Installing Both Reader and Acrobat on the Same Machine

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I’ve been traveling for the last 3 weeks talking to end users and IT managers and the same few topics are coming up day after day. One issue in particular has me doing a strange little dance…paraphrasing…

We have Reader on our standard desktop but some people have Acrobat too. We’re running into trouble with [fill in the blank]. Should we have uninstalled Reader first?

Well – Up until Acrobat X, my answer was always a qualified “Yes”. You could get earlier versions of Reader and Acrobat to co-exist but it was never clean and I only recommended doing it for forms designers that needed to test their work in Reader and Acrobat.

With Acrobat X, having Reader and Acrobat on the same machine is not only supported, it’s a primary feature. It allows different features sets, discrete upgrade tracks (less work for IT managers since Reader can be kept up to date separately from Acrobat), Multi-User Reader Desktop workflows, and a few other things that I can’t list off the top of my head. You can find the tools to configure these scenarios on Adobe labs at the Enterprise IT Tools for Adobe Acrobat and Reader page.

Still… I would probably avoid installing both applications on the same machine. But sometimes having both is desirable. And it is now a supported configuration.