Reader XI: Removing Tools|Sign|Comment from Menu and Toolbar

Jan 14, 2013

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Has anyone been able to accomplish this? This is a rather annoying 'feature' of Reader XI

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Reader XI: Removing Tools|Sign|Comment from Menu and Toolbar

Jan 14, 2013

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Has anyone been able to accomplish this? This is a rather annoying 'feature' of Reader XI

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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Jan 14, 2013 2
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 14, 2013

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No there is not. It's a core part of the UI, just like the menu bar, tool bar, etc.

Why would you want to remove them?

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Jan 14, 2013 0
Jan 14, 2013

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Because I do not want my users to be redirected out to the Internet via the PDF...

In the Tools, they may think that they can convert a PDF, but will be prompted for an paid Adobe account...

Same with emailing a PDF over the Internet with a paid Adobe EchoSign account...

Comments are fine... I believe in version X this was able to be removed....

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Jan 14, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 14, 2013

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We have an Enterprise customization solution (<http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/index.html>) that supports some level of customization for deployed copied of Reader. If that's helpful, great!

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Jan 14, 2013 0
Jan 14, 2013

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I have used the Adobe Customization Wizard XI and these changes did not work...

I also have tried to delete the desktop shortcut through the wizard and that did not work...

I also have selected to change the EULA through the wizard and that did not work....

I have made all modifications I need through a seperate script.

I have two test machines and installed a fresh install and my install with an MST and they both turned out exactly the same...

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Jan 14, 2013 0
Jan 15, 2013

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I recommend you try the Acrobat Enterprise Deployment forum, different group of experts there.

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Mar 16, 2013

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@test screen name. That is too complicated for me. There are plenty of other pdf reader, if adobe does not want to give users options to customize the toolbar.

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Mar 16, 2013 0
Mar 17, 2013

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Posting your message in a different forum is too complicated? Well, you know best.

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Mar 17, 2013 0
Mar 16, 2013

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@Iroseth I am using a tablet pc with acrobat XI (11.0.2). I want to remove Tools|Sign|Comment from Toolbar because in portrait mode Tools|Sign|Comment takes up all of the space. I like to read in portrait mode because I can see the whole page. The adobe programmer designed touch toggle mode for touch screen, but it makes stuff worst with Tools|Sign|Comment taking up all of the space and no room for basic button such as hand tool, select tool, or save.

Why can't adobe make as simple button/menu tick mark, that allow the user to remove the annoying Tools|Sign|Comment from the Toolbar? Why?

Please fix this issue if you want people with touch screen to use your product.

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Mar 16, 2013 1
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 17, 2013

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If you hid them, how would you access their functionality??

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Mar 17, 2013 0
Dec 02, 2014

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My First post here, and to be truthful this single thread firmed my experience between both the UI and the "customer service" i have received from Adobe.

It was quite motivating to learn something new.

"Why would you want to remove them?"

Most likely the same reason me and my company do, we do not want them, we are to small to afford this "service" and it causes unnecessary congestion on the tool bar that leads to confusion to some of its users. Believe it or not, there are still people who do not have a Post doc PHD in computing.  besides when did the burden of usability/functionality lie with the customer and not the OEM?

The user should be able to customize its tool as he or she sees fit without having to bow to corporate marketing gimmicks. which is what this is. parse it how you will.

"@Vadim – while you may find these “Tools” to not be useful, the fact is that MANY users out there have chosen to purchase that functionality."

i would say in my experience by far adobe reader has been used by the everyday user over paid accounts.  or do you suggest otherwise? i have seen the reader on almost every PC / Mac i have ever used but seen a rarely see a full install of any adobe product and then only on corporate PCs.  i am firm in my experience being more normal than not.  as such this comment from a staff member is akin to a troll comment to a genuine concern from a legitimate user.

and finally in spite of the direct requests to the contrary

"Hide and showing elements in a UI is not a good idea as it confuses users why something is there sometimes and not others.  Having the elements dim/disable is considerd the proper and correct UI model."

This is the result of the bigger corporate market dictating what the everyday user finds convenient.  Zune, Windows 8 anyone? bueller?

regardless methinks it is futility to expect a corporate monstrosity such as Adobe to respond to the smaller user much less the everyday user. 

A once beautiful marriage is now a trial separation. 

As such  and as suggested by a previous commenter we have opted for an open source reader.

It preforms faster, is far more customizable and does not force the user to the adobe.com pay to use matrix.

