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Adobe Acrobat Pro Licensing

This article applies to: Software Licensing

Acrobat Pro DC 2019 requires an individual (Named-User) license.

If you had been using an earlier version of Acrobat Pro without a Named-User license, you will be prompted for sign-in at the next launch. This will be true even if you do not upgrade your copy of Acrobat Pro.

If you have a University business need to use Acrobat Pro, please ask your department Technical Service Provider or your supervisor to apply for an Acrobat Pro Named-User license on your behalf. (Instructions are below.)

Adobe Acrobat Pro is a fully-featured PDF manager. With it, you can open, create, and edit documents in PDF format.

Many people will find that they can work with PDFs using only free tools, although some advanced features can only be found in Adobe Acrobat Pro. See our Working with PDFs Comparison Table before purchasing Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Please see our Adobe Licensing FAQ article for answers to specific licensing questions. 


Cornell University has an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) for Adobe Acrobat Pro. This license is available to Cornell University staff and faculty who have a business need for the software. Eligible Cornell employees will be granted a Named-User license for Acrobat Pro on an individual, as-need basis. This license is funded centrally, and there is no cost to the individual customer.

The license covers Cornell employees located at the Cornell Ithaca campus, the Cornell Tech campus in New York City, and off-campus Cornell-owned facilities that are associated with colleges on the Ithaca Campus and Tech Campus. Employees of the following Cornell-affiliated organizations are also eligible for a license: The Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva NY, the ROTC Program at Cornell University, and the USDA facility at the Robert W. Holley Center.

Acrobat Pro is also included with a Named-User license for the Creative Cloud All Apps Plan under Cornell's Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA). Cornell personnel with a Named-User license for the Creative Cloud All Apps Plan do not need an additional Acrobat Pro license. For more information about the full Adobe Creative Cloud license, please see our Creative Cloud Licensing article.  

The Weill Cornell Medical College has its own independent license agreement for Adobe products, and is not covered by this license. Weill personnel should contact their local Technical Support Provider or Weill Information Technology Services for more information about Weill's Adobe licensing.

Students at Cornell University are not covered by Acrobat Pro Named-User licensing, and may not receive individual access rights to the software.

Apply for Individual (Named-User) License

While there is no fee for the license, eligible customers must have a Cornell business need to use the software. Determination of whether an individual has a business need is left to the individual's department. License approval can take up to 5 business days. (Most requests are approved by the next business day.)

Adobe Acrobat Pro licenses are assigned at departmental request. If you need an Acrobat Pro license, please ask your local departmental Technical Support Provider (TSP) or your manager to submit a request for a license on your behalf. Your manager or TSP can then submit the request via email to:

The request needs to include the following information:

  • Customer's Name (the person needing the license)
  • Customer's NetID
  • A brief description of the customer's Cornell business responsibilities that require working with PDF documents in a way that cannot be accomplished with free PDF reader applications, such as Acrobat Reader or Apple Preview, or with the PDF capabilities of Microsoft Office.

After your application has been approved, Adobe will send you a confirmation that you have been added to the license. If you have not previously registered your “” email address as an Adobe ID, you will be prompted to set a password. If you had previously used this address as an Adobe ID but have forgotten the password, click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page. Do not use the same password that you use for your NetID.

If you need to access to Acrobat Pro immediately, you may use it under Adobe's seven-day trial license. After approval, Acrobat Pro should switch automatically from the Trial License to the ETLA. 

Download and Activation

Cornell University employees who are Named-Users of the Acrobat Pro DC Plan can download an Acrobat Pro DC installer directly from Adobe.

Previous Versions

Versions of Acrobat Pro prior to the release of Creative Cloud, such as Acrobat Pro XI or earlier, are no longer supported by Adobe, and are considered to be insecure. If you had been using Acrobat Pro XI or earlier, please upgrade to the current release at your earliest convenience. 

Home Use

Your Acrobat Pro Named-User license allows you to install Acrobat Pro onto an any number of computers, whether they are owned by Cornell or your own property. You may store your Adobe ID login credentials on up to two computers, and may be actively using Acrobat Pro on any one computer at a time. If you need to use Acrobat Pro on a third computer, you will be prompted to remotely log out of other locations.

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