Acrobat DC is Here – You may want to wait with upgrading until you read this…

[Update: Adobe added a warning to the CC updater that informs the user that older versions of Acrobat will be removed, and a knowledge base article about this problem: ]

As announced by Adobe a few weeks ago, they released Adobe Acrobat DC and last night. If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, you can get Acrobat DC today – with just one mouse click. You may want to hold off upgrading Acrobat XI to DC for a few moments and save all custom elements that you installed in Acrobat XI: The upgrade will remove Acrobat XI completely from your system, and with it all custom scripts, stamps, plug-ins and other things that you may have installed for all users in Acrobat’s application directory.

Before you upgrade, find out where Acrobat XI is installed on your computer (on a Mac, that would be /Applications/Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, on a Windows system it may be C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat) and save all these custom elements to a different directory.

Once you’ve done that, feel free to click on that “Upgrade” button. You can now install these plug-ins, stamps, scripts, … back into the new Acrobat DC application directory.

If you’ve already upgraded, then you will have to use your backup to recover these files.

Keep in mind that the user interface of Acrobat DC is completely different than what you had with Acrobat XI, so plan for some serious hunting for tools that you could find blindfolded… The tool search function on the right hand pane is our friend.

More about Adobe Acrobat DC soon…

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23 Responses to Acrobat DC is Here – You may want to wait with upgrading until you read this…

  1. Peter says:

    Do you know how to remove/close the sidepanel on the right permanently?
    Every time I open a new document the sidepanel with export PDF etc on the right is open, even I closed it before exiting last time.
    This is so annoying and wasting valuable screen real easate in the new Acrobat Reader DC adn I never use any of the funtions in the panel anyway.
    In old version you could keep the sidepanel closed permanently.

  2. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    There is no way to close the Right Hand Panel (RHP) permanently. At least not last currently. I am hoping that Adobe will reconsider and will give us a method to hide the RHP. You are right, it’s wasting valuable screen real estate. You can file a bug report (or an enhancement request) here:

  3. Markus says:

    There IS a Workaround!
    Go to the Directory where DC is installed (On Windows it is:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroApp\ENU\)

    And REMOVE ALL there is inside that tag. Save and you are done! The Annoying Sidebar is GONE FOREVER…^^

    You need to do this as ADMIN! (Otherwise it won’t let you save this File).

  4. Markus says:

    You need to Modify the “Viewer.aapp” File. (It is in XML-Format)

  5. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    That may work, but I would not recommend to edit files that are not documented. Without any documentation, we do not know what else you are potentially modifying with this change.

  6. jj chapa says:

    This update sucks. Can’t even use it. I’m not a computer person all I need it to do is work and it doesn’t. Sorry I upgraded. Not even sure where to start to go back to the last version I was using. Figure out your $%&* before you launch a *@#$%#$ upgrade. [Admin: Language cleaned up]

  7. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    JJ – if you want to complain about Adobe software, then this is the wrong forum. Nobody from Adobe will read your comment when you post on my site.

    If you have a license for a previous version of Acrobat, you can go back to e.g. Acrobat XI by uninstalling Acrobat DC, and then downloading the Acrobat XI installer from here: – just install it with the same serial number you’ve used before. If you’ve registered your copy of Acrobat with Adobe, you can lookup your serial number here:

  8. James Abner says:

    This is without a doubt the worse “upgrade” I have ever seen. I would seriously pay twice as much to get back an older version of Adobe Pro!

    Surely there is a competitor out there that can handle and process .pdf documents; if you know of one please list it here so we can all get away from this nightmare. THANKS!

  9. Chris Barela says:

    This version is full of bugs. Interactive Forms are a nightmare – button functions randomly work or not, calculate function sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t… restarting will solve some problems on rare occasions. Interactive buttons changed shape when copy and pasting.
    The worst part is that Adobe has changed all the functions – so if you are looking online for help it will be obsolete. Nothing will match previous versions. Tasks that were really easy before are now horribly time consuming. Do not download this version!

