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© 2012-15 Adobe Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

Updated Dec 15, 2014.

Pre-Deployment Planning

Pre deployment planning should include the following steps:

All of these items can be configured with the Customization Wizard for Windows. Mac users can use the new Mac Wizard, though that tool is new and not as feature rich. In practice, configuration usually leverages a mix of command line properties, Wizard, manual registry/plist manipulation, and post-deployment methodologies such as GPO and scripting techniques.


The following sections only describe a small subset of the available options.

Closing running processes

Installs and uninstalls may require closing conflicting processes to avoid “files in use” errors. Conflicting processes are partially governed by the installer tables AppsInUse (Acrobat) and AppsinUseEx (Reader). However, there is internal logic, so a review of the tables does not yield a complete list of items that must be closed in silent and manual workflows.

9.x products are usually forcefully closed during product updates. 10.x-11.x products are not always subject to this limitation, and in some cases installs can be silent. However, it is generally a good idea to close potentially conflicting processes if possible. As a best practice, close everything. If this is not possible in your environment, here are some items to explicitly look out for:

  • Uninstalls require closing Acrobat and Reader.

  • While you can install a patch in /qn (silent) mode without closing the application, users will be required to reboot.

  • The Windows Installer may also invoke a Files In Use dialog when the installer tries to replace or uninstall certain modules.

  • Acrobat (Acrobat.dll) and Reader (Acrord32.dll) load on product launch, when a browser is using the product plugin to display a PDF, or it is used for thumbnails, property sheets, IEFilter, and the preview handler.

  • A first time installation without any previous version installed does not require closing any Adobe or 3rd party application.

  • An uninstall may invoke a Files In Use dialog with Ignore and Don’t Ignore options depending on the open files/processes. If the install should be silent, plan accordingly.

  • 10.0 and earlier require closing:

    • Browsers, including FireFox, Chrome (for Acrobat products 10.1 and later), and Netscape.
    • MS Office applications including: PowerPoint, Access, Excel, Outlook, Word, Autocad, Project, and Visio.
  • 11.0 require closing:

    • Adobe Application Manager
    • Adobe Application Manager Setup
    • Adobe Application Manager Setup Launcher
    • Acrobat.dll and Acrord32.dll

Use cases

  • Silent install with an ignorable process running: Installation succeeds, but after installation the ignorable application must close and restart to get the new dlls loaded.

  • Silent install with a non-ignorable process running examples:

    • Installing 10.0 over 9.0 with Excel running. Excel is non-ignorable and a silent installation of 10.0 fails.
    • Installing 10.0 over 9.0 with a PDF open in IE. Acrord32.dll is loaded and non-ignorable and a silent installation of 10.0 fails.
    • Uninstalling Acrobat with Excel running and an Acrobat UI item is selected in Excel’s Acrobat ribbon: the uninstall fails.
  • Manual install with a non-ignorable process running: Files In Use dialog appears with Ignore button disabled. Installation fails.

  • Manual install with an ignorable process running: Files In Use dialog appears with Ignore button active. Installation succeeds after user the chooses Ignore.

In the case of failure, there is likely to be an error in the MSI log containing Setup terminated because critical files are in use or applications that interfere with files installed by setup are running. Review the preceding entries in the log file and close the applications listed before retrying setup.

Anti-virus programs

Some users have reported conflicts with security software (such as Mcafee’s on-access scan v.8.8) where installation fails with error 1321. If you experience this error, try testing the install with your security software disabled.

LiveCycle Designer

LiveCycle Designer (LD) is installed by default with all Acrobat versions up to 10.0. With 11.0, LD is not installed, and any existing versions of LD are uninstalled. If you are installing 11.0 and need to maintain access to LD, do the following:

  1. Download the latest version of LD as a separate installer from you Licensing Web Site (LWS).
  2. If you do not have access to LWS or would like to purchase a new version of LD, see the FAQ

Fonts and spelling packs

Some components use separate installers. These should be downloaded and run at deployment time. The following items require running an additional installer:

Preference migration

Most application settings are not automatically migrated. If you inspect the TransferRegistry table via the Wizard, Orca, etc, you can see what gets migrated. When deploying, keep in mind the following:

  • MSIs uninstall the existing product before continuing with the new installation. Therefore, you should save your existing MST for future MSI deployments. Alternatively, you can keep a reference copy of the application from which you can leverage the registry settings each time.
  • MSPs don’t uninstall the product, so existing settings remain intact.

Note that Adobe implemented cumulative updates with 10.0, thereby greatly simplifying keeping the product up to date. The intention is to provide MSI installers rarely and only when required due to the extensive nature of changed features or fixes.

