Adobe Acrobat Reader (Versions 8.1.1, 7.09, 7.08 & 5.0.10)



Documentation
Starting Acrobat Reader
Converting PDF to PostScript
Viewing PDF within Web Browsers
Troubleshooting

Acrobat Reader is part of the Adobe Acrobat family of software, which lets you view, distribute, and print documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) -- regardless of the computer, operating system, fonts, or application used to create the original file. PDF files retain all the formatting, fonts, and graphics of the original document, and virtually any PostScriptTM document can be converted into a PDF file.

Documentation

For full instructions on using the Acrobat Reader 8 please see the Acrobat Reader 8 Help. Instructions on using the Acrobat Reader 7 or 5 please see the Acrobat 7.0/5.0 Online Guide Reader.pdf, which can be found in the folder /net/appls/Acrobat{X}/Reader/help/. When using Acrobat Reader, selecting the Help » Reader Online Guide menu will open the Reader.pdf automatically.

Starting Acrobat Reader

You can start Acrobat Reader (Version 7.09) on LinuX sites by typing the following command at your shell prompt:

% acroread &

To start (Version 5.0.10) type:

% acroread5 &

to start (Version 7.08):

% acroread7 &

to start (Version 8.1.1):

% acroread8 &

To launch Acrobat Reader so that it appears as an icon on your desktop, type the following command:

% acroread -iconic

To view one or more files, give the filenames as command-line parameters. For example, to view ~user/doc/report.pdf and /usr/doc/Schedule.pdf, type:

% acroread ~user/doc/report.pdf /usr/doc/Schedule.pdf

By default, only one Reader process can be running. If you type acroread <filename> when Reader is already running, the currently running version of Reader becomes active and displays the specified file.

If you prefer that a new version of Reader be launched each time you start Reader, type the following command:

% acroread5 +useFrontEndProgram

For more information on Acrobat Reader command-line options, type one of the following commands:

% acroread -help
% acroread -helpall

Converting PDF to PostScript

You can convert PDF files to level 1 or level 2 PostScript files from the command line if you are running the X Window System. Command-line printing supports only the standard page size of 8.5 by 11 inches; it does not support shrink-to-fit or scaling commands. If your document contains custom page sizes (such as 11 by 14 inches), open the file in Acrobat Reader and then print it.

To convert a PDF file by piping it into Reader and then sending the output to a file, type the following:

% cat sample.pdf | acroread -toPostScript > sample.ps

To convert one or more PDF files, such as sample1.pdf and sample2.pdf, into PostScript files and place these PostScript files into the directory <dir>, type the following:

% acroread -toPostScript sample1.pdf sample2.pdf <dir>

To convert a series of files expressed as both a PDF filename and a corresponding PostScript filename (or pairs), type the following:

% acroread -toPostScript -pairs pdf_file_1 ps_file_1 ...

To convert a PDF file to a level 2 PostScript file, type the following:

% acroread -toPostScript -level2 pdf_file_1

Viewing PDF within Web Browsers

The Acrobat Reader for LinuX can be used as a plug-in with Netscape V4.x to display Adobe PDF files inside the Netscape window. This provides for seemless viewing of PDF and HTML files while surfing the Web. This also includes page-on-demand downloading and progressive rendering of page contents of optimized PDF files, making PDF files fast and easy to view. Also in this release is a new print dialog, allowing greater flexibility.

Setting up Acrobat as an Inline Viewer for Netscape

To enable PDF rendering in the Netscape 4.x window:

  1. Pull down the Edit menu item and select Preferences.... On the Netscape: Preferences dialog, turn down the arrow next to the section named Navigator by clicking on it. Then select the section named Applications. Look for a section named Portable Document Format.
  2. Select this item. (If you don't see this, add the section by clicking on the New... button. For Description, type:

    Portable Document Format

    For MIME type, type:

    application/pdf

    for Suffixes, type:

    pdf

  3. Select the Edit... button to modify this entry. In the Handled by section, click plugin and select nppdf.so.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Select the OK button in the Netscape: Preferences dialog box. The view in Netscape window feature has been enabled.

When viewing PDF documents within a browser window...

