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December 28, 2004

get acrobat reader 7

I finally got around to upgrading to the Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 (which was released about a week ago). It's amazingly fast compared to 6.0. I highly recommend to all of you on Windows XP or Windows 2000 to upgrade to this newer version.

It's really fast. Seriously. It's fast. I used to dread clicking on PDF links (I even installed the Target Alert plugin to warn me) because it would take 10-20 seconds to start the reader and load even the smallest PDF documents. With version 7, it's instantaneous.

If you decide to follow my lead and upgrade to this version, here are some notes that should make your experience even better.

  1. Don't download from the Adobe site or any other Web page. Go directly to the Adobe FTP and get the 12MB package (unless you want the big fat package with the Yahoo Companion and lots of other garbage.) The file you want is AdbeRdr70_enu.ex.
  2. Version 7 installs a quickstart item in your Start folder. This isn't at all necessary and the reader starts up blazingly fast without it so do yourself and your RAM a favor and remove the "Adobe Reader Speed Launch" from Start->All Programs->Startup.
  3. Now, you'll probably notice a small banner ad in the top right corner. To remove that, just go to Edit->Preferences->Startup and uncheck the item labeled "Show messages and automatically update".
  4. If you see a small Yahoo button on the toolbar, you can remove it by right-clicking and unchecking the "Search the Internet" item.
  5. One downside is that when you open a PDF link in your browser, Acroread.exe stays in memory. You can kill the process or start and exit the full app to pull it from memory. If that's too much of a pain, I recommend doing what I did which is to just tell Acrobat to launch the full app rather than the browser plugin. To do this, start Acrobat Reader, go to Edit->Preferences->Internet and uncheck the box labeled "Display PDF in browser". This solves the in memory problem and I think makes for a generally better user experience.
  6. If the speed improvements with this upgrade aren't enough for you (it really is fast, trust me) then you can make even more performance improvements by moving unused Acrobat Reader plugins. To do this, go to your install directory, probably something like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader and just move the unnecessary plugins from the \plug_ins directory to the \Optional directory. To learn more about which plugins you may or may not need, you can check out Help->About Adobe Plug-Ins, and get a pretty good description of each one and what it does.

I hope these tips help. I've only had this installed for about a day so it's possible that I've missed some problem or some other cool features. If you've been using it longer and have any more information, please post here. Posted by asa at December 28, 2004 10:57 AM


If for any reason you don't want to get the reader 7, you can try the AdobeReader SpeedUp
Is a small and freeware program that unloads unused puglins and many other things, and the results are very impressives: after aplly the SpeedUP the reader is very very fast.
Anyway, i'm going to try the new version.

Posted by: Rick on December 28, 2004 11:18 AM

I'm gonna try this out. I hope it's fast. I've been using acrobat 5 because the load times on 6 were driving me nuts.

Posted by: John Serris on December 28, 2004 11:37 AM

it is asking for a user/pass ...

Posted by: kwanbis on December 28, 2004 12:11 PM

the correct url:

Posted by: kwanbis on December 28, 2004 12:14 PM

I agree with Asa, the performance gains by Acrobat 7 (even without that startup item running) are amazing. Really shows that Adobe is listening to its least this time around.

Posted by: Chris G. on December 28, 2004 12:28 PM

Wow, that really is a dramatic improvement of Acrobat's worst flaw. Bravo, Adobe.

Now, if we could only get Java applets to stop bringing my whole damn computer to a standstill, without disabling them entirely ...

Posted by: Joe Grossberg on December 28, 2004 12:48 PM

Maybe should point to the 'lite' version, instead of the 'full' ?

Posted by: Doug Wright on December 28, 2004 01:03 PM

"don't download from the Adobe site" is a bit of an overly wide statement - I'm not sure how would feel if someone advised people to avoid the site (which does just seem to have introduced annoying redirectors for the downloads, as it happens) and just use the FTP instead.

A better alternative if you want to see a download link rather than go through their annoying form/redirect is to use Adobe's accessible web page - - which just has a list of all the downloads with readable names.

Posted by: michaell on December 28, 2004 01:26 PM

Awesome, Asa.. You rock..

Posted by: z on December 28, 2004 02:05 PM

Wow... that IS fast. I used to hate opening a PDF file myself, because it just took forever. And thanks for the tips!

Posted by: Chris Gushue on December 28, 2004 04:20 PM

An even faster and smaller PDF reader is the free Foxit PDF Reader

Works great on even the slowest computer and doesn't come with spyware or adware bundled with it.

Posted by: randy on December 28, 2004 05:26 PM

Good advise.

Posted by: pak on December 28, 2004 06:12 PM

Thanks for reminding me... I remember reading about 7.0 coming out and the reader would be out in a bit, though I was meaning to go and check.

Oh, and btw, I have it installed now- it's not bad when it comes to speed, and I'm on dial-up :) [netzero!!! w00t!]