Acrobat with Reader

Since 10.x, it is possible to for different Acrobat and Reader to coexist on a single machine as follows:

  • Major versions can coexist; for example, Reader 10/11.x with Acrobat 10/11.x
  • A more recent version of Acrobat with the next older version of Reader (A11 with R10).
  • Reader 10.x and Acrobat 9.x. This configuration allows IT to install the more secure Reader with its sandboxing features while retaining the more functional Acrobat. This configuration should be tested before enterprise-wide deployments. For information about maintaining the integrity of regulated and certified workflows by controlling which product versions and products open specific PDFs, see Multi-User Reader Desktops.

Multiple product versions

Adobe Reader’s Multi-User Reader Desktop (MURD) feature hosted on LABs allows enterprise users to install multiple Reader versions and define which version should open PDFs with a certain file extension. For details, see Multi-User Reader Desktops.

AIR runtime (9.x only)

Reader X does not include the AIR runtime, but 9.x English language versions provided from the Reader Download Center do install the AIR™ runtime. There are several ways to avoid AIR installation:

  • Download the enterprise installer without AIR from ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/, or
  • Use installer properties on the command line or in the bootstrapper’s Setup.ini file during installation to prevent AIR installation.

Feature configuration

Configure preferences via the Wizard, installer tables, or the command line. For example, common tasks include turning off the EULA, disabling the updater, and disabling acrobat.com integration. There are hundreds of other preferences that you can use to control workflows, certificate processing, data handling, communications with others servers, and so on. Documented preferences reside in the Preference Reference.


Only a few of the available options are described below. Use the Wizard and Preference Reference to learn about the full range of options.

Windows installer tuning

The Adobe Customization Wizard enables tuning the Windows installer for Adobe products prior to mass deployments. The Wizard is a free, downloadable utility designed to help IT professionals take greater control of enterprise-wide deployments of any of the Acrobat family of products.

The Wizard enables IT to:

  • Modify the installer via a transform file (MST file) without altering the original package.
  • Optimize installer and installation workflow by including silent installation, pre-serialization, reboot, multilingual, and custom setup choices, including suppressing the EULA, registration prompts, and the Getting Started window.
  • Customize application preferences such as collaboration, security settings, Acrobat.com integration, printing, and most other features.
  • Leverage existing installations by drag and dropping registry settings and files from already configured applications.
  • Prevent users from modifying certain preferences by locking them.

Although many tools such as Orca and Admin Studio can be used to customize Microsoft transform (MST) files, Adobe only supports the Adobe Customization Wizard.

To download the Wizard, go to:

The Wizard’s user interface (UI) only provides basic options for feature configuration. Moreover, using the Wizard’s UI to set preferences will result in overwriting existing registry settings that you could otherwise drag and drop from a template application. In other words, you can leverage existing settings from 10.x or an IT-configured 11.0 install.

  • Feature configuration-Registry: Install and configure the application to suit your environment and the use the Wizard to leverage you changes. Many application preferences and directories do not exist until the code is exercised from an installed application. While you could build the paths and add the values manually, simply configuring an installed application and using it as a template does most of the work for you.
  • Files and Folders: Many template files won’t exist unless you have installed and configured the application. For example, the easiest way to create a directory server file is via the application’s GUI. Use the Wizard to add these files to the installer.

A rich customization workflow includes the following:

  1. Install the new application (or use an already configured existing installation).
  2. Configure the application via its user interface. In particular, go through the menus under Edit > Preferences. Product UI configuration provides a simple way to configure feature through file and registry modification.
  3. Use the Wizard’s Registry feature to drag and drop the configured template registry to the installer.
  4. Use the Wizard UI to configure application preferences not already configured manually.
  5. Lock down features so that settings can not be changed by end users: You can use the Wizard’s UI. Additional lock options are described in the Preference Reference.
  6. Use the Wizard’s Files and Folders feature to drag and drop your enterprise files to the installer.
  7. Save the installer changes to an MST file and install the customized product.
  8. Use MSI and Adobe properties to further modify the install during deployment.

Mac installer tuning

11.0 introduced a Wizard for tuning the Mac installer. For details, refer to the Customization Wizard for Macintosh documentation.

Default PDF viewer

Prior to 10.x, Adobe did not recommend or support having both applications installed on the same system. If you do deploy both applications, the installer sets Acrobat as the default PDF viewer by default since it is the more functional of the two applications. In general, Acrobat is more capable and Reader is more secure, although these products are rapidly reaching parity in their security features.

The default handler can be set in the following ways:

  • For 10.0 and later, the product allows the user to specify the default PDF handler on first launch.
  • For 11.0 and later, by default, Acrobat will wrest ownership from an existing Reader install. You can change this behavior by setting LEAVE_PDFOWNERSHIP to YES.
  • Preset that choice via a registry/plist preference stored at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Installer\{product GUID}\DEFAULT_VERB.
  • Configure the installer prior to deployment via the Wizard, command line, or registry.
  • Via the user interface by choosing Preferences > General > Select Default PDF Handler.
  • Admins can prevent end users from changing the setting by using the HKLM feature lockdown preference DisablePDFHandlerSwitching.