The following tools have been added to the Acrobat Toolbar displayed when viewing PDF files inside the Netscape Navigator window:

  • A copy tool, which appears to the left of the hand tool; its icon shows two pages (a page and its copy)
  • A select text tool, which appears to the right of the zoom out (magnifying glass minus) tool; its icon shows the letters abc in a selection box
  • A find tool, which appears to the right of the fit width tool; its icon is a pair of binoculars
  • A find again tool, which appears to the right of the find tool; its icon is a small pair of binoculars under a curved arrow

To copy text (for pasting elsewhere):

  1. click on the select text tool
  2. select the desired text
  3. click on the copy tool
  4. when you are done selecting text, click on the hand button to return to browsing

To find a text string:

  1. click on the find tool
  2. enter the desired text in the Find dialog
  3. click on the Find dialog's Find button
or
  1. click on the find again tool to find another occurrence of the text

Note: Finding text may take a while if pages in the PDF file must be retrieved from the Web server. During the find operation the Find dialog's Cancel button will not function. The find operation can be stopped using the escape key.

Select, Copy, Find, and Find Again must be done using the tools on the Acrobat toolbar. The Copy, Select All, and Find... menu items on your browser's Edit menu will not invoke the corresponding command on PDF documents.

Known Issues for Acrobat Reader Working with Netscape

Acrobat won't launch. If you encounter problems where PDF documents do not view correctly in Netscape, Netscape hangs, or document transmission stalls, you may disable PDF viewing in the Netscape window and use the viewer as a "Helper Application".

To disable PDF rendering in the Netscape 4.X window:

  1. Pull down the Edit menu item and select Preferences.... On the Netscape: Preferences dialog, turn down the arrow next to the section named Navigator by clicking on it. Then select the section named Applications. Look for a section named Portable Document Format.
  2. Select this item.
  3. Select the Edit... button to modify this entry. In the Handled by section, click Application and enter the pathname to the Acrobat Reader product along with the "%s" field identifier for the temporary file name:

    acroread [-tempFile] %s

  4. Click OK.
  5. Select the OK button in the Netscape: Preferences dialog box. The view in Netscape window feature has been disabled and Acrobat will act as a Netscape helper application.

Some forms cause "Save as" dialog. Some forms cause the Save As dialog to come up. This is because certain forms return Forms Data Format files (.fdf) and Netscape is not set up to handle this mime type. This is easy to fix; following are directions for Navigator 4.x:

  1. Bring up Preferences... dialog by selecting the Edit menu, then the Preferences... menu item.
  2. Under the Navigator section, select Applications.
  3. Click on the New button.
  4. For Description, type Forms Data Format
  5. For MIME type enter: application/vnd.fdf
  6. For Suffixes enter: fdf
  7. Click Application.
  8. Type acroread -iconic %s.
  9. Click OK.
Netscape is now ready to accept forms data format.

Running in 256 colors or less. Often the viewer may launch in greyscale mode when running inside of Netscape as a plugin. This will happen when your default visual has a color depth of 8 planes or less (PseudoColor for instance). This is because Netscape does not "grab" enough colors for Acrobat. You can work around this problem by launching an instance of the Acrobat Reader and displaying it on the current screen before launching Netscape. Netscape will then use the Color Map that Acrobat has created and will allow the viewer to run as a plugin with enough colors. This won't be an issue if you are running with 16 or more color planes.

Troubleshooting

Netscape launches my Acrobat viewer as a helper application instead of viewing PDF files inline

Error: I set up Netscape to view PDF files inline, but my Acrobat viewer still appears as a helper application.

Solution: Perform the following tasks:
Netscape 4.X:

  1. Start Netscape.
  2. Choose Preferences... from the Edit menu.
  3. Turn down the arrow next to the section named Navigator by clicking on it. Then select the section named Applications.
  4. Look for a section named Portable Document Format. If you don't see this, add the section by clicking on the New... button. For Description, type:

    Portable Document Format

    For MIME type, type:

    application/pdf

    for Suffixes, type:

    pdf

    In the Handled by section, click plugin, then select nppdf.so.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click OK in the Netscape: Preferences dialog box.
  7. Restart your Netscape application.