I don’t like wasting people’s time (what few readers I may have) with rants and raves, but I got hit in the gut twice recently by unfortunate updates.
Being the progressive guy that I am, I upgraded my Adobe Acrobat Reader software (upon ceaseless prompting by Adobe Updater) to Acrobat Reader 9. I also installed Adobe Acrobat (the full version) 8 within a short timeframe. At some point in that flurry of acrobatic upgrades, I lost my ability to display PDFs in my browser window. Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera – nada, zilch, bubkus, zeeero. Like so many other busy (lazy) computer professionals, I ignored it and did the Ctrl-click Save As… workaround.
Then today, after having been adamantly refusing to upgrade Firefox 18.104.22.168 to 3 (for a host of reasons – though it is installed on my web development testing laptop), I caught, out of the corner of my eye, Firefox unashamedly installing FF 3.0.5 without my consent. I cancelled, went to my prefs, ensured that “automatic updates” was OFF(!!) and happily went about my business. In due course I shut down Firefox, and later re-opened. To be greeted by the message “Firefox is installing updates.” And that was all there was to it. No choice in the matter – bend over this won’t hurt a bit. Of course that meant that my plugins stopped working (what would I do without Firebug??) and since then Firefox has been crashing like Amtrak in winter. Thanks.
So naturally, the next time I was trying to open up a PDF in a browser and got the friendly error message to the effect of “error – The Adobe Acrobat/Reader that is running can not be used to view PDF files in a Web Browser. Please exit Adobe Acrobat/Reader and try again.” I LOOOOOSE it. I grabbed my computer in a figure 4 headlock, deaked it out with a headfake to the GPU and slammed an uppercut right up the USB. “Is that ‘can not be used to view PDF files in a Web Browser’ enough for ya?” I gloated.
Solutions, Tom, not problems please. This is a constructive blog.
Right. So, after reassembling my GPU and rubbing some vaseline on my USB ports, I did some research. Many complains, some very bizarrre solutions (from Adobe) involving clearing out some registry keys, everything quite suspect. The most promising option was to open the Reader Software, go to Preferences > Internet and make sure “View in browser” was turned on. It was – so I turned it off, quit the app, relaunched, turned it on and tried again. Nothing. Not even re-loading the browser solved it.
So I uninstalled, and re-installed Acrobat 8. I found a very helpful Adobe Acrobat 8 standalone installer which has worked without a hitch. So until Adobe gets their act together (I’m completely flabbergasted that their Acrobat 9 for Windows is so crippled and hasn’t been fixed yet), do yourself the favour and do not upgrade. If you have, and are experiencing the same issues, do uninstall Acrobat 9 and then install Reader 8.