Acrobat.com integration

All versions of Acrobat and Reader after 9.0 provide some level of acrobat.com integration by default. Disable Acrobat.com integration by setting preferences via one of the following methods:

  • Use Customization Wizard to disable Acrobat.com menus.
  • Edit the registry-plist to disable the acrobat.com features. For example, you can set the following: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\(product name)\(product version)\Workflows] "bEnableAcrobatHS"=dword:00000000.
  • Fine tune acrobat.com access using individual preferences described in the Preference Reference.

Language settings

With 11.0, all Acrobat installers are MUI installers. Before starting, verify you have the correct installer. There are several installer types:

  • Single language installers identified by the lang_ID in the installer name (e.g. en_US).
  • Tier installers identified by tier_# in the installer name that typically support 4 or more languages. For example, Tier 1 supports English, French, German, and Japanese.
  • MUI installers identified by _mui in the installer name.
  • 11.0 and later: All Acrobat installers are MUI installers.


In addition to the filename, you can also check the setup file directory which includes the language specific .mst files as well as the Acrobat msi file. These are identified by language ID codes.

Customization Wizard (Win)

11.0 only.

When a MUI installer is opened in the Wizard, MUI configuration options appear in the Installation Options panel. Select one of the following options:

  • Allow the user to choose the installation language: End users will have the option to specify the product language during installation. Deselecting this box enables the Install Language drop down list.
  • Application Language: Provides a drop down list of available languages you can preselect for the user.
  • Select to install all languages (MUI intallers only): The language text box is populated with list of all possible languages the MUI installer supports.  Make this list editable by choosing Edit language list.

By default, if the user does not change any option in the MUI Languages pane, an All Language Serial number will install Acrobat in the language of the operating system.

Serial number attributes are not validated in the Wizard so these settings will be applied only if applicable. For example, if a user provides a language value in this option which are not supported by the serial number then installation will fail with an error message.


The Wizard writes /sl <language ID code> in the setup.ini file.

Command line and MST

If you’re not using the Wizard, you can specify a language-specific MST on the command line. For example, to deploy a Dutch version of the product, use:

msiexec /i AcroStan.msi TRANSFORMS="1043.mst;<other MSTs if needed>" /qf

LANG_LIST property

The LANG_LIST property can be used on the command line to install one or more languages as described in Adobe Properties.

Note that there are 3 language variations that map to a base MST install as follows:

  • en_GB maps to the English transforms file: 1033.mst
  • fr_CA maps to the French transform file: 1036.mst
  • es_MX maps to the Spanish Transform file: 1034.mst


You can configure machines with MUI installs that have installed all languages to use a specific language as follows:

8.x > 10.x

  1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\Language.
  2. In the right-hand pane, right click and create a key called UseMUI if it does not exist.
  3. Right click and choose Modify.
  4. Set the value to 1.


  1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\Language.
  2. In the left-hand pane, right click and create a key called UseMUI if it does not exist.
  3. In the right-hand pane, right click and choose New > DWORD value.
  4. Create a new preference called bUseMUI.
  5. Right click and choose Modify.
  6. Set the value to 1.


For 10.1 and later, you can also create a machine-level setting at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\(product name)\(version)\Language\UseMUI. End users cannot change this setting without administrator privileges. For more detail about Language and other preferences, see the Preference Reference.

Additional Windows XP configuration

On Windows XP machines, the OS’s regional settings may need to be changed to enable non-Latin language selection during a MUI install. Regional switching is not an Acrobat feature but how Windows XP works with codepages.

To change the OS settings:

  1. Control Panel > Regional and Language Options.

  2. Selected Advanced tab.

  3. In Language for non-Unicode programs, select the Language.

  4. For Japanese, Chinese, and Korean:

    1. Choose the Languages tab.
    2. Choose Install files for East Asian Languages.
    3. Reboot if you don’t immediately see these languages available under Language for non-Unicode programs.


XP uses codepages to enable certain character support. Codepages are the way Windows enabled non-Latin language character encodings before Unicode was supported. For an overview, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_code_page.

Selecting a codepage activates all the languages associated with that code page. For example, changing the regional settings and selecting a codepage for Czech also makes Polish, Hungarian, etc. available, but not Turkish.

