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Mark O'BrienFlag for United States of America

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excel embedded pdf error cannot start the source application for this object

Finance opens a lot of .xls's with embedded pdf's.  They get error,  cannot start the source application for this object
The eu's are using Nitro Pro
Any help is appreciated.
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Joe Winograd
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Hi Mark,

Sounds to me as if the embedded object has an "Opens with" Adobe Reader, not Nitro Pro. Furthermore, the error your users are getting is often caused by the Adobe Reader setting of "Enable Protected Mode at startup".

So, first thing is to check one of the embedded PDFs, as follows:

Right-click on the PDF icon in the Excel spreadsheet
Packager Shell Object Object
Properties
General
Look at the "Opens with"

If it's Adobe Reader, click the Change button, select Nitro Pro, and see if that works.

You could also try this. Leave it as Adobe Reader, but do this in Reader — there are slightly different steps for Reader X and XI.

Reader X:
Edit
Preferences
General
Un-check "Enable Protected Mode at startup"

Reader XI:
Edit
Preferences
Security (Enhanced)
Un-check "Enable Protected Mode at startup"

Regards, Joe
Avatar of Mark O'Brien

ASKER

Hi Joe, thanks.
The embedded Nitro 10 pdf shows up as an actual pdf file you can read.  I guess it's the first page of the pdf.  If I r-click that, I dont get a Properties in the menu
Mark,

Your spreadsheets with embedded PDFs should look something like this:

User generated image
When you right-click on the icon of one of the embedded PDFs, you'll get a context menu like this:

User generated image
When you select Properties, you'll get this dialog:

User generated image
What are you seeing when you do that?
the first actual page of the PDF is showing up in the Excel spreadsheet
Ah, I'm used to embedding as an icon:

User generated image
Seems that your folks have that un-checked. When I un-check it, I get the first page embedded and a right-click on it gives this context menu:

User generated image
What does yours look like?
Joe, by the way this is for Office 2010.  Will that make a diff?
Maybe, but probably not. Everything I've done in this thread so far has been with Office 2013, but my general experience is that Office 2010 behaves similarly. Of course, in any particular situation, there could be a difference between the two. But I just tested this in Excel 2010 and everything I posted above is the same. Now, back to my last question: when you right-click on the first page of the embedded PDF, what is the context menu? Just post a screenshot of it.
Any idea why that error is coming up when trying to open the embedded pdf?
> Any idea why that error is coming up when trying to open the embedded pdf?

Yes, I said it in my very first post:
Sounds to me as if the embedded object has an "Opens with" Adobe Reader, not Nitro Pro.
And with the setting of "Enable Protected Mode at startup" (which is known to cause that error message).

That's why I've asked you to post the screenshots — I'd like to see what program is set to open the PDF. If Nitro Pro is associated with PDF, then maybe it has a setting similar to the "Enable Protected Mode at startup" setting of Adobe Reader (I don't know — I have Nitro Reader installed, but not Nitro Pro). Another possibility is that Nitro Pro is not handling the automation call correctly to open the embedded PDF when invoked from Excel — I presume that Nitro Pro opens PDFs fine in other cases, such as from Windows/File Explorer.

As an experiment, you could install Adobe Reader on a test machine, make it the default program for PDFs, and then see if opening a PDF embedded in a spreadsheet works. Regards, Joe
Nitro is set to open all pdf
When I right-click on the first page of an embedded PDF in Excel, I get this:

User generated image
What do you get?
I asked for help from a manager and he for some reason decided to load Adobe as well and that fixed the issue.
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Mark88's comment #a40913838

for the following reason:

self resolution
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
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Joe Winograd
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sorry missed that part.  my mistake
OK, thanks for the correction — I really appreciate it! Cheers, Joe