Can Acrobat Reader 5.0 and Acrobat Pro 7.0 play nice?
March 1, 2006 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Acrobat Reader 5.0 and Acrobat Pro 7.0: can they both work at once? I just installed Acrobat Pro 7.0 on Windows XP, and now it's the default for viewing PDFs. Not only that, but even when I try to open AcroRd32.exe in the Acrobat 5.0 folder, it instead opens up Acrobat.exe from the 7.0 install. I need 7.0 for professional use, but 5.0 is so much faster for all of my other PDF-viewing needs. Is there any way that I can keep using 5.0 while 7.0 is installed?

(Similar thread from Jan. 2005 that went unanswered. C'mon AskMefi, don't fail me now!)
posted by limeonaire to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Aha! On a hunch, I tried making a new copy of the AcroRd32.exe file and renaming it, then placing it back in the Acrobat 5.0 folder. It works! I can use both Acrobat Reader 5.0 and Acrobat Pro 7.0 now, and I was able to set 5.0 as the default for viewing PDFs on my PC.

So hopefully that solution will be of help to anyone else experiencing this problem, since the question wasn't answered last time around.

Yet one question remains: how can I make Firefox recognize and use Acrobat 5.0 for viewing PDFs in-browser? So far it isn't giving me the option to do so, and 7.0 (current default) fails to actually load PDFs in-browser. So right now I can't view PDFs in-browser at all. I seem to recall there being a way to set default programs for various file extensions in Firefox, but I can't find that menu.
posted by limeonaire at 1:33 AM on March 1, 2006

In order to avoid this problem, I just use the free FoxIt Reader for default viewing. It's much, much faster, and I can always use Acrobat Pro when I need to.

And I find that viewing PDFs in-browser leads to nasty memory leaks, so I avoid it. Eventually Acrobat, Firefox, or IE end up using all the available RAM. Perhaps this has been fixed in more recent versions.
posted by grouse at 1:50 AM on March 1, 2006

I believe that if you install Acrobat Reader 7.0 (not Acrobat, but Acrobat Reader) it will become the default for viewing PDFs. I also usually go into preferences and uncheck 'view PDFs in browser' so that pdf links open in a new instance of acrobat reader- it seems to go a little faster. I haven't tried 'FoxIt' though- that might be better.
posted by jay.jansheski at 2:41 AM on March 1, 2006

You can make Adobe 7.0 start up really quick by removing unnecessary plugins. You can find detailed instructions here:

Mine starts up in maybe half a second. Amazing.
posted by bkudria at 4:13 AM on March 1, 2006

For the Firefox issue, there is a PDF viewer extension available that made PDFs on both my machines much better going letting me choose to view it in browser or selected app. Called PDf Download
posted by jadepearl at 6:43 AM on March 1, 2006

Err, I meant Acrobat 7.0. Sorry!
posted by bkudria at 6:59 AM on March 1, 2006

I tried using the FoxIt Reader for a month or so. It was very fast indeed, but I continuously had problems with Acrobat files that may have a somewhat advanced feature. Slide presentations saved from LaTex consistently crashed FoxIt. Revisions or comments in documents would not show up properly. Some form fields would behave unexpectedly. And the printing function is somewhat nonstandard (sizes don't look and print the same for some reason).

I would recommend it if all you do is to look at plain old documents. But if you do happen to access PDF files with some of these advanced functions, I would stay away from it.
posted by tuxster at 7:27 AM on March 1, 2006

The only thing I worry about with removing unnecessary plugins, bkudria, is that I may need some of those when I actually use it to create PDFs—same concern was expressed in the earlier thread.

In any case, I found the menu in Firefox that lets you change what program is associated with what file extension:

Tools --> Options --> Downloads --> View & Edit Actions

So while I still can't get Acrobat Reader 5.0 to open things in-browser, it will open them in its own window, which is acceptable, I suppose.

Thanks for all the suggestions, folks.
posted by limeonaire at 10:51 AM on March 1, 2006

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