Language mapping to codepages
Codepage Language
932 Japanese
949 Korean
936 Chinese Simplified
950 Chinese Traditional
1250 Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovenian, Romanian, Slovak
1252 English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan(2), Basque(2)
1254 Turkish
1251 Russian, Bulgarian(1), Ukrainian
1257 Estonian(1), Latvian(1), Lithuanian(1)
  1. Acrobat 9 languages not in Acrobat 10 and later; (2) Reader only

File deployment

Custom files are one of the primary ways an enterprise can improve business efficiency and lower the Acrobat’s total cost of ownership. This feature is often under utilized, and workflow owners may find it beneficial to review the list below as well as the directories under the product’s root install location. Some of the customizable files include:

  • Files that improve workflow efficiency such as those for Actions, tool Sets, combining files, eEnvelopes, Quickbooks templates, forms templates, etc.
  • Files that customize application behavior such as JavaScripts and plugins.
  • Digital signature files: digital IDs, trusted identities, LDAP server list, custom signature handlers, certificate revocation lists, etc.
  • Printing and Distiller files.
  • Document backgrounds, headers, footers, watermarks, stamps.
  • Document security files, redaction codes, custom security handlers, etc.
  • Multimedia skins, navigators, preflight, color swatches, and many more.

Deployment options

IT can deploy custom files before or after product installation.

Deploy files with initial installation

Prior to product deployment, IT typically uses the Customization Wizard to add files to any requisite directory or to set configure the registry to scan custom, shared directories. To do so:

  1. Use the Wizard’s Files and Folders feature to add files to the requisite locations.
  2. Save the modified installer and deploy normally.

Deploy files using Group Policy Objects

Admins that use GPO and Active Directory deployments can use their standard methodologies for deploying files and custom registry settings. At a high level, the steps include:

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Create a Group Policy which runs a file copy script at system log on or log off or at a scheduled time.
    • Place the files on the target machines via User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Files or User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Folder.
  2. Verify the files are copied to the standard product or user directory so that Acrobat can find the files.

Platform considerations

Most files are applicable to both Windows and Macintosh. Except for the root path, file locations are identical under the product install directories. Where registry or plist preferences provide file-related configuration options, corresponding registry preferences can typically be used on Macintosh by specifying equivalent plist settings in /Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Acrobat.

Refer to the Preference Reference for registry and plist details.


Many organizations use plug-ins to customize workflows for particular needs. The Customization Wizard allows you to specify custom plug-ins for automatic installation. You can use plug-ins from third-party suppliers or develop your own using the Acrobat Software Developers Kit (SDK). For more information, see the Acrobat Developer Center: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/.


JavaScript can be used to add and remove items from menus, automate Actions, and perform an almost limitless variety of other tasks that can improved workflow efficiency. You can use scripts from third-party suppliers or develop your own using the Acrobat Software Developers Kit (SDK). For more information, see the Acrobat Developer Center: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/.

10.1.1 introduced changes that affect the use of global variables and user scripts. If you are migrating to a newer version, refer to the Application Security Guide for details.

Tool Sets

Acrobat 11.0 introduces a streamlined way to create and manage custom tool sets across the enterprise. A Customize button in the upper right-hand area of the toolbar allows users to create new tool sets, manage existing tool sets, and choose any existing tool set.

This feature helps organizations standardize task-specific tool views, reduce training costs, and improve employee efficiency by grouping related tools into a common view. This feature allows:

  • End users to easily create or import custom tool sets.
  • Easy switching between different tool sets.
  • IT to create, distribute, and otherwise manage tool sets across the enterprise.

Tool set file locations

Tool set files reside in two locations:

  • A local user directory (full access): Files which are stored and imported by the current user are placed in the default current user’s directory. For example:


  • A local, product directory (read only): Files in this directory are visible to any user on the machine. For example:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\UICustomization\<language>\<anyname>.aaui

UI overview

To work with tool sets:

  1. Choose Customize > Manage Tool Sets.
  2. Perform any needed action.


When creating a new Tool Set, you can choose any available tool in any desired order.

Managing tool sets


Custom Actions (macros)

Actions provide a way to reduce repetition, automate common tasks, and enable batch processing on one or more PDFs. Actions are similar to macros in other popular software applications and lower Acrobat’s total cost of ownership by increasing business efficiency.

Actions in 11.0 have been improved in the following ways:

  • Improves the user interface (UI) for running an action.
  • Improves the UI for authoring an action and gives the author more control over how much flexibility the consuming user has when running an action.
  • Authoring UI and playback are similar so it’s easier to understand what the action does.
  • Supports running Actions on files that are opened from or saved to either a cloud or local repository.
  • Improves support for distributing and managing shared Actions.
  • Expands the number of actionable tasks.
  • Integrates Actions with other products such as PDFMaker so that they can be invoked from applications like Microsoft Word.

