Monday, 19 October 2009

Adobe Acrobat 9.x Pro Trial – PDF Printing Fail

While we are waiting for our Acrobat Standard licensing order to go through for some new workstations here, we installed the trial version of Acrobat 9.x Professional via a download from Adobe’s site.

While there are other products out there to use for generating and working with PDF documents, some are even free, we prefer to run with Acrobat Standard for basic PDF generation and modification needs.

Yes, Acrobat, and any product that works with active data PDFs, has had their fair share of vulnerabilities lately, but now that they are getting a lot of attention from the bad guys they sure are cleaning up their code! Hopefully this realization transfers the need to keep their code tight to the new codebase for Acrobat version 10.x.

We choose Acrobat Standard because the product just works. We have tried to work with others out there, but they all have their quirks and hiccups to get working on a buttoned down network like ours.

A mandatory credentialed Windows Vista/7 UAC setup via Group Policy on our network is probably the one biggest killer for some of the PDF products we have tried.

The one catch with running Acrobat 9.x Standard or Professional on a 64bit OS is to run the product update after installing to get the PDF Printer to show up.

Anyway, back to the trial version:


We generate a lot of PDF documents from the various software products we use. We are virtually paperless in many aspects of our business. While some software products have a PDF generator built in such as QuickBooks (rarely works), others do not. So we need a dedicated PDF generation solution.

With the trial version we are able to generate one or two PDF documents via the PDF Printer before the above message comes up and prevents us from generating anymore PDF documents.

So, we need to log off and then back on again, as the activation prompt does not want to come back even though something was blocking the PDF generation.

This is a very frustrating situation for us as the trail version is supposed to work just as a normal version would for the full thirty day period. But, it activation nags every time we log on and open Acrobat Pro and does not seemingly make the PDF Printer work as expected once the nag screen has been acknowledged.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Josh Gay said...

I love the free version of CutePDF, also Wordperfect X4 from the info on it has pdf edit abilities etc, but I haven't had time to play with that.

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...


We did CutePDF for a while, but its PDF files were not capable of being managed for size. They would come out anywhere from 10x to 15x the size of the equivalent PDF from the Acrobat PDF Printer.

That meant a higher demand on storage.

We found that Acrobat was a lot easier to use overall.