Grievances.pdf



  • I haven't searched for other comments about Adobe's 20MB+ PDF viewer "Adobe Reader" as, like most, I can't be bothered with such laborious netiquette. But I can imagine that this must have been mentioned here more than once. Regardless, I must get this out of my system. How much more appropriate a venue could you find for this other than "Worse Than Failure"?!

    SELECT Grievances FROM Adobe_Reader WHERE WTF='true' ORDER BY absurdity ASC;

    1. 20MB+ for a simple PDF viewer? So I assume that Adobe subscribes to the notion that bigger is better. Who am I to judge? Que Sera... Next;

    2. Cumbersome, convoluted installation for a piece of software that performs such a simple task. Thanks Adobe, but I already have a job that involves near-mindless clicking and gyrating of the mouse. Please try not to add insult to injury.

    3. Constant "Critical Updates" to your PDF viewer. Apparently their developers are, in fact, tweakers. What could be so critically wrong with my PDF viewer?!

    4. They see fit to make nearly every update cumulative, so (if you actually let it update) you're downloading 20+ Megabytes every few days or weeks and basically re-installing the whole thing all over again. "Happy Happy, Joy Joy!"

    5. Most updates to this 'Swiss Army PDF Viewer' that is "Adobe Reader" require one or more reboots upon completion. Um, yeah. It's 2007... [insert rimshot here].

    6. And when does this Adobe Reader Updating Ritual take place? Ah yes, EXACTLY when you want to view a PDF file, uninterrupted. -- "Nobody expects the Adobe Inquisition!".

    7. To their credit, though, Adobe sure seems to have a 'hands-off' policy with regard to placing Start Menu entries, as I can't for the life of me find any reference to Adobe Reader... anywhere. Not even in the Adobe slide out menu which, ironically, contains a single Adobe application: "Adobe Download Manager". -- How appropriate.



  • I don't know what version you're using, but I have no problems with Acrobat Reader 7. It works great for me and does an excellent job displaying and printing PDF's. There are a few key options in the preferences though that you don't want to miss:

    1) Disable automatic update checking. (however, I just manually checked for updates and there's nothing available, so I don't think this is really much of an issue.)

    2) Disable the stupid color-changing ad

    3) Disable "display PDF in browser" unless that's your thing

    4) If you want faster startup, move some of the unneeded plugins in the Acrobat installation to another folder. Faster startup times and less memory. You really only need 2 or 3 plugins out of the 20-ish provided. Google should tell you which, I think there's even a nice app to do it automatically for you.

    5) If the configuration makes changes to, say, the system application defaults then ignore its begs for a system restart. Just as with any windows installer. 



  • I feel your pain.  Once I ignored the updates for a while and decided I'd finally update them.  There was 3 minor updates to it... 3 REBOOTS later it was done.  sigh

    And 20MB?  Acroread 8 is like 80megs now. 



  • @stevem01 said:


    7. To their credit, though, Adobe sure seems to have a 'hands-off' policy with regard to placing Start Menu entries, as I can't for the life of me find any reference to Adobe Reader... anywhere. Not even in the Adobe slide out menu which, ironically, contains a single Adobe application: "Adobe Download Manager". -- How appropriate.

    That's because a lot of the time when I find my system running a little slow, I find that I have to manually kill off the acrobat executable that "forgot" to unload itself when I was done viewing a pdf last week.  By the time it takes to open a PDF, of course, you'd think it randomly distributed itself all over your disk.



  • I forgot to add the thing that was really the last straw... I needed to print out a form to sign and send to a company. I opened it and printed it. I then wanted to copy-and-paste the company's address to my text file, because their address was printed all on one line at the bottom of the PDF. Simple, right? Wrong...

    I chose the text selection tool. Highlighted the address. Then CTRL-C, ALT-TAB to EditPlus, CTRL-V... Nothing. Empty Clipboard.

    So I flip back to Adobe Reader and try to use the Edit >> Copy from for drop-down menu... Copy is greyed-out. So I ended up writing out the address in my keyboard-atrophied hand writing :)

    So, yes, it does it's job. It displays and prints PDF files. But anything else seems to be a real challenge.