These changes help organizations standardize document preparation, minimize errors, reduce training costs, and improve employee efficiency by combining repetitive multi-steps tasks into guided Actions. Actions provide a way for the enterprise to:

  • Improve compliance by guiding end users through a set of tasks ensuring that no step is missed.
  • Simplify and speed up document preparation by optimizing the user experience.
  • Centrally distribute and update Actions.
  • Increase value and flexibility by integrating guided Actions with local and hosted repositories.

Integration with other products

With 11.0, Actions are integrated with PDFMakers so that they can be invoked from other applications. For example, when saving a file as a PDF in Microsoft Word, the PDF tool bar now displays a Create PDF and Run Action button. The drop down list of Actions show all the available Actions that the product can find. The list is populated from these directories:

  • The default Actions user directory.
  • The default Actions product directory.
  • Any custom directory IT has configured the product to scan for action files.

Action file locations

Action files can be stored in three locations:

  • A local user directory (full access): Actions which are stored and imported by the current user are placed in the default current user’s directory. For example: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\11.0\Sequences\MyAction.sequ.
  • A local, product directory (read only): Files in this directory are visible to any user on the machine. For example: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\Sequences\<language>\MyAction.sequ.
  • A shared directory (read only): Custom Actions that are created for and shared across the enterprise can reside in any location visible by the product. Deployment should include configuring the product via registry preferences to look for the files that reside in any non-default location.

Shared directory configuration

Deploy custom Actions before or after product deployment. After creating custom Actions as described in the Help documentation, configure Acrobat to read action files from one or more shared folders in addition to the installed Sequences folder and the user-level Sequences folder.

To do so:

  1. Deploy the action files to some shared location.
  2. Use GPO or some other method to push new registry settings across your organization that enable the product to scan the custom action directories. To specify directories that should be scanned for action files, configure the registry as follows:
  3. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\11.0\FeatureLockDown\cWorkflow\cBaseFolders].
  4. Create new keys under cBaseFolders. The names of the keys must follow the sequence c0, c1, c2, etc.
  5. Create two REG_SZ values according to the specification in the table below.

Registry setting for directories to scan for Actions

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\11.0\FeatureLockDown\cWorkflow\cBaseFolders\c0]
"tName"="personal Actions"
"tDIPath"="/D/my Actions"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\11.0\FeatureLockDown\cWorkflow\cBaseFolders\c1]
"tName"="shared Actions"
"tDIPath"="/megashare.megacorp.com/shared Actions"
Key values for specifying folders to scan
Name Type Description
tDIPath REG_SZ The device-independent path of the directory. The path should follow the syntax for absolute file specifications documented in Section 3.10.1 File Specification Strings in the PDF Reference, version 1.7 or later. The path may not contain the sub-string, ”..”. If it does, Acrobat will ignore the folder.
tName REG_SZ A unique, case-sensitive alias for the directory. The names “install”, “transient”, and “user” are reserved. If one of the reserved names is used, Acrobat will ignore the folder. If the same name is listed more than once, Acrobat will use only the first occurrence.

Preferences format for caching action information

The following preferences are product-generated and are described for informational purposes only.

For each action that Acrobat finds when it scans the standard and administrator-deployed action directories, the following values are cached under the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\11.0\Workflow\cRegistered] key.


Although you can add and update such cached action information by hand, it is not necessary nor advisable. Acrobat can overwrite the information at any time.

Key values for caching action information
Name Type Req? Description
aID REG_SZ No A unique identifier for the action. If this entry is missing, Acrobat generates a GUID.
tBaseFolderName REG_SZ Yes An alias referring to a particular folder. The two standard values are “install” and “user”, which refer to the application-level Sequences folder and the user-level Sequences folders, respectively. The name can also refer to an administrator-specified folder, as described in the above section.
tDescription REG_SZ No A description of the action that is shown in various places in the UI.
tFileFormat REG_SZ Yes The two valid values are “11” for an Acrobat 11-format .sequ file or “pre-11” for an Acrobat 10-or-earlier format .sequ file.
tRelativeDIPath REG_SZ Yes The path relative to the base folder path. The path should follow the syntax for relative file specifications documented in Section 3.10.1 File Specification Strings in the PDF Reference, version 1.7 or later. Typically, it is just the name of the .sequ file; for example, MyAction.sequ.
tTitle REG_SZ No A cached title for the action. If this entry is missing, Acrobat will get the action’s title by reading it from the action file (or from the filename of the action file for pre-11 Actions).

Offline Help access

With 10.x products, the Reader Help system is only available online. If the product does not have online access, configure the installations to point to a local version on your Intranet.


For alternative solutions as well as solutions for 9.x, see http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/865/cpsid_86505.html.

To configure local access to Help for 10.x products:

  1. Download the Help from http://help.adobe.com/en_US/reader/using/reader_X_help.pdf.
  2. Install it in some accessible location.
  3. Place the JavaScript in in the JavaScripts directory of each installed client. For example, (C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader <version>\Reader\Javascripts). This script replaces the existing Help link with your custom link.


