Why is Acrobat Reader X so incredibly slow?

I mean, really. It’s not my computer; it does the same thing on both my laptops and my desktop at work. It takes ages to load a document, and about 45 seconds to load the print menu. I mean, what the eff?

Bloatware. Turn off auto updates too, it just adds more crap.

And if you must update, be sure to run msconfig and turn off the startup programs that turn themselves on every time you update.

What bloatware, though? It doesn’t seem to do anything the last version didn’t.

This is an incredibly bad idea, given the number of exploits that have been found in Adobe Reader.

And this is also a bad idea, and a probable cause of the OP’s issue. One of the startup programs Acrobat uses preloads a lot of the program at startup so as to avoid the long load times the OP is complaining about. (at the cost of RAM)

A better solution is to get rid of Adobe Acrobat entirely, and use one of these other smaller, faster, more secure PDF readers.

Exactly. The second part of the definition, emphasis mine:

The advice holds true for Acrobat, and your OS, and any other program you run: do not let it auto update. The option of “warn me, but do not download or install” or similar is the best. You shouldn’t take every update they offer without at least reading the details.

I’m not contesting that the app may be bloatware and/or crap, but… I just opened the biggest PDF I could find on my laptop (a 7MB contract for the sale of my last house, which contains images and a lot of inter-doc linking) and it opened before I could start counting off the seconds. I hit CTRL+P and the print box came up in about 2-3 seconds. If it really is the fault of the app, how can two different users have such different results?

No idea. It takes friggin’ forever regardless of file size. I would have assumed that the print box delay was the result of using networked printers, but AR9 didn’t have this problem at all.

Isn’t that bloat thing a common occurence in the lifetime of anti-virus software? It seems like early on all of the people “in the know” will tout this or that AV program as the best new thing. Fast forward several years and all of a sudden these same people are dissing the new version for being slow and ineffective.

Heey I was about to buy PDF Annotator to write on PDFs, now I see the free version of PDF Xchange might be good enough. I think even the paid version is cheaper than PDF Annotator. Thanks!

99.999% of the crap loaded at startup causes more problems than they solve. I only have HD Audio CP setup on mine, and I probably could do without it as well but that is the one thing in the entire start-up that I’m not completely sure of what it does.

Downloading PDF X-change right now.

I have been using PDF XChange as my default for years, and plan on continuing to do so (I love the annotation tools, and now the OCR, all free), but I keep Adobe Reader (it is no longer called Acrobat) around just in case. I just fired up Adobe Reader X and loaded in a 300+ page document. It was fast. My computer is not all that special.* Your problem is not Adobe’s fault. You might solve it by uninstalling the program and then reinstalling it. (But don’t bother. PDF XChange is better anyway.)

*Oh shit! I think it heard that. :frowning:

While we’re on the subject of PDF readers, perhaps someone will recommend a free PDF editor and a free PDF password recovery/stripper program?

My best recommendation for free editors is PDFill. It takes advantage of the open source Ghostscript and provides a semi-friendly user interface. It can set and change passwords, but I don’t know about recovering a forgotten one. They also have a paid version of the editor that is only $20.



I would still try uninstalling Adobe reader, though (and maybe even reinstalling it, even if you do not plan on using it any more). It sounds to me as though there may be some sort of malware issue going on there. I would advise you make sure that PDF XChange is your default PDF viewer though, especially if you have your browser load PDFs directly into the viewer, rather than downloading them first. I do not know if it is still as bad as it was, but certainly in the past the Adobe Reader browser plugin has been a major conduit for malware.

Personally, even with XChange as my default viewer, I have Firefox set to download PDFs rather than immediately trying to display them. As PDF XChange gets more popular, malware writers may well start trying to exploit it too. Some infected web sites used to somehow force the browser to load malformed PDF files (that were really malware) without you having to click anything. (I have experienced this many times, but not very recently.) If they automatically loaded into Adobe, you were screwed, but with PDFs set to download rather than display you were (relatively) safe, because you could see the bad PDFs downloading when you were not meaning to download any PDF, and then just delete them from your download folder, without ever letting them load in Adobe, which would trigger the infection.

Perhaps I should add, though, that I know of at least one site (fortunately a very reputable, and probably very secure one, Science Direct IIRC) that somehow forces my browser to load PDFs into Adobe Reader within my browser window, despite the fact that that my default PDF viewer is XChange, and I have Firefox set to download rather than display PDFs. I do not know how or why the site insists on doing that, but it makes me nervous every time. I suppose I could prevent it by uninstalling Adobe Reader, or its plugin, altogether, but I am reluctant to do so in case it causes PDFs at the site to become unavailable altogether.

The first thing I did after testing it was set it as my default viewer. At work, I only view .pdfs online from one source - the administrative court our cases are decided by - so I’m not too worried about malware.

I am uninstalling Adobe Reader from my laptop though.

Look me up if you visit Orlando; I owe you many beers. The “paste text from an external source anywhere” function of XChange alone will make my life way easier.

The reason that Adobe Reader X is so slow is that the pdf format has been expanding beyond the traditional page format. It is now possible to create and load pdfs of 3D cad data, as a sort of neutral file format, ala JT Open. All those extra libraries required to load the 3D cad data undoubtedly have a significant overhead.

In fact theres some interesting looking 3d pdfs available for download of things like a turbofan engine, motorcycle, etc. from Adobe’s website. I dont know why adobe is going this way, but there you go.

And oh yeah, never turn off updates, ever.