Charles Engelke's Blog

March 15, 2004

Faster Acrobat

Filed under: Notes — Charles Engelke @ 11:55 am

A while ago I
that Adobe Acrobat 6.0 takes forever to start up,
but doesn’t do a single thing I care about better than earlier,
faster versions of Acrobat. I just upgraded to a new PC, and it
had Acrobat 5.0 on it.

Acrobat 5 is quite a bit faster than 6, but still there’s an annoying
lag when it starts. I found a note in the
FireFox FAQ
that tells how to speed up Acrobat 6 (pardon me,
now it’s called Adobe Reader 6); the same tips help with Acrobat 5.
Now Acrobat 5 starts up in less than a second.

Here’s how it works: recent versions of Acrobat have a “plug-in”
architecture to install new features, and they ship with a lot of
those plug-ins installed and active. They’re what’s slowing down
the loading so much. Take away the plug-ins, and Acrobat is fast
again. The note in the FAQ reference above has detailed instructions;
the same ones work for Acrobat 5, except that there is no
“printme.api” file to deal with.

Of course, getting rid of the plug-ins disables the functions they
provided. But all I want from Acrobat is to let me view and print
PDF files, and it still does that. It’s Adobe
that wants all those other features, not most users. In my
opinion, they’re trying to create a demand for functionality that
isn’t needed, in order to increase their market size.


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