Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I can read the file myself, thank you

I've been downloading a number of PDFs lately, and the one thing that has been bugging me is the slow performance of Adobe Reader. Fortunately, I've found at least one of the major causes - the accessibility features. When opening a PDF, I was occasionally presented with a dialog stating "Please wait while the document is being prepared for reading." A quick search on the web located others with the same problem. This post, along with one of the comments, led me to the solution:

Locate the install folder (C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\plug_ins) and delete the following files

  • Accessibility.api

  • MakeAccessible.api

  • ReadOutLoud.api

Though I didn't break out the stopwatch, the performance improvement was significant. Before, there would be a pause after scrolling more than a page or two. Now, I can hold the PageDown key and see dozens of pages fly by before any pause (probably to allocate more memory.)


  1. Have you ever checked out Foxit Reader? (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php) I switched from Adobe to that years ago and love it.

  2. I've played with Foxit a little, and it seemed like a reasonable replacement. The one item that seemed buggy was the bookmark view. Though it appears as a tree-view, using the arrow keys doesn't result in expected behavior. For instance, in most tree lists, pressing the left arrow button will collapse a node. Pressing it again will move to the parent of the current node. In Foxit, pressing left does collapse an expanded node, but pressing it again moves to the adjacent node (same as pressing the up arrow.)


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