    And, yes, I figured that Adobe Reader has some sort of copy-protection for authors who want that feature disabled for their documents, but if a document is copy-protected (the one I was using had no reason to be. It was a simple form.) then you shouldn't be able to select it AND it should tell you that it's protected.

    Because at this point I don't even know what happened with that... Was it broke? Was it doing what is was designed to do, but just not telling me? If so, then why was I able to highlight it and why was the text selection tool not greyed-out?

    I don't know. Just sometimes you're trying to get work done and you run into simple things like this that bug the sh*t out of you. Not because it was a huge problem, but because it's such a simple feature. I'm sitting there going: "Well, I'll be damned!... After all these updates and tweaking they can't even muster a simple copy-and-paste feature. Un-freakin-believable..."

    Anyway, yeah. Sorry for the rant :)



     



  • In the 'how could they screw up such a basic functionality' there is the search.

    • Want to search some text in a pdf file? Press ctrl+f, type some text and then press enter. You'd thought that like most other application you could press enter several time to move to the next result each time? Of course not!  You actually have to use the up and down arrow keys.
    • For some reason they decided to use a panel instead of a floating window .It is really annoying when you've set the application to put two page horizontaly because the text becomes slightly too small.
    • Similary if you have that search pane open and then you set the view to display two page horizontaly at once, the search pane is OVER the page hiding the document...
    •  When you're done searching you can't press escape to close the search pane. You have to set the focus to the 'finish' link by pressing tab and then press enter. And that's if you're lucky because most of the time the focus is no longer on the search pane so you can't even close that pane with a shortcut and you HAVE to use the mouse.
    • If you decide to perform another search later on, you press ctrl+f and guess what? The old search is still displayed and you can't type the text of your new search! Instead you have to click on the 'new search' button first.
    • adobe reader is MDI (multiple documents within one main window), so you can use ctrl+tab to go from one document to the other. Guess when that shortcut doesn't work? When you are on the search pane of course!
    • When you have the search pane currently visible and that you open another document, the new document is showned but the search of the old document is still displayed with the result for the other document. How annoying...
    • You can't resize the search pane.

    I have to admit that showing all the results of the search immediatly is nice but boy, i don't see how they could make the search more annoying.



  • Hey Acrobat!  The 1980s called and they want their bloatware back!



  • I for one absolutely love KPDF, and the upcoming okular sounds like a hit.

    Very fast, and very useful. Faster than Acrobat reader and more useful than XPDF.
     



  • @CapitalT said:

    I for one absolutely love KPDF, and the upcoming okular sounds like a hit.

    Very fast, and very useful. Faster than Acrobat reader and more useful than XPDF.
     

    Agreed tenfold.

    My own complaints list for Adobe (Reader|Acrobat Reader)
    - it makes you stare at a stupid splash window that's REALLY frilly full of patent/copyright information and the product name for 3-5 minutes.

    - it causes browsers to crash alot with the in-browser plugin -- try to scroll a PDF doc that's not completely loaded and the thing locks the whole browser up

    - it's updater makes a mockery of the situation, is Adobe going the way of Microsoft? probably worse since things are cumulative.

    - it has ONE fundamental function, to read PDFs, but it makes a big to-do and a great big production out of everything.

    - it's installer doesn't clean up after itself (WTF is the "Download Manager?" can't they do it like everybody else does?)

    - It crashes computers that can read PDFs fine in other PDF viewers.

    - if you want to open PDF document, get content, close, open another, prepare for ALOT of lag under Adobe [Acrobat] Reader 



  • @Albatross said:

    Hey Acrobat!  The 1980s called and they want their bloatware back!

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.  No eternal splash screen while thousands of no doubt critical components load, no toolbars cluttering the available viewing space down to a postage stamp, no streaming download to make it look like it's faster while in reality your mouse is lurching all over the screen as the program re-renders the page nonstop, just decompress the contents and render.  Oh, and stop bugging me to install a bunch more crap on my machine to make it even slower.



  • @Oscar L said:

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.

    Have you looked at Foxit? It's pretty thin, fast, and has handled all but one PDF I tried to open (the one that didn't work loaded, but images weren't displayed correctly). 



  • @KenW said:

    @Oscar L said:

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.

