Adobe Acrobat 5.0 PDFWriter and Windows 10

New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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Hello Adobe Community,

I am hoping to get some help with a work problem I recently "inherited"... The company I am working for has rendered my services to help them get their information system application migrated from Windows XP machines to Windows 10 machines. The core components of the program were developed in Visual Basic 6, Crystal Reports 8, and Adobe Acrobat 5. I already know 99% of peoples answers are along the lines of "You need to upgrade" or "Why are you using that?!". For those people, the answer is simply because my immediate need is to use what I was given, and the eventual plan is to migrate everything over to newer versions of these core components.

I have made some code adjustments already and found some other updated drivers for other dependencies, and so far through initial testing, it seems the application is performing as expected.

Unfortunately, yesterday, I hit a major snag where the application is trying to print to the "Adobe PDFWriter" printer, which doesn't seem to be installed on Windows 10, even though I installed Adobe Acrobat 5.0, as administrator, with the "Include PDFWriter files" option checked during install.

  • I can't find the printer in the list of printers.
  • I can't find any specific ports or drivers for Adobe when trying to manually add the printer.
  • The main PDFWriter dll, "pdfddui.dll", and supporting dlls, ("pdfdd.dll", "pdfkd.dll") do not exist under the "Windows\System32\spool\drivers" location, which is where they are found on a working Windows XP machines.
  • The main dlls and supporting dlls mentioned above DO exist under "Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64"
  • When searching the registry for the main dll or supporting dlls, nothing is found, suggesting the dlls weren't able to successfully register.
  • When trying to manually register the dlls using "\Windows\SysWoW64\regsvr32.exe" it fails.
  • When trying to manually register the dlls using "\Windows\System32\regsvr32.exe" it fails.

The code that is executing is doing the following:

  • It dynamically builds a crystal report from a SQL query based on parameters from a form.
  • It uses the crystal reports "SelectPrinter" function to specify the Printer.DriverName, Printer.DeviceName, Printer.Port
  • It uses the crystal reports "PrintOut" function to specify not to prompt the user for any input, i.e. "silent print".

The end result, what I need to replicate, and what I need the communities help with is that Crystal Reports:

  • Prints the file as a PDF SILENTLY with NO user action required.
  • Prints the file with a specific filename.
  • Prints the file to a specific location.

I have tried using Microsofts built-in Print to PDF, and that works, BUT it prompts the user to save the file, and I see no way to programmatically change that from VB6.

I would imagine newer versions of Adobe Acrobat ARE NOT compatible with Visual Basic 6, additionally, the licenses for Adobe Acrobat are kind of pricey when the ONLY functionality I need is the ability to programmatically print to PDF.

Any useful comments, suggestions, resolutions will be very much appreciated!

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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Adobe Employee ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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MSFT changed how printer drivers work in Windows 7, so that older drivers (such as that one that is over 15 years old now!) won’t work.

You need to upgrade – no other choice.

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New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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Ok, what version of Acrobat is compatible with Visual Basic 6, works with windows 10, and is available for purchase?

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Adobe Employee ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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I don’t know about compatible – but there are no versions for which we support that combination. I don’t believe that MSFT supports VB6 on Windows 10 either.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 17, 2018 May 17, 2018

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This sounds very like it might be a server process. If so, Acrobat is not licensed for this and you’d need the enterprise level LiveCycle PDF Generator instead, which is exponentially more expensive. 

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