Posts in Category "Deployment"

Acrobat: Hotfix recommendations for Citrix XenApp environments on Windows 2008 Server


If you are using Adobe Acrobat/Reader in a Citrix XenApp environment, you may experience issues related to problems in Citrix or the underlying Windows operating system.  Citrix have issued recommendations for hotfixes in XenApp and Microsoft Windows, which resolve most of the common issues with XenApp 6.0 and later, running on Windows 2008 Server.

If you do experience issues running Acrobat/Reader in a Citrix XenApp environment, ensure you have the recommended hotfixes installed.  You should contact Citrix for support or refer to their technotes such as the one below:

For more information related to Acrobat/Reader deployments on Citrix, please refer to our Enterprise Administration Guide:

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Acrobat/Reader: how to handle the Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL) update dialog


When you use Adobe Acrobat or Reader to open PDF documents that were signed or certified using certificates, you may see the following message:

A new security settings update is available from Adobe Systems.  Would you like to install it now?”  This dialog is a trusted Adobe dialog referring to updates to the root certificate list (AATL) in Acrobat or Reader.


AATL or Adobe Approved Trust List is a program that allows millions of users around the world to create digital signatures. The signatures are trusted whenever the signed document is opened in Adobe Acrobat 9 or Reader 9 or later.  The list of trusted certificates is updated from time to time in case some certificates have been added, renewed, or have expired.

These updates are distinguished from the standard product updates for Acrobat or Reader, which can be triggered by choosing Help > Check For Updates.

Related preferences

If you want to check for certificate updates, choose Edit > Preferences > Trust Manager > Click Update Now under the section Automatic Updates. The same update dialog box opens. Using this option, the certificate updates are loaded from a trusted server.

To enable the automatic update check, choose Edit > Preferences > Trust Manager > Load Trusted Root Certificates From An Adobe Server.  To enable the automatic check without any notification, deselect Ask Before Installing.

Assuming that you have enabled the automatic check, the certificate updates are triggered under the following conditions:

  1. you open a file that has a digital signature, and
  2. you have never checked for updates before, or
  3. you have checked before, but
    1. 28 days have elapsed and
    2. there is a new update available

You can select Yes and the trusted certificate list in Acrobat or Reader is updated. If you want to see the trusted list, choose Open Adobe Reader > Document > Manage Trusted Identities. In the window that opens, choose Display > Certificates. The entire Trusted Certificates list currently installed with your Reader appears.

Enterprise deployment

If you are working in an enterprise environment and want to control these settings for an enterprise deployment, use the Customization wizard to activate or deactivate these options.

Additional information

 reference: (182278250)

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Acrobat/Reader: disable or remove Flash components

Following the high frequency of security updates related to Adobe Flash, there’s often a security update required for Adobe Reader or Acrobat.  Flash is embedded in both of these products.

You may want to remove the Flash components file (authplay.dll) from Reader or Acrobat. When this file is removed, you can avoid applying the Acrobat/Reader security updates when it is a security issue exclusively in Flash. However, Adobe doesn’t support removing the authplay.dll from the installed plug-ins for any version of Acrobat or Reader. These products have not been tested in this form. Removing the authplay.dll file can result in unexpected behavior.

If you do remove authplay.dll, then make sure that you can reproduce any issues that arise on a standard Acrobat installation before contacting Adobe support. (A standard installation is one in which the authplay.dll file is installed.)

Here is a rough description of the possible behavior based on version:

  • Reader and Acrobat 8 and earlier: Not relevant as Flash is not embedded in these versions.
  • Reader and Acrobat 9: Possible to remove or rename authplay.dll. However, doing so can result in an application crash when rich media content is opened in Reader or Acrobat. (For example, when you open PDF portfolios, or PDF files with embedded rich media content)
  • Reader and Acrobat 10: Not possible to remove or rename authplay.dll as the user interface itself contains Flash components. (Using protected mode avoids the security updates anyway)
  • Reader and Acrobat 10+: it is still under discussion whether Adobe will offer the ability to disable or remove the Flash components from Reader or Acrobat.

reference: (182321552)

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Acrobat/Reader: how to disable the AIR installer from the installation

