© 2018 Adobe Inc. All rights reserved.

Updated Dec 21, 2018.

Pre-Deployment Planning

Planning basics

Pre deployment planning should include the following steps:

  • Manage entitlements: Use volume licenses to serialize your deployments. Alternatively, DC products allow you manage usage right by identity (users and groups). Use the Admin Console and support for Federated and Enterprise IDs to activate products and access to services.

  • Download installers: Choose your base installer, requisite updates (usually the latest), font packs, spelling dictionaries, etc.

  • Feature configuration: Know what features you want to enable or disable as well as customize. A good starting point includes the following:

  • File deployment: Determine what custom enterprise files should be integrated into the installer (e.g. signature files, watermarks, print settings).

  • Infrastructure integration: Integrate the product with existing systems such as LDAP servers, Adobe online services, SharePoint.

  • Virtualization/roaming technologies: Acrobat products support several technologies and features that help customers work anywhere and on different devices:

    • Citrix, Windows Terminal Server.
    • App-V: DC support begins July, 2017.
    • Roaming profiles and (DC) UE-V: Make files, data, and preferences available from any desktop location.
    • DC only: Preferences synchronization: Allow user preferences to follow users across machines.
    • Document Cloud services: Use online services, store files in the cloud, and place user recent file lists on any machine or mobile device.

In practice, configuration usually leverages a mix of command line properties, the 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.

Acrobat installers

Acrobat Professional and Standard DC are delivered as a single installer. Product behavior and features become enabled based on the entitlements granted by the licensing methodology (a user ID or serial number).


Acrobat DC products have two tracks: Continuous and Classic. These tracks provide different features, update methodologies, and use different licenses. Know which track you’ve purchased or need. For details, see Document Cloud Product Tracks.

Controlling updates

All updates for Acrobat DC products are cumulative to the base release, including out-of-cycle patches. Chaining updates is no longer required.

Automation tools

Adobe provides tools that facilitate enterprise management of updates for products installed across your organization. Acrobat supports both the Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST) as well as the Remote Update Manager (RUM).

AUSST 4.1 and later as well as RUM are supported on both Windows and Macintosh for the following:

  • Acrobat DC and Reader (Version: 15.016.20039 and above)
  • Acrobat Classic and Reader (Version 15.006.30172 and above)

DC updates on Windows

Admins typically configure machines so prevent product updates by end users. Machine-level settings may be set prior to or after deployment.

Customize update settings as follows:

  1. Check the default settings.
  2. Modify Check if you need to change the update check interval.
  3. Create and set bUpdater to override Mode.
  4. Disable updates to the web service plugins by setting HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\(product name)\(version)\FeatureLockdown\cServices\bUpdater to 0.

Note the following:

  • DC Continuous track web and desktop updates are released in tandem to ensure cloud and desktop features and functionality remain synchronized and compatible. Failure to update desktop components while leaving services enabled may lead to an unsupported configuration.
  • Updater preferences in the UI have been changed to only show the “Auto” and “Off” options. Reader’s Continuous track does not provide any UI options and the default is “Auto”.


The Wizard provides a UI for disabling the updater. Fine tuning other update behavior requires registry/plist configuration. For more detail, see the Preference Reference.

DC updates on Macintosh

For details, see Macintosh Deployments.

Installing Acrobat DC Standard

Acrobat DC products delivered via an ESD EXE download provide one installer that is used for both Acrobat Standard and Professional. The serial number you use determines which product is installed. What’s important to note is that when you extract the Acrobat ESD EXE (Acrobat_DC_Web_WWMUI.exe or Acrobat_<version>_Web_WWMUI.exe), you’ll see AcroPro.msi in the output folder. This is the correct behavior. Simply remember to use AcroPro.msi in any command line scripts.


Existing scripts that use AcroStan.msi should be updated.

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:

App setting preference migration

Many application settings stored in the registry are not automatically migrated (this is the same for plists on Mac). 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.

User file preference migration

Some user settings and preferences are stored in external files the application references as needed. Some examples include:

  • Digital signature settings
  • Security settings
  • Actions
  • WebCapture settings
  • Shared reviews
  • Custom Preflight profiles
  • Custom stamps
  • Custom tool Sets

The file path varies user name and version:

  • Windows 7 and later: C:\Users\(user name)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\(version: DC|2015|2017)\Security
  • Macintosh: /Users/(user name)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat/(version)/Security

For example, the Acrobat DC 2017 Classic location is:


Some digital signature and security data is stored in .acrodata files in the /Security/ subdirectory as follows:

  • appearances.acrodata: Stores signature appearances. Unless there is a shared company appearance, do not use this file.
  • addressbook.acrodata: Populates the Trusted Identity Manager with certificate data. This file can be used to distribute a trust anchor for signature validation.
  • directories.acrodata: Populates the directory server list in the Security Settings Console. This file can be used to configure connections to an LDAP server used as a certificate repository.
  • security-policy.acrodata: Populates the security policy list in the Security Policy Manager. This file can be used to distribute common document security policies.

