Pre-deployment configuration (Basic)

Configuration Options

During an Acrobat non-silent install, the installer displays a number of screens which guide the user through the process and allow for licensing as well as the customization of certain features. Since admins typically use silent installs for mass deployments, Adobe provides various methods for pre-deployment configuration, including common tasks such as:

  • Licensing.

  • Disabling registration.

  • Granting activation exceptions for offline users.

  • Selecting a language.

  • Disabling the startup splash page.

  • Setting a default PDF viewer when Acrobat or Reader is already present.

  • Accepting the EULA on behalf of your organization.

By performing these tasks ahead of time, you can simplify the end user experience when the product first launches.

Configuration methodologies

Configuration methods and tools include the following:

  • Customization Wizard for Mac: Modify basic installer settings prior to deployment.

  • Plist preferences for pre and post deployment configuration.

  • The APTEE tool for serialization, suppressing registration, and accepting the EULA.

Configuration methodologies


Mac Wizard (Acrobat-ONLY)







Splash page




Default PDF Viewer




















Wizard for Mac

The Acrobat Customization Wizard for Macintosh provides IT admins the ability to customize product installation settings prior to organization-wide deployment. Note the following:

  • This Wizard version cannot be used to customize Reader or trial Acrobat installs.

  • The product version and Wizard version must be identical. Thus, the Wizard can only be used with products.

Running the Wizard requires a writeable area, so do not run it from a DMG disk image. Copy it to a folder and run it from there.


  1. Download the Wizard DMG (all tracks).

  2. Mount the DMG.

  3. Copy Acrobat Customization Wizard to /Applications.

  4. Run the application: /Applications/Acrobat Customization Wizard


Installer locations


  1. Click the folder icon to the right of the Locate Installer field.

  2. Navigate to the installer and click it.



Product activation is required as described in the policy details at

Serialized licensing

While there is a grace period for online activation, it may be true that in some enterprise settings users are permanently or temporarily offline. In that case, you can grant an offline exception to the activation requirement.

Enter a serial number in the serial number input box to pre-serialize the package. The serial number should contain exactly 24 digits after stripping the dashes and spaces. Selecting Grant Offline Exception requires the use of a volume serial number.

Named user licensing

The serial number field is only used for serialized deployments where the machine is licensed. If you’re creating a non-serialized deployment and are using a named-user deployment where entitlements are managed via the Admin Console, leave the serial number blank. After deployment, users will be required to sign-in on product launch in order to activate the product. If the user signs out, the product is deactivated. Named-user deployments support Adobe IDs, Federated IDs, and Enterprise IDs.

EULA acceptance


Check Accept End User License Agreement if the individual selecting the checkbox is accepting the EULA for all end users. When checked, end users will not be shown the EULA on product startup.


You cannot set EULAAcceptedForBrowser in the plist. Using the Mac Wizard or APTEE is required.



After providing a serial number, check Grant Offline Exception & Disable Registration to make the following UI changes on application startup:

  • Users are not prompted to enter or create an Adobe ID.

  • Sign-in dialogs do not appear (if services are disabled).

  • The installer will not require online activation.

In this case, end users are not asked to validate the serial number or activate the product online. This option requires a volume serial number; otherwise, the Customization Wizard will fail with the error code 14.

The default workflow with Acrobat is that if the user doesn’t go online within first 30 days to validate the serial number and activate the product, the application stops working. A working internet connection is a pre-requisite for this option. By default, this checkbox is selected when the Customization Wizard is launched.

Browser Integration


Check Disable PDF rendering in browsers to disable browser integration. During UI install workflows, this integration is apparent in the Custom Install dialog where the browser plugin is checked by default. Disabling browser integration disables this option.

Installation type


Feature lockdown



Recommended: Review Locking preferences before choosing this option.

Like Windows, feature lockdown allows IT to create settings that cannot be changed by end users. Since the Wizard modifies the installer, the embedded feature lockdown file is installed on all end user machines at install time. For features that have a user interface (UI), the UI is either removed from the product or disabled.

