More Acrobat Tips

List of tips:

1. Do you get any of these problems with Reader v4.x?

  • You get system error dialogs on starting Reader
  • You get an error dialog "Can't find AcroRd32.exe"
  • You get an error dialog "Can't find AcroRead.exe"
  • Reader won't run from a shortcut
  • Double-clicking PDF icons, Reader opens OK but not the PDFs
  • You have trouble opening PDFs or get error message when doing so
  • Windows shows the wrong icons for PDF files
  • ....and other problems

If so, I've written a document to help you to check if you have Reader v4.x installed and help check it is configured correctly. The document is deliberately written for those with little Reader/Windows knowledge so if style seems a bit too easy for you, please bear with me. I've included plenty of screenshots (thus the file size) to help give confidence to those not used to fiddling with Windows settings. It is free for you to read, download and share with others.

The document is available both in PDF and for those still struggling to open PDFs, as a Word 97 doc. The PDF version is set to open a 133.3% zoom so that the many screenshots appear real size and readable (on a Windows PC anyway!). Choose from the links below:

  • PDF - ("SetAssoc.PDF", Acrobat v3.x compatible, 220 kb)
  • Word - ("SetAssoc.doc", Word 97, 175 kb)

If the error is received running from CD check the section of my Reader on CD PDF (400kb) about autoplaying CDs.

2. Getting confused as to where some Acrobat tools are found?

Try this diagram (450kb) which shows the Acrobat v4.x toolbox with the flyouts and tools hidden on them. Shortcut letters are also shown.

3. Document Level JavaScripts?

Here's a quick demo (115kb) to get you started. In the demo you create a script to turn off the default option that opens cross-linked PDFs in the same Window - allowing you to have more than one PDF open at a time. Works with v4.x Reader or Acrobat, though you need Acrobat to create and save the PDF.

4. Need a list of files Acrobat installs?

If you are having problems with un/re/installing various Acrobat versions, you might want to look up the Adobe technical support docs listing files installed by acrobat versions. Quite a few of these docs are included in the TS doc listing at Appendix H to my Reader on CD PDF (400kb).

Here is an update for English language Reader - with Search - for Version 4.05c.

5. Can you run Reader v3.x and v4.x together?

Yes, but be careful. Uninstalling either one will remove files needed by the other version (nice programming!). If you need to have more than one version, it is best to make sure you keep installers of all the versions you need, lest one of the versions has to be uninstalled.

You can also keep several different 'copies' of Reader in different folders of your hard drive(s) (using the miniumum fileset I describe for CD use). I've done this without problem for testing file path syntax. Note any v4.x Reader whether on hard disk or CD uses a common set of Registry settings. Thus changing a preference option whilst using Reader on CD will persist and be reflected when you open Reader from CD - and vice versa.

6. Which is the current version?

The current version is Version 4.05c. If you have the full Acrobat application Version 4.0 and registered it you should have - or should ask for - your free replacement CD which updates you to v4.05. If your version 4.05 shows as earlier than v4.05c, pick up the Updater2 from the downloads section of the Adobe web site. It is definately worth making sure you have v4.05. What changes does Updater2 make? See this list

If you only use Reader, I suggest you download the latest version, not forgetting to uninstall the older version first. Not sure how to go about this? Not sure what version you have? See my PDF under section #1 at the top of this page.

Note that Acrobat Reader v5.0 which includes Reader v5.0 was announced in March 2001 and should ship in April/May, possibly later outside the UK.

7. Viewlet - see how to embed PDFMarks in Word.

One way to avoid 'page flash' with complicated PDF pages is to use page transitions. This involves embedding PDFMark codes in your PDF. You may be surprised to know you can do this in Word. See more by watching this Viewlet - streaming Java, 140kb.

8. Viewlet - see how dock and un-dock Acrobat 5's new toolbars.

A new feature of the v5 Acrobat suite is the "Office" style toolbars. If you are used to MS Office programs you may find the method, especially of docking, a little strange. The procedure is described in the full Acrobat program's Help on page 13 ("To separate a Toolbar"). The procedure is not described in Reader's Help at all - Oops! Anyway, find out how by watching this short Viewlet - streaming Java, c.100kb.

9. Find the Acrobat v5 Tools.

Try this diagram (135kb) which shows the Acrobat v5.x toolbars which replace the v4.x toolbox. The flyouts and tools hidden on them are shown as are shortcut letters. The images are 150 dpi to assist better printing quality thus 'actual size' is 208.33% zoom. Non-printing buttoms have been added to help you toggle to actual size and to display some 'Help' notes.

More to come when time allows...

Email me.

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