The standard Adobe Acrobat and Reader installer, which are available for download on, and the installer for Adobe Reader MUI, include AIR. (There are separate installers for Acrobat and Reader that don’t install AIR, see

  • The AIR-Installer is included automatically and starts in a separate process after the Reader MSI is installed.  If the installation of any subsequent MSP patches starts too quickly after the MSI installation, then you receive an error as the AIR installer starts.  You can work around this with a short delay in your installation routine between the MSI and MSP installers.
  • The AIR installation remains on the machine even after Reader is uninstalled and has to be removed separately. (There is no option to disable it.)
  • After AIR is installed, it requires an automatic update to be installed from the internet.  Machines that do not have internet access cannot get this update.


If you don’t want to install AIR, you have two options to disable the AIR installer from the Adobe Reader installation package:

  • Using the msiexec parameter “DISABLE_AIR_SHARE=YES”  For example: msiexec /i Acroread.msi /qb DISABLE_AIR_SHARE=YES
  • Using Customization Wizard/Orca, you can modify the installation package itself and remove the reference to AIR. (Only for experienced users)

Additional information

reference: (181680791/2671995)

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Acrobat/Reader 9: Privileged locations from Customization Wizard written to incorrect registry keys


When you use Customization Wizard 9 to configure the installation for Adobe Reader or Acrobat 9, hosts for privileged locations are written to the wrong registry location. Therefore Acrobat or Reader won’t recognize them at runtime and these sites will not be trusted. You could see the Yellow-Message-Bar warning about untrusted site access if these hosts are referenced from a PDF file.


This issue is resolved in Customization Wizard 10, so privileged locations are written correctly in Acrobat and Reader X.  Adobe doesn’t issue patches for Customization Wizard, so there’s no way to fix this issue retrospectively for Acrobat or Reader 9.  As a workaround, you can change the keys manually in the registry. Or, you can enter the values directly in the enhanced security settings in Acrobat or Reader preferences.

Additional information

The privileged hosts are written incorrectly to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\9.0\FeatureLockDown\TrustManager\cTrustedSites

instead of:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\9.0\FeatureLockDown\cTrustedSites

reference: (181708423/2678020)

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Using setup.ini to customise Adobe Reader/Acrobat installation


If you are using Adobe Reader/Acrobat in an enterprise environment you may need to customize the installation with pre-defined settings and options so that all users in your environment have the same installation settings.

Currently you can do this using the standard Customization Wizard to create transform (MST) files which apply customized settings to the installation.  Using an MST, you will then need to call the command line installation routines to install the product.  Alternatively, you may also edit the setup.ini file, and then install the product using the setup.exe executable.  The advantage of this method is that it is using the familiar setup.exe installation process, and you can apply settings and multiple patches in one step.

The following are some examples of setup.ini files to achieve various common tasks:

1. Install a subset of languages with the MUI version of Adobe Reader:

1033=English (United States)
1036=French (France)
1034=Spanish (Traditional Sort)

This sample will install Adobe Reader MUI 9.1 in English, French and Spanish, and then apply the 9.4 update MSP.

2. Install Adobe Reader and apply multiple patches:


Adding this line to the setup.ini will apply 3 patches just be executing the setup.exe once.

3. Install Adobe Reader with some command line options:

1031=German (Germany)
CmdLine=TRANSFORMS="AR94_TEST_custom_path.mst" LANG_LIST=DEU DISABLE_AIR_SHARE=YES DISABLE_ASIAN_FONTS=YES /qb!- /l*v log940_setup_ini.txt

This sample will install Adobe Reader 9.4 MUI in German, and apply the custom transformation (MST), with the command line options as specified.

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Reader 9: install MUI version with a subset of languages


If you are using Reader 9 MUI (multi-language user interface), you sometimes want to install only a subset of languages rather than all the available languages.


You can install the MUI version with a subset of languages using two different methods:

1. Edit the setup.ini file.

Edit the setup.ini in the same folder as the setup.exe file.  You can specify what languages you want to install as seen below (English, French, and Spanish, for example):

1033=English (United States) 
1036=French (France) 
1034=Spanish (Traditional Sort)

Start the installation using the setup.exe file and it uses the options specified in the setup.ini file.

