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Problem with Adobe Acrobat

Note - This info is based on Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5.1 - The memory problem has reportedly been fixed in version 7.

When viewing a .pdf document in Mozilla, Adobe Acrobat reader is invoked to display the .pdf file in a browser window (or tab). However, when you close that window or tab Acrobat Reader (Acrord32.exe) will remain in memory. It is a process taking up approximately 30 Mb of memory. This is an Acrobat Reader plugin and program problem.

One option is to open Task Manager and kill the process.  Here's another approach gleaned from the netscape.public.mozilla.browser newsgroup. It will open Acrobat Reader outside of Mozilla to display the document.

1. Open Acrobat Reader (NOT in Mozilla). Select Edit - Preferences - Options, and uncheck all four options listed under "Web browser".

2. Search for nppdf32.dll using Windows Explorer on your hard drive(s). Rename every instance of the file (e.g. rename to nppdf32.dll.bak). This is important because  Mozilla will find this wherever it is, so you must delete or rename all instances.

3. In Mozilla, select Edit - Preferences - Navigator - Helper Applications. Find and remove any helper for PDF.

3b. In Firefox there is no way to create a Helper definition. Try opening Tools - Options - Downloads and see if an Adobe pdf helper exists. If so, click Change Action and make sure to check either Open in the Default Application (and point it to the Adobe reader program) or select Save to Disk.

If that doesn't work then delete the Adobe helper, find a .pdf link (http://edmullen.net/mozilla/moz_filetest.php), click on it and you should get a dialogue asking what to do with the .pdf file. Answer the dialogue and that will create a new Helper definition.

4. Add a new helper as follows:

Mime type: application/pdf

Extension: pdf (no period)

Select "Open it with:" and click "Choose" to browse to the location of the Acrobat Reader executable (usually something like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Reader\)

Select the file: acrord23.exe.

You will need to restart Mozilla for this to take effect.

Once you're done it should look like these two screen shots. You can, of course, decide for yourself whether to set to be prompted each time, or not.

pdf01 screen shot

pdf02 screen shot

Credits: Stan Brown, Joris Desmet, "david", Ant, etc.


The following comes from this Web page

Acrobat Reader takes a LONG time to load which can be frustrating. Here's how to speed up the process. This should work for both 5.x and 6.x versions of the program.

  1. Go to x:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat x.x\Reader\
  2. Create a new folder called Optional (if it doesn't already exist).
  3. Move all files (and folders) from the plug_ins folder to the Optional folder.
  4. You're done. The program will load a plugin only if needed, not on start up.

It worked for me using Adobe Reader 5.x, Windows XP Home and Pro SP2, Mozilla 1.7.3.

This page last changed: July 26, 2015 - 12:49 PM USA Eastern Time

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