The easiest way to place this file prior to deployment is by using the Customization Wizard’s Files and Folders feature. The Wizard allows you to create an MST file that will modify the installer with any of your customizations.

Help menu JavaScript

/************************* Hide Menu ********************************/
//Hide the default Help menu


/******************************   Menu Execution items **********************/
app.addMenuItem({ cName: "Adobe Reader Help PDF", cParent: "Help", cExec: "fTDocs1()", nPos: 0});
/***************************** Functions ************************************/

// Note: The "/C/Program Files/Adobe/" convention was used to conform to the
// Adobe SDK format but the installer does not do this so you may need to
// edit the path for your system.

function fTDocs1()
    {app.openDoc("/C/Program Files/Adobe/Reader 10.0/Help/reader_X_help.pdf");};

Accessing Help behind a proxy

The online help system can be made accessible when users are behind an authenticating proxy by setting the following preferences:

  • 32-bit: [HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\FeatureState]"3179427"=dword:00000001
  • 64-bit: [HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\FeatureState]"3179427"=dword:00000001

Corporate fonts-printing

You can set any printing options via joboptions files. This example shows how to set corporate fonts.

  1. Open the PDFMaker’s settings panel (method varies by the software product you are using to access it.

  2. Choose Advanced Settings.

  3. Add your font to the Always Embed list.

  4. Save the settings as a new joboptions file.

  5. Distribute the file:

    • Predeployment: Use the Customization Wizard’s distiller feature: http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/Wizard/distiller.html
    • Post deployment: Distribute the file to C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingAdobeAdobe PDFSettings and set the default joboptions file to use for the PDF printer and Distiller in the Registry. You will need to set the JobOptions registry entry for each PDFMaker used by specific software as well as for Distiller. For example:

"JobOptions"="High Quality Print"

"JobOptions"="High Quality Print"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Distiller\11.0]

Infrastructure integration


The standalone product also ships with a browser plugin that enables viewing online and offline PDF files in a browser. Prior to 11.0, admins could enable integration with the browser by setting Originals/bBrowserIntegration to 1. However, due to different PDF viewing implementations across browsers as well as user settings, behavior is not always consistent.

It is also true that browsers and OS’s are becoming more restrictive with respect to plugins. For this reason, bBrowserIntegration is deprecated with 11.0. End users and admins should configure their browsers to view PDFs with Adobe’s plugin as described in http://www.adobe.com/go/pdfinbrowser.


Acrobat and the Flash player have been gradually decoupled over the last few years for security and deployment reasons. Acrobat products only use a special, secure version of the Flash player to display certain parts of its user interface. However, to display SWF content in PDFs, Acrobat relies on the user’s system player. For organizations that need to allow such content, admins should deploy the latest and most secure version of the Flash player. For a good overview, see this blog.


Adobe Acrobat is integrated with Microsoft SharePoint. Improved SharePoint integration gives you enhanced version control when working with shared PDF documents stored on a SharePoint server. Administrators can configure this integration prior to deployment. In addition to the configuration details below, see the Overview and Quickstart Guide.

Changes across releases

SharePoint changes across releases
Version Description

SharePoint support introduced. Users can associate Adobe’s PDF icon with PDF files in the SharePoint browser user interface, click a PDF link in the SharePoint browser user interface to open PDFs (user is given an option to check out the PDF file). The SharePoint browser user interface indicates when a PDF is checked out. The File > SharePoint Server menu appears in the Acrobat product. Items include:

  • Check In
  • Discard Check-Out
  • Prepare Document Properties
10.1 Added bDisableSharePointFeatures; Signature workflow improvements
10.1.2 Support for the additional ActiveX control PdfFile.OpenDocuments appears in Acrobat and Reader.

New features include:

  • Macintosh support.
  • Support for Protected Mode for the Windows Reader.
  • Full meta-data support, including new types required on check-in such as Lookup Metadata, Person/Group Metadata, and Managed Metadata. Users can view and edit metadata under File > SharePoint Server > Prepare Document Properties.
  • Office365 support.
  • Support for enterprise workflows that include Combine, Actions, and SharePoint workflows including seamless Open and Save Actions.
  • Direct access to SharePoint and Office365 from the File Menu > Open from Online Account and Save to Online Account as well as Open and Save dialogs.
  • Marking specific SharePoint/Office 365 locations as Favorites by selecting the star icon next to the location.
  • Support for accessing older document versions accessing them from their respective Web UIs.
11.0.03 Support for SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint system requirements

The following is required:


  • A valid Acrobat software license for every computer that has access to Acrobat software on the Server.
  • SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010.
  • Client Machines: Windows, Internet Explorer, and Reader X or Acrobat X.