2. Use the command line installer.

Use a command similar to the following:

msiexec /i AcroRead.msi TRANSFORMS=AR94.mst LANG_LIST=DEU

where AR94.mst can be a custom MST transformation with customer-specific Reader configurations. This command line installs the German (DEU) and English languages. The English language is always installed even if it is not explicitly listed in the LANG_LIST.

Additional information

This type of installation is important for large organizations who want to reduce the Reader installation footprint because of harddisk capacity. You can find more information about deploying Reader in an enterprise environment in the following document:

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Reader 9.1: registry persmissions modified causing issues with Internet Explorer


Installing Reader 9.1 modifies Registry permissions for key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{34A715A0-6587-11D0-924A-0020AFC7AC4D} from “Full Control” to “Read“.  This modification prevents a successful installation in enterprise environments where customized installer files are used. The mentioned key is a part of the Internet Explorer installation and applications that work with the web browser events use it.

The Access Control List for this key before installation is as follows:


BUILTIN\Power Users=Special




Following installation it has been changed to:





Upgrade to Adobe Reader 9.4 or Adobe Reader X.  Do a full installation of one of these versions to apply the fix.

As a workaround, you can modify the MST file with Customization Wizard to prevent the permissions on this key being changed.

reference: (181120121/2356114)

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Acrobat/Reader: registry key for Windows trusted sites


When Adobe Reader or Acrobat is deployed in the enterprise with enhanced security turned on, warnings can appear in the client. The warnings appear when Acrobat tries to merge data into a PDF.  These warnings are confusing to the users and you may want to suppress them by defining the source of the data as trusted.


Define the sites that host the PDF and data files as trusted. You can do this by adding the site where the data is stored to the Windows trusted sites list (Windows > Control Panel > Internet Settings > Security), or to the enhanced security settings in Acrobat/Reader (Edit> Preferences > Enhanced Security).

The Windows trusted sites list is saved under the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zone Map\Domains

You can therefore add the sites directly under this registry key if you are using an automated deployment of Acrobat/Reader.

reference: (181762015)

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Reader: controlling the Reader MUI startup language

Adobe Reader MUI is Adobe’s Multilingual User Interface version, with which you can install any combination of supported languages. For example, you can install French, German, and Spanish simultaneously and then switch among those languages within Adobe Reader. The user interface changes to the appropriate language automatically.

If you have problems controlling the startup language of Adobe Reader MUI, then try the following to gain more fine-grained control over the startup language:

  1. Under the Reader preferences, there is a setting for the startup language under the section entitled “International.”  You can set this setting to the language of choice. Or, you can set it to “like operating system,” which starts Adobe Reader MUI using the same locale as the host operating system.
  2. Set the registry key UseMUI as outlined in the screenshot  so that the operating system language is used as the Adobe Reader MUI startup language:

If you are still having problems with the startup language, try manually configuring the appropriate keys in the registry. Use either the Customization wizard (for enterprise deployments), or change them directly in the Windows registry for single installations.

  1. Delete (or make sure that the following keys are not present) NOTE: for a fresh non-customized install these keys are sometimes not present:
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\9.0\Language\UseMUI\UseMUI
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\9.0\Language\next
  1. Then add the following registry key:
  • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\9.0\Language\next]

Note: For Reader, the value is “RdLang32.DEU”.

reference: (181710397)

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How to extract an MSI file from the EXE for Adobe Reader


Steps to extract the Adobe Reader MSI installation files from the compressed executable:

1. Obtain Adobe Reader from and save the file to your desktop.

2. Choose Start > Run.

3. In the Open text box, type: "%UserProfile%\Desktop\AdbeRdr80_en_US.exe" -nos_ne

4. Click OK.

5. When the Adobe Reader Setup screen clears, choose Start >  Run.

6. In the Open text box, type: %temp%

7. Drag the Adobe Reader folder to your desktop.

This folder contains AcroRead.msi and files needed for installation.