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Dec 02, 2014 0
Feb 06, 2020

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BECAUSE I WANT TO OPEN A DOCUMENT AND READ IT!

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Feb 06, 2020 0
Apr 25, 2013

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That's very easy!

Turn off Acrobat Reader, then go to your Acrobat Reader installation folder and delete two files from Reader/Services there.

I have actually forgotten the file names, but you don't need to delete "Services.cfg".

Restart Reader, and the annoying buttons are gone forever!

lrosenth, some people use Acrobat Reader as just a reader, no offence!

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Apr 25, 2013 1
Jul 04, 2013

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@Angry_Users. Thanks a lot. Your solution was very helpful. It took a while for me to figure out the location (C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services).

The name of the files are: DEXEchoSign.spi and DEXShare.spi

After deleting the files, restarting Adobe and clicking on the Tools, and Sign buttons, they dissapeared. Next time I started Adobe they were totally gone.

However the Comment button does not go away. This is still much better than before. Adobe is a little more user friendly now.

@Irosenth -  Just think how ANNOYING in would be if you web browser did not allow you to hide the history, and favourite bars. Are they helpful, yes. Do you need them every second, no.

Similarly for Reader - preferance for Screen real estate is given to Tools, sign, comment, rather than selection tool, hand tool, and zoom buttons which become hidden in portrat mode or when screen is minimized/halved. How often do I uses the selection tool buttons/ and tool and other buttons - 50 times in an hour. How ofter do I use Tools, sign, comment -  Never.

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Jul 04, 2013 4
Jul 08, 2013

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So just click their names and they'll be gone (the panels, that is, not the buttons)...

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Jul 08, 2013 0
Aug 01, 2013

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@Gilad D - I am aware that clicking on the button makes that panel go away. However there is no way the useless buttons go away using Reader. (The only way is to delete DEXEchoSign.spi and DEXShare.spi, and even then the Comment button is impossible to remove.)

If adobe allows us to add and remove othe buttons as we want such as seletion tool, hand tool, zoom, and other why not the 3 stupid button (Tools|Sign|Comment). Why is it that the 3 stupid buttons are given priority over buttons like essentials like next page when there is less space?

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Aug 01, 2013 1
Aug 02, 2013

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The Sign pane and button can be removed using a registry tweak. See here:

http://try67.blogspot.com/2013/05/acrobatreader-disable-sign-pane.html

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Aug 02, 2013 0
Aug 02, 2013

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@Gilad D - The link above only deletes the sign button and pane however is still does not get rid of the Comment button.

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Aug 02, 2013 0
Aug 03, 2013

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That's what I said...

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Aug 03, 2013 0
Oct 29, 2014

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Thank you very much for posting this...I have been searching for a month on how to get rid of the annoying tool bar on the right that takes 1/2 of the page

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Oct 29, 2014 1
Apr 18, 2015

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OMG, THANK YOU!!  This has been annoying me FOREVER.  When I open a PDF to read it I just want to READ it.  I don't want the Tools to open automatically.  If I want the Tools I will open the Tools!  Geez Adobe, can't you fix this stupid issue?

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Apr 18, 2015 1
Nov 27, 2015

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SimpleUser4738 wrote:

@Angry_Users. Thanks a lot. Your solution was very helpful. It took a while for me to figure out the location (C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services).

The name of the files are: DEXEchoSign.spi and DEXShare.spi

After deleting the files, restarting Adobe and clicking on the Tools, and Sign buttons, they dissapeared. Next time I started Adobe they were totally gone.

This worked perfectly, thanks for tracking down those files.  After also disabling the "auto-authenticate signatures" option my Reader now opens quickly... finally!

Thanks again

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Nov 27, 2015 0
Feb 23, 2015

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Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I use Adobe Reader on a tablet with limited screen real estate (duh). I fill out a blank form several times, every single day. It was so annoying having to close tools.......ARGH!!!

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Feb 23, 2015 0
Aug 08, 2013

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http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2011/03/customizing-toolbars-in-acrobat-x-2/

Simple hide toolbar switch described in above link.  Mostly F8 will toggle the bars.

JoeDaddyZZZ

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Aug 08, 2013 1
Mar 11, 2015

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Yeh, F8 works perfectly. Press F8 two three times.

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Mar 11, 2015 0
Sep 25, 2013

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I see the question has been asked - why would we want to remove these buttons - especially "Comment".