  • A valid Acrobat software license for every computer that has access to Acrobat software on the Server.
  • SharePoint 2010 or (with 11.0.03 and later) SharePoint 2013.
  • Client Machines: Windows, Internet Explorer, and Reader XI or Acrobat XI.

Digital signature changes for 10.1

10.1 improves the SharePoint end user experience during signature workflows by eliminating the Save step. Prior to 10.1, users were prompted to save a file locally after digitally signing a SharePoint-hosted PDF and then save a new version of the file separately in to SharePoint. With 10.1, the behavior for digitally signing a SharePoint-hosted PDF file is as follows:

  • Signed files are saved directly to SharePoint if that PDF file is already checked out.
  • The user is prompted to check out the file if that PDF is not already checked out.

SharePoint Configuration

Configuration for 10.1.2 and later

Starting with Acrobat/Reader 10.1.2, the ActiveX control PdfFile.OpenDocuments is supported in addition to AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments. The rationale behind this change is that Microsoft is pushing an update to Sharepoint Online and on-premise Sharepoint servers which automatically updates DocIcon.xml to associate PDFs with the ActiveX control named PdfFile.OpenDocuments.

If you’ve received this update, you don’t need to change your DocIcon.xml manually as described below. To verify you have latest update or not, open DocIcon.xml in a text-editor and look for PdfFile.OpenDocuments. If it’s there, then no additional configuration is needed. If it’s not there, manually modify the DocIcon.xml file as described below.

Manual configuration

The DocIcon.xml file is present on every front-end Web server in a Microsoft SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010 deployment. It is used to specify the icon that displays for different file types. Optionally, it can specify whether an ActiveX control opens the file.

See “Understanding DocIcon.xml Files” on MSDN to understand the functions of DocIcon.xml file.

The DocIcon.xml performs three basic functions:

  • Associates display icons with file types.
  • Assigns an ActiveX control to open the file for viewing or editing.
  • Configures the text that displays in the SharePoint pop-up menus.

Settings in the DocIcon.xml file are global to a SharePoint deployment and impact site definitions on all front-end Web servers. Each filename extension or ProgId can map t o only one editing control, one icon, and one string of display text. This mapping is identical throughout a SharePoint deployment. You can add mapping elements to support additional filename extensions and ProgIds.

The ActiveX control AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments is installed on the client computer with Acrobat or Reader. To use that ActiveX control for opening PDFs on a user’s computer, modify the DocIcon.xml file to associate an icon and assign an ActiveX control for PDF files as follows:

  1. Find the DocIcon.xml file:

    • SharePoint 2007: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML
    • SharePoint 2010: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATE\XML
    • SharePoint 2013: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\15\TEMPLATE\XML
  2. Open the DocIcon.xml file for editing.

  3. Search for the <ByExtension> tag. It is a child tag of the root tag <DocIcons>. Create it if it does not exist.

  4. Add a child tag inside <ByExtension>, with the following content:

<Mapping Key="pdf" Value="AdobePDF.png"  OpenControl="AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments"/>
  1. Save the DocIcon.xml file.

  2. Download AdobePDF.png from http://www.adobe.com/misc/linking.html#producticons.

  3. Copy the icon to the following folder:

    • SharePoint 2007: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\Images\
    • SharePoint 2010: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATE\Images\
    • SharePoint 2013: %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\15\TEMPLATE\Images\
  4. Launch the IIS Manager and either restart IIS or refresh all the sites. IIS manager reads the XML file once when it starts. Any new changes are not read again until a restart.

Allow HTTP methods in IIS 7 or later

SharePoint has its own WebDAV implementation. If the WebDAVModule is running, requests are routed there rather than the SharePoint WebDAV component. Disable the WebDAVModule to route the requests to the WebDAV component.

To disable the webDAVModule:

  1. Choose Start > Administrative Tools > IIS Manager.
  2. In the left pane, expand the tree, and navigate to your site.
  3. In the center pane, double-click Modules.
  4. In the Modules window, If WebDAVModule is present, remove it.
  5. Restart IIS.

Disabling SharePoint integration

10.1 adds support for disabling SharePoint integration via the bDisableSharePointFeatures preference. 1 disables all SharePoint-related functionality such as the check out prompt and SharePoint menu items.

To disable SharePoint integration:

  1. Open the registry.
  2. Go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\FeatureLockDown.
  3. Create a key called cSharePoint.
  4. Create a DWORD value called bDisableSharePointFeatures.
  5. Set its value to 1.


