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Adobe Acrobat Reader 5x and newly created pdfs

Posted on 2008-10-30
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Last Modified: 2008-10-31
users have adobe acrobat reader 5.5 installed.  users are starting to call and state they they receive some sort of error when trying to open a pdf that a customer has sent them.  From what I understand if a pdf was created with a newer version of adobe acrobat ( 7 , 8, or 9?) then this pdf will not be able to be viewed with version 5x reader.

I need to find out specifics.  Is it pdfs created in version 9 only or 8 and 9 that cannot be opened with 5x.  Is 5x no longer supported by adobe?  Why cant 5x open the newer pdfs?  Whic version should we upgrade to to get around this problem? 7, 8, or 9?

I googled and when on adobes website but couldnt find anything specific

Thanks
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Question by:master_windu
6 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 22843990
Hi

virtually every new version of Acrobat introduced a new PDF version, have a look at the history on the wiki entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format

So in answer to your question, it depends:

If your PDFs are created with a certain version the versions below won't or struggle to open. There are options to save backward compatible but they are out of your control.

Commercially I doubt that any upgrade below 9 makes sense, as you run into the same problem again but you may want to do a trial though as the user interface has changed somewhat.

hth
capt.
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Expert Comment

by:Jared Luker
ID: 22845291
If you don't want to upgrade your users Acrobat reader, then you could install something like FoxIt's PDF reader for the newer PDF's that 5.5 can't handle.  You can have both on your system.

It's true that if a PDF was not saved with compatibility in mind, there is nothing you can do to open them other than opening them in a newer PDF reader.
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
scrathcyboy earned 225 total points
ID: 22846565
Neither 5 nor 6 will work with the newer PDFs.  Version 7 had some MAJOR problems in that it would spontaneously reboot computers and corrupt the registry.  KEEP AWAY from it at all costs.  Version 8 had innumerable bugs, I don't know if they ever fixed them.  It is a pathetic state of affairs with adobe's buggy software.  You might find a later version of 6 that works, but if not, you are best to go with 9 and hope !!
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Author Comment

by:master_windu
ID: 22847623
I was hoping that there would be something officially documented on adobes site. Does adobes product page for Acrobat 9 Pro make no mention at all of the incompatibility?  Something like.. "PDFs created with version 9 cannot be viewed any version of acrobat reader below v7"  I would think that this would be clearly pointed out since I know there are still many computers out there with version 5 and 6 reader.
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:captain
captain earned 25 total points
ID: 22848953
Hi

I suppose as Adobe make the Reader available free of charge they do not expect you to use older versions. Equally they usually continue supporting the older version for a number of years.

The commercial versions of Adobe which create the PDFs tell you what version compatibility you have and you can specify what to save it to. But as there is a cost involved you would expect that.

I suppose it works both ways, many users that haven't upgraded get a use out of free software for a long time. It saves money to the organisation to not upgrade unless it is broken.You can upgrade and stay abreast with new PDF versions at your leisure and Adobe simply says, here is the latest for free.

Not bad for a free product...

IMHO
capt.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 22855143
Adobe is totally neglectful of users, they didn't used to be.
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