The simple answer is that with XFA dynamic forms you cannot have commenting, so it is completely misleading to users. That is why I would like to remove, at very least, commenting, or for Adobe to make Reader detect the format and remove Comment if the form is a dynamic XFA.

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Sep 25, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Sep 25, 2013

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Hide and showing elements in a UI is not a good idea as it confuses users why something is there sometimes and not others. Having the elements dim/disable is considerd the proper and correct UI model.

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Sep 25, 2013 0
Dec 06, 2013

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That comment would make more sense if that were true for ALL toolbar items, which of course it isn't.

Why is it not considered 'confusing' to users to hide/show toolbar items at their discretion, yet it is considered to be 'confusing' to users to hide/show the TOOL/SIGN/COMMENT buttons?

I don't understand Adobe's logic in not just allowing those buttons to be individually hidden like every other button on the toolbar?

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Dec 06, 2013 1
Sep 19, 2014

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I completely agree with TMB333 on this.  Different users have different needs.  Advanced features like TOOL/SIGN/COMMENT go above-and-beyond what our end users need for their workflow.  They find these extra panes to be disruptive.  Bottom Line: Whether we agree with their preferences or not, it would certainly be nice to have the OPTION to simplify their toolbar for them.  It's not like we'd loose the functionality if they ever DID need these panes - they could access them through the View menu (or, better yet, these options belong in the Edit menu).

Interestingly, I tried removing DEXEchoSign.spi and DEXShare.spi from C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Services ... but the buttons & panels are still popping up when I open documents... I'm not even sure how that's POSSIBLE.

I saw elsewhere a suggestion to Edit the .pdf file association in the registry to launch

Acrobat.exe /A "navpanes=0" %1

instead of

Acrobat.exe %1

I can't lie- editing the registry is above my experience level.  If this is a valid solution, could someone give me more detailed instructions?  Thank you.

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Sep 19, 2014 0
Adobe Employee ,
Sep 19, 2014

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Kate - can you give me an idea of what your end users do in their workflows where they don't need ANY tools available?

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Sep 19, 2014 0
Sep 24, 2014

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@lrosenth: one possible workflow is that the users intend to read the PDFs that they open in the application named "Reader." I have never ever one single time in my entire life wanted any of the functionality in any of those panels.

Talking about "proper and correct UI model," it must certainly be obvious that clicking on the button to turn off the panel is non-intuitive. You click the Open button to open a PDF (ok, I never have, but for argument's sake...), you wouldn't then click the Open button again to close the open dialog. You'd click "cancel" in the dialog or some other UI element that implies "click me and I go away."


I am in this thread because despite my substantial experience as a software developer (some of it even building plugins for Adobe products), I had absolutely no idea that turning off that side panel was accomplished via clicking on the thing that turns it on. This is reinforced by the design of the text anyway which implies "tabs", and no tab control ever had you click on the active tab to hide the whole panel.

I don't care if the buttons are there or not, I just didn't want the side panel and there was no obvious way to get rid of it. UI norms and conventions also include being able to disable them from the menu, i.e. the View menu has "Tools," "Fill _Sign," (a rookie programming mistake, btw) and "Comment" options, but the current one is not ticked in the menu (also breaking from UI conventions) and clicking the currently selected one does also not disable the whole thing (which breaks from not only typical/checked UI conventions but also your own internal conventions that clicking on the active thing makes it go away).

So consider that "proper and correct UI" needs to start with consistency, and there is none of that on display here in this particular feature.

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Sep 24, 2014 0
Sep 29, 2014

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Why do you expect consistency from Adobe?  They've NEVER had it and it doesn't look like they ever will.

I too am struggling to get rid of the "tools" "comments" and "fill&sign" buttons on the menu bar.  Why?  Because I don't use them, I don't need them, if I did need them they are accessible from the menus, and they take up valuable real estate on the menu bar and cause things I *do* need to be hidden.

EVERY version of Adobe Reader has become less and less useful for me.  I'm almost at the point of deleting it entirely and just use "Preview" on my Mac.  It'll handle PDFs quite fine and doesn't have all the garbage that Adobe throws in, and doesn't have "features" that get in the way of my doing what I need to do.

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Sep 29, 2014 1
Sep 30, 2014

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Preview has one very neat feature that Reader doesn't have: It corrupts PDF

forms the moment you open them.

But it does so very consistently, so I guess that's a plus...

On Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 3:47 AM, fukhu2002@yahoo.com <

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Sep 30, 2014 0
Oct 01, 2014

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I've never had problems with forms in Preview...  but, even if I did, it's still better than this version of Adobe Acrobat...

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Oct 01, 2014 1
Oct 02, 2014

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Well. mightysprite, if you're an experienced software developer, I'm sure you're aware that there are plenty of features in most programs which some users will never have a need for, but other users find indispensable.  So your superlative comment that "I have never ever one single time in my entire life wanted any of the functionality in any of those panels," and the implication that they are therefore useless for all users, doesn't seem terribly compelling.

In any case, if there were such a way to completely remove/hide/disable those panels, I would expect that to be something that an end user could do, without needing to build a plug-in with the Acrobat SDK.  Therefore this discussion seems to be out of place here on the Acrobat SDK forum, as TSN suggested.

As for having "no idea that turning off that side panel was accomplished via clicking on the thing that turns it on," I see your point.  Although that's basically the same way that the Pages, Bookmarks, Attachments, and Signatures panels on the left side of the screen work.  I also just found out that re-clicking on them closes them by experimentation: i.e. clicking around on the UI to see what's possible, just to satisfy my own curiosity, but that's also something I would expect an experienced user to do.  The idea that you click on something to close it isn't completely unique to Acrobat either.


On the other hand, those left-side panels have a handy little "<<" (rewind symbol) button you can click as well to "close" that panel.  So perhaps Adobe could consider adding such a button to the right-side Tools/Sign/Comment panels as well.

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Oct 02, 2014 0
Oct 02, 2014

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Dan, I never intended to suggest that my experience was indicative of all (or even most) users. It was only to indicate the experience of one user and to suggest that I may not be alone. (For the record, I have never heard of anyone using any of those tools but that doesn't mean that nobody ever has.) As a document reader, however, I would be curious about the metrics that Adobe presumably collects: How many users never touch those panels? How many users ever save a PDF in the first place inside of Acrobat Reader?

The idea that clicking on something to "disable" it isn't unique to Adobe Reader, certainly, but Adobe's presentation is unlike any I've ever seen.

Experienced users, in my experience, do not go around on toolbars clicking randomly. Inexperienced users often have paralysis induced by having too many options that mean nothing to them; kudos to Adobe for targeting these users with "here's where you click to do X" but shame on them for not giving a tooltip, "click here to close this thing if you don't need it taking up screen space."

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Oct 02, 2014 0
Oct 04, 2014

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Fill in a form in Preview, save it and then open it in Reader and you'll get a nasty surprise...

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Oct 04, 2014 0
Oct 22, 2014

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lrosenth wrote:

Kate - can you give me an idea of what your end users do in their workflows where they don't need ANY tools available?

Erm, they simply wish to read a PDF file with a PDF Reader? The clue may be in the name.

Adobe, in common with M$, Google, Apple, Facebook and other, large US organisations are control freaks who wish to determine how we must lead our lives.

Yes, they've given us Acrobat Reader for free, but that's for their own marketing purposes. They'll only remain the default PDF reader by not annoying their customer base.

Wasting valuable desktop space with pointless buttons, that try to con users into thinking the software has more functionality than it actually does have, is mis-leading at best.

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Oct 22, 2014 0
Dec 02, 2014

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I have never used these buttons. I usually use reader on portrait using half of the monitor while using the other half. For example, as a college student writing about something that is opened on Reader on the other half. Or maybe the prompt is open on the Reader side. By using half of the monitor it is disappointing to not be able to use the tools I chose from my View menu (e.g. the selection tool or hand tool). Instead these are being replaced by three huge buttons I don't need for my paper plus a touchscreen mode selector for the touchscreen I don't have...

Therefore, those that mentioned the removal of the two files, thank you! At least now there's only one big annoying "comments" button instead of my whole bar. I had to sacrifice showing zoom to allow room for "hand" and "selection," but at least I can navigate and read, which is why I use Reader in the first place.

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Dec 02, 2014 1
Jun 13, 2016

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Open file, read file, close file - I dont need any tools for that - and that is how 99.999% of your users use the free reader.

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Jun 13, 2016 0
Oct 13, 2014

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SimpleUser's trick works.  But instead of deleting the files, I added org as an extension, in case I ever need the pane (1/10 of all uses of this software).

I agree with posters asking for a Reader lite--the freeware has become bloatware. Glad I found this fix.

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Oct 13, 2014 1