Posted by: Joey on December 28, 2004 06:48 PM

It's too fast. What's going on? It seems as if it were staying in memory, even though acrord32.exe isn't showing up.

Posted by: painc on December 28, 2004 07:11 PM


I used Foxit for a while and was happy with it, but its not 100% compatible with PDF files. Ie some won't display properly. I do suggest people try it though and see if they like it. On compatibiliy, if you make your own pdf files with pdf creator etc they may appear blank with foxit. If you have at least 700MHz just go with Acrobat 7 but if you have a really old machine foxit or an old version of Acrobat is best.

Posted by: none on December 28, 2004 07:23 PM

That *is* quite an improvement. If the memory footprint after you're done looking at the PDF is annoying, you can always configure it to launch the standalone reader and not use the plugin. I have info on disabling the plugin on my website.

And, as for michaell's comment about not downloading from Adobe's site being "overly broad"... I would hope that everyone *would* advise you to not download from if they started bundling a bunch of unrelated crap like Yahoo Companion with their downloads just because Yahoo gave them a pile of cash.

Posted by: John T. Haller on December 28, 2004 08:19 PM

I used 4.0 for a while it was so bad! (thank god

Posted by: gman on December 28, 2004 09:13 PM

Just go to the website and dl from there. You can uncheck the additional options, and the file you get is the same one asa got (12.9M)

I hope it's fast. I downgraded back to 5 as 6 was horribly bloated

Posted by: james on December 28, 2004 10:07 PM

"I would hope that everyone *would* advise you to not download from if they started bundling a bunch of unrelated crap like Yahoo Companion with their downloads just because Yahoo gave them a pile of cash"

Well, if you object to their practices in general, then don't use their stuff at all. If you just want to avoid actually downloading Yahoo Companion, then that's easy to do from the website.

I'm sure people would advise everyone to avoid if they did that kind of thing. I'm also sure that having taken such a decision (I would doubt they would go that far), would be pissed at people avoiding what they'd done, in the same way they were annoyed by the negative response to them making confidential arrangements with google, and with ebay in Germany.

Posted by: michaell on December 29, 2004 06:39 AM

Hey asa - I tried all the steps you talked about - but I'm having trouble with #5. When I uncheck "Display in Browser" - clicking on a pdf link in FireFox brings up a box asking me where to save the pdf file. I'd like to just immediately open up the pdf file in the external app. What am I doing wrong?

Posted by: Adam Verner on December 29, 2004 12:15 PM

Thanks Asa, Works a treat! went back to 5, and now direct to 7, used your other hints also. Must admit I had known about the elease of 7, then forgot all about it so thanks.
All the best from New Zealand

Posted by: Alan on December 31, 2004 10:14 PM

I can't download Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 because it doesn't exist...for Linux. Adobe have let the reader stagnate for Linux and it's stuck on version 5 (currently 5.0.10) and still uses Motif somewhat surprisingly. Adobe were making all sorts of noises last year about porting their main apps to Linux (well, step 1 was the pointless "get it running in WINE first"), but when their most popular download is now *TWO* major revisions behind on the Linux platform, you feel that Adobe have abandoned Linux and probably no longer care about cross-platform compatibility.

Posted by: Richard Lloyd on January 2, 2005 06:33 AM

Perhaps if you had read The Inquirer more often....

Liposuction to improve Adobe Reader 6 load time

Adobe's quiet release of Reader software causes people to scream

I have tried Adobe Reader 7 and found it to be the same bloated mess as 6.x. I went back to the Last Known Good version of Acrobat Reader: 4.05. Loads in a second compared to 20 seconds for Reader v7 on my 800Mhz FSB 2.4 Ghz P4.

No "fast load" no "plug-ins to disable".... it just works for 99.9% of the PDF files I need to view (motherboard/hardware manuals etc).

Get 4.05 here and try it, see the difference. Unless you want to read encrypted pdf ebooks or other such proprietary world nonsense, there's no reason to use v7

Reliable download of Acrobat Reader 4.05 from one of IBM's ftp sites:

Posted by: Fernando Cassia on January 4, 2005 10:16 AM

I had tried three times to download 7.0 from the Adobe site but each time it downloaded version 6.0

I downloaded from the web site as indicated, however when I tried open the folder I got the following message.


error code 1150.1323.01.2.2312

Obviously it is not compatible with Windows Me.!! On the Adobe site it asks for the system in use. When I put in Me, it must have recognised that it was incompatible with this system and switched to version 6.0 which I had already installed previously. It's a pity that it could not have made this clear on their site as it would have saved me several hours of annoyance trying to download 7.0

I should have read the small print before downloading.!

Posted by: Tom on January 4, 2005 10:16 AM

Get 4.05 Tom. Try it and see. :)

It's a great pdf viewer to be used along with the open source PDF creator from

Now it would be great if someone integrated the PDFCreator project with the Mozilla Suite for windows, thus offering an option like "File->E-mail this page as PDF" that would automatically invoke Print in Mozilla (to pdf printer) save the pdf file to a temp dir and start an e-mail composition with the pdf file attached to it, all in a single click.

