Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Do We Really Need Adobe Reader? No, and Here is How to Fix That!

Lately, I've been noticing that I've been opening PDF Files less and less with that annoying Adobe Reader, and more and more with Firefox.

I didn't put two and two together, didn't really care as long as I can read my PDFs.

For years, instead of sending a document like a Recipe, Resume, or any other thing that starts with "R" to paper, I would print directly to a PDF File.   Much cleaner, I don't want a massive filing cabinet, and as any reader of this blog knows, I love to cook.  Loving to cook means I have a LOT of recipes.

But they're all printed to PDF so they sit on a postage stamp sized chip that I can put in any of my laptops.  I use CutePDF, and have been using their free CutePDF Writer for years.  It's something that will eventually get built into Windows, may even be in other operating systems, but the Print to PDF is something that I personally think is a requirement.

In fact when I am setting up a computer for someone, I install it and explain why they need it.  The lightbulb goes on and I get another Convert.

So since I have all these files sitting around I need to read them.  For me, it's Firefox.  File, Open, and point it at a PDF and you can see your document.  Chrome will view them too.   The ability has been in Linux and Mac OSX for years, natively.

If all you are doing is viewing a document, you're done.   If you need to write notes on them, you will need something more robust like Acrobat, or even that blasted Reader that Adobe makes you update practically every day. 

But for most of us, you can remove the Adobe Reader now.  

In Windows 7, you can do it via the Control Panel, just like removing any other program:
  • Start
  • Control Panel
  • Programs and Features
  • Find Double click on Adobe Reader in the list.
  • Answer yes to the "Are You Sure" message.
  • Answer yes to the "User Account Control" message that asks if you want to make a change to your system.
  • Say goodbye to one more program that was a way for your system to get a virus.
To configure your system to open a PDF in Firefox or any other program you choose:
  • Start
  • Windows Explorer
  • Locate a PDF and Right Click on the icon and click on Properties.
  • On the General Tab, Select the Change Button
  • Select your favorite program to open a PDF, in my case, I'm selecting Firefox and I did have to browse to find it.
  • Make sure the "Always Use" checkbox is ticked.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK to close the Properties window.
 Of course if you really feel you need the reader, you can always go back to Adobe and reinstall it.

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