To lock preferences:

  1. Create a plist file named com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist.

  2. Check Enable Feature Lockdown.

  3. Browse to the plist file you created.

  4. Choose OK.


The Mac Wizard creates an identical file in /Library/Preferences/. If a plist already exists on a client machine at that location, it is replaced at deployment time.

Saving installer changes

After configuration, save the customized installer:

  1. Choose OK when finished.

  2. When the save dialog appears, enter an output package name ending with PKG.

  3. Select an output location that is writable.

  4. Choose Save.

  5. When the Success screen appears, choose OK.


The parent directory must be writable otherwise an error is thrown. If the file already exists, the file is overwritten.

If none of the optional checkboxes are selected, the output installer is pre-serialized using the provided serial number thereby avoiding the appearance of the serial number pane during the install.

Wizard logging

The Customization Wizard creates the log file at ~/Library/Logs/Adobe/CustWiz.log. If log file creation fails, the log is dumped to the console. If the Grant Offline Exception is checked, logs are also created at /tmp/oobelib.log.

Common Error Codes




The Acrobat Installer Package could not be read.


The destination Installer package exists and is not writable.


The XML file generated for embedding inside the installer could not be read.


Invalid arguments passed to the script which modifies the package.


Could not expand the Input installer package to process.


Could not flatten the expanded input package into the output package.


Failed to embed the XML file generated into the package.


Could not remove the temporary expanded package.


The featurelockdown plist is not readable.


Failed to embed the featurelockdown plist into the package.


The APTEE tool called from within returned an error. See /tmp/oobelib.log for details.

Language selection

Acrobat installers are multi-language (MUI) installers. By default, the product language is set to match the OS.

  • There are no language-specific serial numbers.

  • All languages are installed by default.

  • The OS language will determine Acrobat’s language.

  • Trials are available in all supported languages, although only a single trial language can be installed at any point of time.

You can modify the default behavior by modifying a plist preference. See UseMUI in the Preference Reference. Language configuration can be complex in some environments and may involve knowing:

  • The relevant locale and language codes for your serial number.

  • What languages to install on the machine (one, several, or all).

  • Whether or not the default language is that of the OS.

  • Whether or not the user should be allowed to reset the language.

  • Whether the language variant maps to a differently named base MST.

  • If you need additional font packs which are available as separate installers.

Splash page

By default, a splash page appears on application startup. To disable this behavior, set SplashDisplayedAtStartup to 0.

PDF ownership

When both Acrobat and Reader are present, PDF ownership settings must be set through the user interface.

Activation workflows

When offline and activation exceptions are required, use the tools in the APTEE.

Activation workflow details

Macintosh workflow details



No activation exception

No activation exception employed. Every end user will have to be online to complete the serial number validation after successful silent activation ping. Offline grace period expires after 30 days.

Activation exception via Wizard (other than an imaged OS)

Online access required. The Wizard validates the serial number and saves the exception inside the installation pkg.

Activation exception via APTEE. Installer on a shared server. Install may be UI based. Required for an imaged OS.

Online access required. Run APTEE as described below.

Activation exception via command line. Installer on a shared server. Install may be UI based.

Use the Wizard or run APTEE as described below.

Activation exception when installer runs on a DVD

Online access required. For retail and volume licenses, the Adobe Application Manager (AAM) displays the short code for an activation request. Users log in to the Adobe website with an Adobe ID and enter the serial number and request code. After validation, the activation service displays a response code. The user enters the code in the AAM screen. On success, AAM grants the activation exception.

Command line trial install

Activation is required. After any deployment method, registration with an Adobe ID is required. All end users see a Registration dialog.

License a trial install with activation

Serialize by running APTEE with administrator privileges on all user machines (run over command line with appropriate parameter set to S/N).

License a trial install with activation exception

Online access required. Run APTEE as described in below.

Activation exception (type 2)

You can create an activated production package and serialize post deployment using APTEE. This method is used when user machines are not going to be online. To do so,

  1. Run APTEE on an online machine to generate the prov.xml file.

  2. Deploy the product on each machine.

  3. Run APTEE with the prov.xml file on each machine.