Product compatibility

Different versions of Acrobat and Reader can coexist on a single machine as follows:

  • For DC products, the same product can coexist on different tracks. For example, the Continuous and Classic tracks of Acrobat can reside on the same machine.
  • Major versions of different products can coexist; for example, Reader DC with Acrobat DC
  • A more recent version of Acrobat (DC) with the next older version of Reader (11.x).

Feature configuration

As described in the examples below, features can be tailored to meet your needs using the Wizard, registry configuraiton, or the command line, and so on. 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.

Services integration

See Service and Online Features.

Tools and tool set configuration

Acrobat DC introduced a new user interface, but tools customization methodologies remain similar. The redesign makes tools easier to find, simpler to use, and subject to admin and end user customization so that the product can better serve an organization’s needs. Many tool-specific workflows require less clicks to complete. Tools appear in two main areas: The Tools tab (sometimes called the “Tools Center”), and in shortcuts in the right hand tools pane. Both can be customized.


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 via the Wizard or .aaui files.

Custom tool set files reside in these 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: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\<version>\UICustomization\<anyname>.aaui
  • 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 <version>\Acrobat\UICustomization\<language>\<anyname>.aaui

Tools configuration

DC supports the following options:

  • User interface: Configure new tools as shown in the screen below.
  • Wizard: In the Tools pane, check Disable Apps in Tools tab.
  • Registry: Set a FeatureLockdown preference that maps to the tool’s AppID. For examples, see the Preference Reference.

.aapp files and DC

You can find a list of tools and their available properties in the .aapp configuration files at %installdir%\(product name)\AcroApp\(language ID)\. While it is possible to modify these files and leverage their rich configuration options, this technique is not officially supported since such options cannot be tested by Adobe.

The base release provides the following tools:

  • AccessibilityApp: Create and verify PDF files to meet accessibility standards for people with disabilities
  • ActionsApp: Use guided Actions to complete PDF tasks quickly and standardize routine tasks
  • CertificatesApp: Digitally sign or certify documents and validate authenticity
  • CollectSignaturesApp: Get signatures from others and track results
  • CombineApp: Combine and arrange files into a single PDF
  • CommentApp: Add comments with highlights, sticky notes, and mark-up tools
  • CompareApp: Compare and highlight the differences between two versions of a PDF
  • CreateCustomUIApp: Create a customized collection of Acrobat features and share with others
  • CreatePDFApp: Create a PDF from any format
  • DeveloperApp: Enhance PDF forms and connect to databases with JavaScript
  • EditPDFApp: Edit text and images in PDF files
  • ExportPDFApp: Convert PDFs to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more
  • FillSignApp: Fill and sign documents and forms electronically
  • FormsApp: Quickly convert Word, Excel or scanned forms into PDF forms
  • IndexApp: Index PDF files to speed search across document collections
  • MeasureApp: Measure distance, area, and perimeter of objects
  • OptimizePDFApp: Reduce PDF file size, enable fast web view, control image and font options
  • PagesApp: Delete, insert, extract, or rotate pages
  • PaperToPDFApp: Turn scans or photos of paper documents into searchable PDFs with selectable text
  • PrintProductionApp: Preview, preflight, correct, and prepare PDF files for high-end print production
  • ProtectApp: Prevent others from copying, printing & editing the information in PDFs
  • RedactApp: Permanently delete sensitive text, graphics, or hidden data
  • ReviewApp: Automatically collect comments from reviewers in a single PDF
  • RichMediaApp: Add audio, video, and interactive objects
  • StampApp: Add stamps such as ‘approved’ or ‘draft’
  • StandardsApp: Create PDF/A, PDF/E, or PDF/X files to comply with ISO standards
  • SendAppFull: Send documents, track views and downloads

Default PDF viewer

See Setting the Default PDF Viewer

Preferences Synchronization (DC)

When preferences synchronization is enabled (the default), desktop preferences sync across machines where Acrobat and Reader are installed and when the user is signed in with an Adobe ID. This feature allows users to leverage their customizations and streamlined workflows on any machine. Syncing is controlled by the preference:

[HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\FeatureLockdown\cServices]
  • bTogglePrefsSync disables preference synchronization across devices. This new feature which synchronizes desktop preferences across machines with Acrobat and Reader on which the user is signed in with an Adobe ID.
Preference synchronization across devices
Preference Type Applications that sync Settings that sync
Commenting User Settings Acrobat & Reader All the preferences in the UI under Preferences > Commenting
Identity User Settings Acrobat & Reader Everything in the registry under Identity
Document Open/Save Settings User Settings Acrobat & Reader All the preferences in the UI under Preferences > Documents
Favorite Apps User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under AcroApps
Quick tools User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under AVGeneral\cFavoritesCommandsDesktop
Left Hand Panes User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under AVGeneral\cDockables
Convert From PDF User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under AVConversionFromPDF
Convert To PDF User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under AVConversionToPDF
Scan & OCR User Settings Acrobat Everything in the registry under PaperCapturePlugin
Actions User data Acrobat The files under %appdata%\Adobe\Acrobat\12.0\Sequences

First Time Experience

The First Time Experience (FTE) feature displays help content and tips when the application is started. To disable FTE, set:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\FeatureLockDown]

FTE is also disabled if any of the following is disabled:

[HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\FeatureLockdown\cServices]

Language settings

See Language Support and Configuration

Custom 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, 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.

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. They also allow 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

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\<version>\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 <version>\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\<version>\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\<version>\FeatureLockDown\cWorkflow\cBaseFolders\c0]
"tName"="personal Actions"
"tDIPath"="/D/my Actions"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\<version>\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\<version>\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

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.

To configure local access to Help:

  1. Download the Help in PDF format.
  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\<version>]

Infrastructure integration

Viewing PDFs in browser

The standalone product also ships with a browser plugin that enables viewing online and offline PDF files in a browser. However, due to varying PDF viewing implementations across browsers as well as user settings, behavior varies across browsers.

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.

Internet Explorer

Browsers are rapidly changing. While your install may automatically enable add-ons and the Create PDF toolbar in your browser, you may have to configure your browser to use Adobe’s plugins. The required steps will vary with your environment and your chosen browser. As an example, refer to the following for information about enabling Acrobat DC add ons in Internet Explorer:

Chrome configuration

DC products dropped support for Chrome from its initial release to Jan. 2016; however, new options are available. With the Feb. 2017 release, Adobe bundles the Acrobat Chrome extension with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC so that you can easily open PDFs in Reader while browsing the web. Chrome configuration options include:

  • Jan. 2016: A registry preference (bAcroSuppressOpenInReader) that controls installation of the Acrobat plugin.
  • Feb. 2017: A command line property that controls installation of the Chrome extension. See ENABLE_CHROMEEXT on the Adobe Properties page.
  • Feb. 2017: A registry preference at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\Installer: ENABLE_CHROMEEXT that disables the first time startup screens that ask users if they want to install the Chrome extension.

For details about the end user experience and associated UI, see https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/open-in-acrobat-reader-from-chrome.html


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.

SharePoint system requirements

The following is required:


  • One of the following:

    • SharePoint 2007
    • SharePoint 2010
    • SharePoint 2013.
    • Office365
  • Windows OS and IE versions supported by DC products.

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.

Metadata support

Acrobat supports the following SharePoint Metadata types:

SharePoint metadata support
Type Supported?
Single line of text Yes
Multiple lines of text Yes
Choice (menu) Yes
Number (1, 1.0, 100) Yes
Currency ($, ¥, €) Yes
Date and Time Yes
Lookup (information on the current site) Yes
Yes/No (check box) Yes (Boolean)
Person or Group Yes
Hyperlink or Picture Yes
Calculated (calculation based on other columns) Yes
Managed Metadata Yes
Task Outcome. Yes
External Data Untested
Other types not listed No

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 cumulative update for SP 2013. Microsoft confirmed a bug in that update. See https://forums.adobe.com/message/6579072#6579072.


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 and PDF indexing

Adobe’s iFilter has been end-of-lifed as Microsoft provides alternative ways to index PDF. While iFilter does work with DC products, keep in mind bugs are no longer fixed and there may be non-functional scenarios.


For details, see the Legacy Admin Guide.

Plan for quitting processes

DC products offer a fully automatic update mode. This mode is enabled by default for both Acrobat and Reader on both tracks and is are far more capable of delivering a more “silent” install experience. To avoid reboots and requests to close certain applications, the updater tries to detect which files are in use and is smarter about waiting until certain files are released. While there are less dependencies, note that because Acrobat integrates with other 3rd party products, some updates do require the user (or admin) to close certain applications and files.

In some cases, 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.

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.

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.

Deprecated features and products


Acrobat DC products no longer use Flash in any part of the product.

For 11.x and earlier, Acrobat and the Flash player have been gradually decoupled over time for security and deployment reasons. 10.x and 11.x 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 details, see this Help content.