Subscriber Diane wrote with a question about Adobe Reader, the program that reads .pdf files:
I have Acrobat Reader 5.0 and lately couldn’t open some things. After being “advised” to download a later version, I got 6.0 downloaded but not installed. Then I saw info about 7.0 today. I’d REALLY like some advice about the best reader to use (Adobe Acrobat or other)and any tips to make it work most efficiently. The reviews I read only confused me. I just want to be able to read PDF files–not do any other fancy stuff.
Adobe Reader 7 is the best and greatest version and has some security fixes, too. If you are on XP, you can run 7. Windows 98 and Me are stuck at version 6. I don’t think you can even get v5 at Adobe any more, although old install CDs used to include v3, v4 or v5.
Basically, v5 was nice and fast. v6 added some functions. It also dramatically slowed down the process of starting Adobe Reader.
Version 7 speeded up again. Go to v7, if you can.
I helped a member of our local computer club recently with an Adobe Reader problem. We publish our club’s newsletter by postal mail (snail mail), but also put a full-color PDF on our web site for members only. She could download the file and could open it in Adobe Reader. However, all the pages were blank.
She never said which version she was using, but that was the problem. An upgrade to v7 solved it for her.
By the way, this is not a “new” problem. I remember my wife publishing one of her painting club’s newsletters via PDF several years ago. Same problem. Irate complaints every month from one member who couldn’t read the file. Finally got her to update — problem solved.
There have been a number of security fixes in Adobe Reader, as in a lot of other programs. Whether you have any problems with Reader or not, you should update to the latest version for your operating system.
If you are not running the latest version of Adobe Reader, you should upgrade at Adobe.com.
You may want to look at an alternative program for reading PDF files. FoxIt Reader is small, compact, fast and free.
The "Pro" version includes a number of neat features, including a typewriter function that lets you type directly on any page (such as a form), whether the creator of the PDF file had set up input forms or not.