Adobe Acrobat Pro Licensing

HMS Information Technology

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Harvard Medical School currently offers 3 options for acquiring Adobe Acrobat Pro:

Option 1: Perpetual License


  • One time cost per person, per computer
  • No subscriptions fees for the license
  • License is owned by the department that provided the 33 digit HU billing code
  • Licenses can be purchased for anyone within Harvard Medical School


  • Each computer requires its own license
  • Available versions limited to what is currently provided by Adobe (no older versions available)
  • No upgrades to newer versions
  • No license management (anyone who receives a license from the department could take the license with them when the leave the school, thus requiring the department to purchase additional licenses for new staff).

Option 2: HMS Site License


  • No cost license for email eligible, On-Quad faculty and staff within Harvard Medical School
  • Self install available, or can be installed automatically upon request*
  • Version is restricted to what is currently available plus the last most recent version.
  • Licenses assigned automatically as long as you are an eligible HMS faculty or staff member and are actively enrolled in HMS Endpoint Services. 
  • Can be installed on up to two Harvard owned computers

* Automatic install service requires enrollment in the HMS Endpoint Services Program


  • REQUIRES the use of HMS Endpoint Services
  • ONLY available to HMS faculty and staff
  • Not available to students
  • Not available to HSDM, eCommons Self Registered users, any user not eligible for an HMS email account or users considered off Quad in the HMS HR system of record

Option 3: Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription


  • Available with the Adobe Creative Cloud Complete Suite, or as a standalone application
  • Always have the latest version
  • Available to all HMS faculty and staff
  • Licenses can be revoked and reassigned to new users as needed
  • Access Adobe Cloud Sharing services


  • Subscription based pricing requires annual renewal
  • License expires 30 days after renewal date if not renewed
  • Lower upfront cost, higher long term cost.

If you are interested in Adobe Creative Cloud suite, please visit the HMS IT Adobe Software Licensing page:

Information about the HMS Site License for Adobe Acrobat Pro

Effective October 1st, 2015, Harvard Medical School is offering a campus wide site license for Adobe Acrobat Pro versions 11 and 12.  This license has been negotiated with Harvard University and Adobe to allow eligible Harvard Medical School faculty and staff access to a free license for Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Important information about requesting a license

Acrobat Pro licenses for eligible faculty and staff will be offered through the HMS Self Service portals using the HMS Endpoint Service Program software.

The Adobe license agreement requires the use of the HMS Endpoint Services Program.  In order download, install and use Acrobat Pro, you MUST first install LANDesk or Casper on your computer.  Once you’ve installed LANDesk or Casper, eligible faculty and staff will have access to Acrobat Pro via the Self Service Portal, along with various other software applications offered to HMS.

More information about the HMS Endpoint Services Program and enrollment can be found here:

Who is eligible for the HMS Acrobat Pro License?

All On-Quad, email eligible Harvard Medical School Faculty and Staff are eligible to install Acrobat Pro.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine is not covered under this license agreement.  Faculty, staff, postdocs and students from HSDM cannot install Adobe Acrobat under the HMS license agreement.

I’m a student.  Do I qualify for this free license?

Unfortunately, no.

The Adobe License agreement specifically does not permit HMS student access to this license for Adobe Acrobat Pro.

FAS students should check with FAS technical support for options to access Acrobat Pro.

HMS students actively working in HMS research labs may request the purchase of a perpetual license for Acrobat Pro using a 33 digit Harvard University billing code.  Please check with your department Client Services Representative for more information.

What can I install the HMS Acrobat Pro software on?

You are allowed to install the software on up to two (2) Harvard-owned computers.  If the computer was purchased using personal funds it is not eligible for this license.

You are not allowed to install on more than two computers unless you uninstall Acrobat from one of the currently installed computers first.

Are there other ways to get the Acrobat Pro software?

Yes.  If you are an HMS student, you choose to opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program or you are with HSDM you have several options available to you:

  • Purchase a perpetual license via HCOM.  If you need assistance with this, please contact your local Client Services Representative or contact the HMS IT Service Desk at
    • The perpetual license has a nominal one time cost associated with it, but does not entitle you to free upgrades to a later version.
    • Perpetual licenses require the purchase of a license for each computer. You cannot share a license across multiple computers.
  • Purchase an Adobe Creative Cloud Complete Annual subscription license.  Adobe Creative Cloud complete includes the full suite of Adobe creative applications, including the most current version of Acrobat Pro.
    • Adobe Creative Cloud licensing is based on an annual subscription fee, renewable starting August 1, 2016.  The current cost of the license is prorated.
    • To request a license for adobe Creative Cloud Products, please fill out this form: <link> Adobe Creative Cloud License Request </link>
    • You may install Adobe Creative Suite on up to 2 computers using the same Adobe ID.

Do I have to remove the software if I leave HMS?

Any software provided under a campus license (like Acrobat Pro or Microsoft Office) or paid for by the school, department or lab MUST be removed from any computer that permanently leaves Harvard Medical School.

All software licenses provided by HMS or paid for with HMS funds, regardless of the funding source, are property of Harvard Medical School or Harvard University, and are not transferable to any individual.

You are responsible for removing HMS licensed software.  If you need assistance in identifying and/or removing campus provided software, please contact your Client Services Representative.

Failure to remove licensed software is a legal violation of the licensing agreements signed by Harvard University, and may be a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  You may be held responsible for such violations.

Free software (ie shareware or freeware), software that you paid for with personal funds or software “given” to you (for example, via gift card or redemption code purchase via the Mac App Store) is yours to keep.