Adobe Reader vs Preview for Mac OS 10.4?
November 15, 2005 6:26 AM   Subscribe

What, if any, are the advantages to Adobe Acrobat Reader over Preview for Mac OS 10.4?
posted by cahlers to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
None that I can think of.
posted by unixrat at 6:46 AM on November 15, 2005

I doubt the plug-ins work. So if you want to do something like read a copy-protected e-book, you probably need the real Reader.
posted by smackfu at 6:48 AM on November 15, 2005

There are a few files that Preview won't read and Adobe has added a few more features to their Reader program that Preview hasn't implemented like slideshows and some form management.

If you don't use either of those things, not much.
posted by mikeh at 6:48 AM on November 15, 2005

I don't think Acrobat is Quartz-accelerated in any way, so not much - i.e. if you don't know why, you don't need to.
posted by kcm at 6:51 AM on November 15, 2005

Previously I recommended Acrobat as it let you search through a folder of PDFs, but of course now we have Spotlight that's no longer necessary.
It probably does still do a better job with PDF forms, although I've not had to fill in any lately and the rendering of some graphics can be better in certain cases (Preview choosing to antialias too aggressively) - see here.
posted by edd at 6:51 AM on November 15, 2005

Acrobat is slower to load. That's the only difference I found.
posted by cribcage at 7:19 AM on November 15, 2005

Does preview let you fill out forms on PDFs?

(If the people who make the PDF are smart enough, they can include form fields which, if you are using an sufficiently advanced reader, you can fill out.)

Acrobat also lets you see facing pages side-by-side, something that Preview doesn't let you do.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2005

Acrobat can do column-wise copy to clipboard, really good for extracting data from tables.
posted by onalark at 7:42 AM on November 15, 2005

There are figures that Reader will show but Preview won't. And yes, Reader is slower to load.
posted by state fxn at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2005

Response by poster: Preview allows side-by-side viewing.
posted by cahlers at 8:29 AM on November 15, 2005

Do *not* install Acrobat on OS X. There is no uninstaller. Every time you click a pdf in Safari, it will take forever to load. I wish I could uninstall Acrobat..
posted by rajbot at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2005

rajbot: You can change your Acrobat settings so it doesn't open PDFs in a browser. Launch Acrobat, then go to Preferences > Internet and uncheck the box that says "Display PDF in browser."

Of course, you'll also want to install the Schubert-it plugin, if you haven't already. It's *much* faster to load in Safari.
posted by lewistate at 9:06 AM on November 15, 2005

Wild-Eep, I can confirm that Preview does not display filled-in form fields (example being IRS forms).
posted by omnidrew at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2005

rajbot: you may also be able to find the offending plugin in your Library/Internet Plug-Ins folder and delete it. Just don't rerun Acrobat or it may reappear.
posted by edd at 9:42 AM on November 15, 2005

Thanks, guys. I didn't mean to hijack the thread..
posted by rajbot at 10:34 AM on November 15, 2005

Preview doesn’t see any embedded media, so if there’s audio or video tracks in a pdf, they won’t work; dunno about hyperlinks.

Btw, in Safari, if you control-click on a pdf link you can choose to download it rather than opening it in Safari.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:13 AM on November 15, 2005

Preview doesn't allow you to scroll through the document continuously. You can only view one page at a time.

In Acrobat, you can scroll downward, and see, for example, the bottom half of page 1 and the top half of page 2 of a document at the same time. It feels a lot more natural to me.
posted by clarissajoy at 4:47 PM on November 19, 2005

Preview does indeed let you scroll continuously. View>PDF Display>Continuous
posted by vkxmai at 1:50 PM on May 18, 2006

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