Adobe Acrobat Pro Licensing

HMS Information Technology

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Harvard Medical School IT will be transitioning Acrobat Pro site licenses to Acrobat DC.  This transition will start the week of July 31, 2017.

If you have questions about purchasing Acrobat Pro, please contact your local Client Services Representative or the HMS IT Service Desk at

Harvard Medical School currently offers 2 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: 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:

I’m a student. Can I get this software?

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

HMS students working in labs should speak with their lab manager about software licensing.

What if I only need Adobe Reader?

Adobe Reader is available free of charge. You can install Adobe Reader from the Self-Service portal on your computer or download it directly from Adobe.

What happens when 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 (i.e. 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.