    Have you looked at Foxit? It's pretty thin, fast, and has handled all but one PDF I tried to open (the one that didn't work loaded, but images weren't displayed correctly). 

    Thanks, I'll take a look at it.



  • You can speed up acrobat by renaming the massive number of pointless plugins so they don't get loaded at start up.

    http://dwtips.com/2006/06/17/how-to-speed-up-pdf-loading-with-adobe-acrobat/

    Even after doing that it's still no where near as fast as foxit. My printer used to be attached to an old PII machine, foxit started up in about 7 seconds while acrobat took well over a minute.



  • @Oscar L said:

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.  No eternal splash screen while thousands of no doubt critical components load, no toolbars cluttering the available viewing space down to a postage stamp, no streaming download to make it look like it's faster while in reality your mouse is lurching all over the screen as the program re-renders the page nonstop, just decompress the contents and render.  Oh, and stop bugging me to install a bunch more crap on my machine to make it even slower.

    Darn, late to the punch! Yeah, do test FoxIt immediately, I too hate Adobe Reader with a passion --horribly slow bloatware with ghastly CPU and memory requirements, and ABSURD load times,  but when I found FoxIt it felt like coming home. Sleek, elegant, fast, does the job and does not ask to be your MP4 player and COBOL programming environment.

    When on it, uninstall everything made by Real and QuickTime (f.i. RealPlayer) and get RealAlternative and QTAlternative. Faster, better, no spyware. Anyone got any other tips?



  • @KenW said:

    @Oscar L said:

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.

    Have you looked at Foxit? It's pretty thin, fast, and has handled all but one PDF I tried to open (the one that didn't work loaded, but images weren't displayed correctly). 

    Yep I'd have to agree with you there, Foxit Reader is probably one of the best of the alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader. If your using it don't forget to install the Critical Add-ons which includes a JPEG2000/JBIG Decoder, which is probably why KenW's images weren't displayed correctly.



  • @Hitsuji said:

    Yep I'd have to agree with you there, Foxit Reader is probably one of the best of the alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader. If your using it don't forget to install the Critical Add-ons which includes a JPEG2000/JBIG Decoder, which is probably why KenW's images weren't displayed correctly.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I didn't know the Add-ons were there.
     





  • @stevem01 said:



    6. And when does this Adobe Reader Updating Ritual take place? Ah yes, EXACTLY when you want to view a PDF file, uninterrupted. -- "Nobody expects the Adobe Inquisition!".

    best. quote. ever.



  • @RobIII said:

    http://forums.worsethanfailure.com/forums/post/69737.aspx

     

    Rant noted.  I'm starting to think we can have an "I hate bloatware" club along with the "I hate oracle" club.  I know what you're thinking, but don't you think there's an even better place to stuff it?



  • @Mikademus said:

    @Oscar L said:

    On a more serious note, I sure would like to see a stripped down .pdf reader that just views and prints friggin' pdfs.  No eternal splash screen while thousands of no doubt critical components load, no toolbars cluttering the available viewing space down to a postage stamp, no streaming download to make it look like it's faster while in reality your mouse is lurching all over the screen as the program re-renders the page nonstop, just decompress the contents and render.  Oh, and stop bugging me to install a bunch more crap on my machine to make it even slower.

    Darn, late to the punch! Yeah, do test FoxIt immediately, I too hate Adobe Reader with a passion --horribly slow bloatware with ghastly CPU and memory requirements, and ABSURD load times,  but when I found FoxIt it felt like coming home. Sleek, elegant, fast, does the job and does not ask to be your MP4 player and COBOL programming environment.

    When on it, uninstall everything made by Real and QuickTime (f.i. RealPlayer) and get RealAlternative and QTAlternative. Faster, better, no spyware. Anyone got any other tips?

    This is great - two more applications I absolutely despise, and thought I had to suffer.  Anyone know of a way to get rid of Flash?  I love the product and the way it works, but if I see those f**king dancing cowboys advertising affordable mortgages one more time...



  • If you are on Firefox then these two extensions are what you want:

    • Adblock Plus:
      • I use this mainly to block ad scripts, but it will block more ads than that. And please disable it for great sites like this (I'm not paid by Alex)
    • Flashblock:
      • Didn't try it, but it looks like what you want. Although the first does block those cowboys.


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