the same application experience for review. Engineers determined that trying to build a system from scratch — especially one that included high-fidelity PDF display and an annotation layer — would be costly and time-consuming. The Creative Cloud team explored third-party solutions, but none of the solutions that the team looked at could support the high image quality or synced comments that the Share for Review feature needed.

“InDesign reviewers typical want to zoom in and inspect designs more closely, so we needed to support much higher quality displays in PDF,” says Jeremy Mitchell, Senior Software Engineer at Adobe. “We did some analysis and determined that third-party solutions could take a lot of time to integrate into InDesign. The Adobe Document Cloud team told us about the work that they were doing with Adobe Acrobat Services APIs. The Adobe PDF Embed API sounded like just what we needed.”

“It would have taken us twice as long to develop the Share for Review feature without Adobe PDF Embed API. ”

Jeremy Mitchell

Senior Software Engineer, Adobe

Fast development with Adobe PDF Embed API

Using the free Adobe PDF Embed API, InDesign engineers developed a prototype of the Share for Review feature in just a day. Development went quickly, as engineers could easily change the display or add controls for collaboration, saving, and annotations from multiple reviewers.

The PDF Embed API allows the Creative Cloud team to render exceptional-quality PDF files, giving users an even better experience with the Share for Review feature. Developers used the annotations function within PDF Embed API along with unique customizations that allow viewers to add comments by dropping pins or drawing on top of the file. This review layer, with comments synced into the InDesign review panel, could not have been accomplished without the integration and security provided by the PDF Embed API.

“It would have taken us twice as long to develop the Share for Review feature without Adobe PDF Embed API,” says Mitchell. “Faster development meant that we could launch the feature quickly and add great out-of-box capabilities that improve the InDesign user experience.”

“The Share for Review feature adds a new level of experience to InDesign with an end-to-end view of the review cycle.”

Marie Ettema

Director of Product Management, Creative Cloud Collaboration, Adobe

Rethinking collaboration with Share for Review

The Share for Review feature allows creators to share in-progress files directly from the InDesign interface. With just a few clicks, the creator can send a link that allows reviewers to view the PDF file on any web browser. There’s no need to install special software or download files when using the PDF Embed API. Reviewers can use the annotation tools on the web interface to make suggestions or corrections online. This makes it very easy to share drafts with clients who may not have access to powerful design software.

Comments almost immediately flow back to InDesign in the review panel, so the original designer can resolve feedback without leaving the InDesign application. Creators can even choose from multiple security settings for the link — public, password-protected, or restricted to users with specific Adobe IDs — to keep confidential projects safe.

According to a recent Pfeiffer Report, productivity is six times faster with Share for Review when dealing with multiple reviewers. No one involved in the review cycle needs to worry about exporting files, attaching to emails, or downloading documents. Even when looking at a simple process with just one reviewer, Share for Review productivity is three times faster on average.

One graphic design studio calls the Share for Review feature a “game changer” for InDesign. Another established designer said, “The new Share for Review function has changed my life in just one day. If you use Adobe Creative Cloud, start using it. It makes it so easy to share designs with clients and let them provide feedback.”

Analyzing review cycles

The next step for the Adobe Creative Cloud team is to start taking advantage of the analytics features in the PDF Embed API to provide users with useful document metrics. The analytics help designers understand how people interact with a document, including when a document was opened, how long a viewer spends looking at it, or whether a document is downloaded or printed. Creative Cloud developers want to use the analytics to continue expanding functionality based on how users are working with the review panel. The team is also hoping to make certain analytic insights available to creators to give them more visibility into where stakeholders are in the review process. If one person hasn’t looked at a document, a creator might double check that the person received the link or whether they have questions about the review process.

“The Share for Review feature adds a new level of experience to InDesign with an end-to-end view of the review cycle,” says Marie Ettema, Director of Product Management, Creative Cloud Collaboration at Adobe. “We were very excited to see how quickly we could bring this new feature to users with PDF Embed API.”

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