Update (thanks to the comment from V23 below)

For Adobe Reader X, the setup files will be extracted to a folder in:

  • %ProgramData%\Adobe\Setup (Windows Vista and above)
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\Setup (Windows XP / Windows Server 2003)

If you wish to define where the files will be extracted, use the -nos_o switch as follows:

AdbeRdr1010_en_US.exe.exe -nos_o"C:\Folder" -nos_ne

Replace C:\Folder with the path to a local valid folder.  Please ensure the folder is empty as otherwise the existing files and folders may be overwritten/deleted.

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Acrobat/Reader enterprise deployment troubleshooting tips

Troubleshooting tips

If you are deploying Reader or Acrobat across an enterprise to Windows clients or Terminal Servers and are encountering issues during the deployment, then this article will be useful for debugging such issues.

Adobe proivdes a tool called Tuner (Acrobat/Reader 7) or Customization Wizard (Acrobat/Reader 8+) to build transform files in MST format.  These transform files can then be bundled with the standard MSI installer package from Adobe, and when the installer is run, it will apply the custom settings in the MST to the standard installation.

If you are encountering problems with your MSI and MST files, then here are some troubleshooting tips: 

  • use install mode on terminal servers:
    • change user /install
    • change user /execute
  • check drive mappings for terminal servers:
    • Very often some other drive like “M:” is used as the boot drive (it would be drive C: otherwise). This is so that users can still see their local drive C: when in the WTS session.

  • put MST in same folder as MSI and run it using the command line:
    • for example: msiexec /i AcroRead.msi /t Custom.mst
  • check OS language versions as paths may differ i.e. C:\Programme instead of C:\Program Files
  • rebuild the transform file on the same OS as the target OS you are trying to deploy to
  • check the transform MST with ORCA as this will validate it and show the differences to the standard install

Additional Information

Interesting sites about deploying Reader in an enterprise and customizing with Customization Wizard:

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Adobe Reader: how to disable toolbar buttons and menu items


 If you want to disable some toolbar buttons like the collaboration, sign or commenting buttons you must do this using application-level Javascript.


 Place the following Javascript code inside a .js file in %ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\JavaScripts to disable the toolbar buttons:

// [File - Create Adobe PDF Using], plus toolbar button

// [File - Collaborate], plus toolbar button


Additional Information

To discover the names of the toolbar buttons and menu items you should save the following Javascript in a .js file in %ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\JavaScripts.  The Javascript console window will pop up when you start Reader and will list the buttons and menu items.


//Open Javascript Console;
//List Toolbar Buttons in the Console
var toolbarItems = app.listToolbarButtons()
for( var i in toolbarItems)
console.println(toolbarItems + "\n")
//List Menu Items in the Console
var menuItems = app.listMenuItems()
for( var i in menuItems)
console.println(menuItems + "\n")
reference: (181028701)
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Acrobat/Reader: how to disable the Setup Files folder during installation

When Reader or Acrobat is installed, it creates a Setup Files folder:

  • Reader: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Setup Files\…
  • Acrobat: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Setup Files\…

This folder is used as an installer cache containing the actual installer file. The installer file is used to repair the Reader or Acrobat installation. However, some companies keep the installer available on a network share, and therefore do not want the installer cache created, as it takes up space.

You can disable this folder during installation by using the Adobe Customization wizard to transform the standard MSI installer file.  Disable the option “Enable Caching of installer files on local hard drive” under Installation Options.

To download and get more information on the Customization wizard, visit this link:

reference: (181025487)

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Acrobat/Reader 7: install with MSI failed with SQL errors


 If you are trying to install Acrobat/Reader 7.0.7 using the MSI you may receive the following error:

Action start 12:35:52: INSTALL.
DEBUG: Error 2235: Database: . Column ‘Action’ not present or ambiguous in SQL query:

SELECT `Action`,NULL,`Condition` FROM `InstallExecuteSequence` WHERE `Sequence` > 0
ORDER BY `Sequence`

Internal Error 2235. , Action, SELECT `Action`,NULL,`Condition` FROM `InstallExecuteSequence`
WHERE `Sequence` > 0 ORDER BY `Sequence`Action ended 12:36:50: INSTALL. Return value 3.


 This is a problem with the InstallShield configuration.  Such issues should be raised directly with InstallShield support, or in their forums.


 This problem is described here:

reference: (1-28110668)

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