Just had to take 4 tests for a potential job offering. 1 on Illustrator, 1 on Photoshop, 1 on InDesign and 1 on Adobe Acrobat 7 Standard

I've never once used Adobe Acrobat 7 Standard but expected the questions to be about touchup, making an interactive pdf maybe, or file optimization stuff.

Nope. 44 questions almost entirely about:

  1. Chapters/Bookmarks/Destinations/etc.
  2. Security and Encryption Options
  3. Different types of reviews

So now I'm just trying to figure out if this is standard stuff for a graphic designer in any large corporation?

Here is an exact question from the skills assessment. It had 4 multiple choice answers but I didn't write them down:

The Human Resources Department is asking for all managers to submit salary listings by position, taking note that some departments have similar positions. What is the best security method for saving the PDF documents for the managers?

  • 4
    Only if you want to be stuck being the guy that everyone sends their PDF problems to. ;) (FYI, just my opinion, but any gig that requires a 'software test' isn't a design gig...it's a lower-level production gig (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but just a heads up)).
    – DA01
    Jan 13, 2013 at 22:05
  • 1
    when the pay is 50% more than my current salary and significantly better benefits and growth opportunities I'm not entirely sure I care at this point. But from what I understand this corporation uses an outside staffing agency for all of their positions
    – Ryan
    Jan 13, 2013 at 22:08
  • Yea, a lot of staffing agencies still do this (kinda silly, but not uncommon). Good luck in getting the position!
    – DA01
    Jan 14, 2013 at 4:33
  • Knowing more can never hurt.
    – Hanna
    Jan 14, 2013 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


Not standard, but not uncommon. It depends on the industry and organization.

Similarly, there are firms out there that specialize in preparing presentations for corporate and court room purposes. They'll want you to know a lot about PowerPoint, though the rest of the industry curses it.

I haven't had an intensive need for Acrobat for probably more than a decade. The old uses for the technology has largely been replaced by a combination of Google Docs, intranets, and websites.


The question areas you list wouldn't fall into "extensive" knowledge in my opinion. They are basic Acrobat operations, especially if the position requires creating web-deliverable or interactive PDFs.

In today's "print dying" world, it has become more and more important to understand digital delivery. In most cases this entails use of Adobe Acrobat.

Whether knowing how to properly format a PDFX/1-a file for press or an interactive PDF for web/screen delivery, it's not unheard of for a company to expect a designer to understand the basics of these operations.

I use Acrobat daily. It may be to simply review changes to a print piece I'm working on or it may be delivery of an interactive PDF to be used as an "e-book" of sorts. On occasion I receive PDFs of old projects which I need to decompile and use elements from. Nonetheless Acrobat is an important production tool worth knowing.

Now, actually being tested and jumping through hoops to confirm you know the basics is another matter.

  • I've updated the question with a sample question I had jotted down from the test. I'm curious if after you read it this is still what you don't consider extensive knowledge. I expected the questions to be about PDFX/1-a files, optimization and interactive pdfs. That I know.
    – Ryan
    Jan 14, 2013 at 0:01
  • 1
    @Ryan Yes still a basic question about what security options are available. I can't recommend any book specifically. PeachPit (Adobe's publisher) will probably have a few though.
    – Scott
    Jan 14, 2013 at 0:05

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