  • Have an admin configure the server and clients as specified in the Admin Guide.
  • Use a supported browser.
  • Enable the “Adobe Acrobat Sharepoint OpenDocuments Component” and “Adobe PDF Reader” add-ins in IE.
  • Verify this folder exists on the server: %ProgramFiles%Common FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions<version>TEMPLATEXML
  • Verify Doclcon.xml exists in the above location.
  • Verify this line is correct: <Mapping Key=”pdf” Value=”icpdf.png” EditText=”Acrobat Reader” OpenControl=”AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments” OpenApp=”AcroRd32”/>
  • Determine if the problem affects all users or some users. The former would likely indicate a server issue while the latter points to a client-side issue.
  • Verify you have write permissions to any location the Acrobat product or SharePoint needs to write to.
  • If you can’t edit a PDF, check its security properties via Open File > Properties > Security.
  • If clicking on a PDF document in a SharePoint library shows the error “There was an error opening this document. The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.”, then update SharePoint. See the Microsoft Technet Forum: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointgeneral/thread/49aed23c-cf9c-43 39-8c17-ff1df65649a6/.
  • If the “Check Out and Open” PDF files in document libraries menu item is not present, make sure the latest is SharePoint update is not the March cummulative update for SP 2013. Microsoft confirmed a bug in that update. See https://forums.adobe.com/message/6579072#6579072.


11.0 introduces support for WebMail accounts in PDF workflows. Features include support for:

  • Sending PDFs as email attachments using any mail account that supports SMTP/IMAP protocols. In addition to existing desktop email clients, users can now configure these mail accounts by providing User Name, Password, IMAP and SMTP details.
  • Gmail and Yahoo mail accounts (Yahoo mail accounts that end with yahoo.co.jp are unsupported).
  • Using Webmail in various Acrobat workflows like Shared Reviews and Forms Distribution. Users can send emails for inviting participants to a Shared Review or distribute PDF forms using the above-mentioned Webmail or other mail accounts. Users can also retrieve their contacts list while composing the mail (Gmail only).

For configuration details, see the Preference Reference or the Wizard Guide.


The product can be configured to scan existing LDAP servers for information about contacts and certificates that should be available in signature workflows. For details, refer to the digital signatures documentation.


The job of integrating Acrobat products with a new or existing Public Key Infrastructure should fall to an experienced PKI administrator. For details about PKI integration and digital signature workflows, refer to the digital signatures documentation.

iFilter (Microsoft indexing)

The Adobe PDF iFilter enables indexing Adobe PDF documents using Microsoft indexing clients. This allows the user to easily search for text within Adobe PDF documents. The key benefits include:

  • Integrates with existing operating systems and enterprise tools.
  • Provides an easy solution to search within local Adobe PDF documents.
  • Greatly increases your ability to accurately locate information.

32-bit Acrobat 9.x and later products bundle a 32-bit PDF iFilter. It uses the Microsoft iFilter interface and allows third-party indexing tools to extract text from Adobe PDF files. 64-bit versions are available as an add-on.

64-bit product installs require that the add-on be installed separately. If you already have the iFilter plugin on the machine left over from a previous install, reinstall it.

iFilter availability for both Acrobat and Reader
Version 32-bit 64-bit iFilter version and notes
Reader 8.x bundled None Version 6.
Acrobat 8.x bundled bundled Version 6.
All 9.x bundled Add on Version 9. First added in 10.1. 32 bit not in 10.0-10.0.3
10.x bundled Add on Version 9. Security improved with 10.1
11.x bundled Add on Version 11. Updated for 11.x products and its supported platforms.

Networked file support

For its iFilter, Windows defines both a file-based and stream-based interface. Since only the stream interface loads the Adobe PDF iFilter in a sandboxed environment (SearchFilterHost.exe), the Adobe PDF iFilter only supports the stream interface in order to provide the highest possible security against malicious PDFs. Support for searching networked documents was dropped with Acrobat/Reader 10.1 for the bundled 32-bit iFilter and with all 11.x products for the 64-bit iFilter add on.

Since only the file-based interface allows for searching of files on network folders, a possible work around involves configuring Windows Search to index the network folder:

  1. Map the network drive: Open Windows Explorer > Alt + T > Map Network Drive.
  2. Right click on the mapped drive > Choose “Always available offline”. This will take some take time as Windows will make the files available offline.
  3. Choose Start > Control Panel > Indexing Options > Modify and add the mapped drive to indexing path. This should start indexing of files in the mapped network drive.

Searching attachments and portfolios

By default, attachments are not searchable inside Windows desktop search because iFilters for Windows Desktop Search (WDS) run in a filter isolation process (SearchFilterHost.exe). The process runs under the Local System security context with restricted rights which doesn’t permit creating temporary files. Since searching attachments requires creating a temp file, attachment searches fail.

The workaround is to make WDS allow the PDF iFilter to write a temp file so that it can extract contents out of PDF file attachments. To do so:

  1. Open the registry.
  2. Go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager\UseSystemTemp.
  3. Set the value to 1.