Yahoo Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. have joined forces to tap each other's customers and put Web search features into Adobe's popular Acrobat Reader software.
Their broad strategic relationship, to be announced today, is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo's latest maneuver against chief rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the fight to become the gateway of search and Web access on as many desktops as possible.
The partnership will add online features to one of San Jose-based Adobe's core products, Acrobat, which has become a common format for viewing documents over the Web and in e-mail attachments. In addition, Adobe will introduce a co-branded Yahoo browser toolbar that users can choose to install on their computers when prompted to download an update of Acrobat Reader.
The toolbar -- an increasingly popular way for online search engines to stay constantly visible on a user's Internet browser -- will feature links to Yahoo products and services as well as Adobe's Web-based subscription service that lets people convert documents into the Adobe PDF file format.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The companies said features would be added to the toolbar over time so that, for example, users could quickly convert Web-based content into Adobe PDF files. And Yahoo search will be built into a future version of the Acrobat Reader, allowing users to search for more information from within the document without having to launch a Web browser.
"We call it being available at the point of inspiration," said Tim Cadogan, Yahoo's vice president of search. "This is just a starting [point] for the integration between the two companies."