But then, I know nothing good for the Suite can be expected from the current Firefox-centric management that is steering the Mozilla Foundation. They might as well rename it to Firefox foundation. They're like religious zealots, firefox gets all the attention and the Suite is ignored. Mozilla Suite bugs are being left to rust or creative justifications are given not to fix bugs (see the lack of Roaming Profiles in the current 1.8 alpha installers for an example) while they continue leaving Mozilla Suite users in the dark, neglected like a retarded child - hidden in a room in the back of the house by unloving parents.

Yes, I'm not happy about this. :/

Posted by: Fernando Cassia on January 4, 2005 11:40 AM

Guys, I figure I worked with more than 150 Firefox builds last year. I spent hours and days and weeks on Firefox. Along the way I picked up on K-Meleon, which is almost the opposite of Firefox, though it is actually a cousin. If you want speed and lightweight performance, check out the K-M forums at . I no longer use Firefox at all. I love K-M, and it delivers. I no longer spend my time endlessly tweaking--I'm browsing the web, instead.

I warn you, though, that at first K-M seems more technically confusing, and it does not have several hundred extensions available to you. I specialized in large arrays of extensions in Firefox, so K-M was a real culture shock for me--at first.

K-M is just about to put out an equivalent to a "final" as I write this. Be careful to get a version 0.9beta3 or 0.9beta4, dating from December 2004, rather than the year-old 0.8.2 which is still shown as "current" on some sites. And remember that I said it's the opposite of Firefox. You'll have to scratch your head a few times to get your K-M and to set it up right.

Posted by: Carson on January 4, 2005 01:34 PM

One problem with Acrobat 7 - it won't open hyperlinked PDF files from within Excel or Access. If you have an Excel document with hyperlinks to PDF files, and click on one, Acrobat 7 opens briefly, then shuts down. I have been looking around to see if anyone has a cure for this... just found some workarounds. Does anyone here know of a registry change or option that might be set incorrecty? I am hoping there is some easy fix out there! :-)

Posted by: Steve on January 5, 2005 08:29 AM

I'm using Acrobat Professional 6.0.3. Can I install Reader 7 or will that mess up my installation of Acrobat 6? I don't want to pay for the upgrade to Acrobat 7 since 6 is doing my bidding just fine, but I wouldn't mind taking advantage of the (alleged) performance improvements in Reader 7.

Thanks in advance for any insights.

Posted by: Tom on January 7, 2005 07:25 AM

Why, if you Ctr+Tab-scroll through your active programs does Acrobat Reader show an icon for both the program and the document? That's confusing. On the other hand, things have changed quite drastically with this new version, if this is my only problem with the program...

Posted by: MichaŽl on January 7, 2005 03:56 PM

Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0.

Having a devil of a time. I have downloaded, removed it, downloaded 4 or 5 times. Keeps freezing on me.I used the link provided by ASA to no avail.

I am using Foxit per another post and find it works blazing fast so I have a work around. It does not seem to have a Find command when I want to locate some text. If it did, I would probably never look at Adobe again. It bugs me particularly after I read Asa's comments about how fast it is.

Any help would be appreciated.

Jim in the great State of Alabama normally in RI and headed to Caribou Maine on Monday.....

Posted by: Jim on January 8, 2005 04:18 AM

So far, plays MUCH nicer as a plugin within Firefox than either Reader v5 or particularly the abominable, intolerable 6. With v7, magically, Firefox doesn't choke on load and it definitely doesn't explode when you try to move a window or tab back to an HTML document. I have always blamed Adobe for all this, so I have to assume that the browser wars have been revived and now they have to start paying attention...

Posted by: Rob on January 8, 2005 05:51 PM

Acrobat Reader 7 shows a blank page when opening my pdfs now. Our program uses a 3rd party PDF generating tool which has worked fine until now. It's worked fine with acrobat reader 3 through 6. Since reader is still at v7.0.0 that leads me to believe its still bleeding-edge new and there are lots of bugs. I hope this is the case, because it's going to be next to impossible to make any changes on this end to the pdf generation process.

Sticking with Reader 6.x for now.


Posted by: Ron on January 13, 2005 01:46 PM

v7 is great except as Steve mentioned hyperlinks from with MS office applications don't seem to work properly. You either get acrabat to flash quickly and go away or open blank. HELP! Anyone with any ideas?

Posted by: Drew on January 17, 2005 10:50 AM

I beg anyone with info on the above mentioned problems with hyperlinks from MS office applications to please come forward!!!!! Although I'm glad to hear it's not just my system, this will send me back to the drawing board if there's no way around this nasty little bug...

Posted by: jim on January 17, 2005 11:36 AM

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