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Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Simple Tip to Open PDF Documents Fast

I always dread having to open PDF documents. Adobe Reader always takes about 10 seconds to load at best (I timed it). While there are PDF readers like Foxit Reader that load really quickly, they often have trouble displaying the text or the layout of a document correctly. The simplest tip I discovered is to hold down the Shift key when opening up a PDF document or launching Adobe Reader/Acrobat. This prevents Reader/Acrobat from loading plug-ins, which are the main reason for the slowness of the software. You might experience difficulties with some documents because they need certain plug-ins to function correctly so just restart the program and don't hold down the Shift key and everything should be okay.

A more permanent solution that doesn't require holding down the Shift key every time is to move the plug-ins you don't think you'll need to another folder you can create like plug_ins_noload. Plug-ins are probably located in a directory path like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader\plug_ins. The version number may differ, and you might have Adobe Acrobat installed instead. The plug-ins are the files with .api extensions. When you open up Acrobat, go to Help->About Adobe Plug-Ins to look through the list of plug-ins and their functions. Move the ones you don't need to the plug_ins_noload folder, and you'll see a significant speed-up.


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