  10. I agree with your readers. I have twice tried the upgrade and rolled back each time. I strongly encourage anyone who is considering upgrading to try it on another computer first. You will find it has a maddening completely non-standard interface with windows explorer, a bizarre command structure with huge useless icons, and more. Plus tons of bugs. Acrobat XI was stable, fast, and reliable. Why Adobe would imagine we want such dramatically changed product that can to nothing but reduce productivity is beyond me.

  11. dreT says:

    Horrible. Constantly crashes and I HATE the annoying right side bar. Junk. Wish I could get back to my prior version.

  12. Paul Nichols says:

    One correction on going back to a previous version of Acrobat – and I agree, this DC upgrade is absolutely one of the worst things I’ve seen.

    I tried to go back to either 10 or 11, and even with my serial numbers, Adobe says they’re “invalid”, so I’m stuck (on a new computer).

    So, going back might work for some (if you’re lucky), but it wouldn’t recognize either of my previous Serial numbers, even though they’re right there on my Adobe account.

  13. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    Paul, this will not work with a serial number. You need a subscription to run an older version.

  14. Claire says:

    I have the Adobe Design Suite CS5 with Acrobat 9.0 Pro. A few weeks ago I was asked to update Adobe Acrobat, I could not open a document. So I updated. After initial panic, it seemed all right. Until I started looking for the comments tools and the reduce file size. It’s all paying!!!! Well, I went to Uninstall Program in the Control Panel. I saw Acrobat 9 still sitting there. Uninstalled Acrobat DC. And hey, I have my old version back! As simple as that. And I can start playing with the pdf documents again 🙂 Do not update!

  15. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    Claire, what you did was very likely unrelated to Adobe Acrobat. It sounds more like you updated the free Adobe Reader. Especially because Acrobat 9 was still on your system after you removed the new application: Adobe Acrobat DC would have very likely removed any old version of Acrobat.

  16. JR says:

    Hey, guys. The anoying right hand panel (RHP) can be removed by choosing “Preferences” (CTRL-K), and by unchecking the box for “Open tools for every document” (or something like this, because my Reader is in another language) in the “Documents” category. The RHP is gone. Is it this that we are talking about?

    Otherwise, I noticed that this new version keeps the recently viewed documents as if they are open and that because of this I cannot edit any of them because the editing tool tries to change an open file! THIS is annoying – I have to clean up the recently viewed list every time I need to edit one of them… 🙁

  17. Herben says:

    Why is acrobat with every update more and more less nice to work with, in the old versions selection and zooming was easier, they already make that more difficult, and now they put everything with tabs in one screen, so you cant put 2 drawings next to each other anymore, what is the next easy thing they destroy. I want to keep my adobe XI in fact want to go back to X or 9, why don’t they respect the user.

  18. M Alver says:

    What a headache. I could not print any of my work or documents but I am now getting offers to “buy” their professional version off of their website when looking for the previous version that worked just fine. DC is a proper name, just like the do nothing congress we have. No longer prints, no longer open documents that you used to be able to read, UI is ugly and looks like it was designed for a tablet instead of a PC. Well I’ll be turning off updates again. Shame on me for ever allowing stuff to update without backup the old program and test running the new stuff to make sure its not crap. And most new stuff is crap they just overpatch your old softwear and hard wear to slow it down and try and force you to upgrade aka replace.

  19. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    Herben, you can still use the “side-by-side” display of two different PDF files, but this mode is not compatible with the tabbed interface. This means that you will have to turn off the tabbed view first. To do that, go into Acrobat’s preferences, then select the “General” tab and uncheck “Open documents as new tabs in the same window”. After you restart Acrobat, you should be able to show both documents next to each other again.

  20. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    M Alver, I assume you are using the free Adobe Reader. You can uninstall it and then install version XI from a fresh download: – at least while it’s still supported.

  21. Patricia Hasen says:

    Where is the PRINT TO PDF FUNCTION???!!! I hate this new version and wish I had my old one. I’m in school, computer was crashing, got another one and unfortunately loaded this on it. It’s so frustrating. Can someone tell me how to print to PDF?


  22. Patricia Hasen says:

    I think DC stands for “Das Crap”

  23. Karl Heinz Kremer says:

    Trish, “Print to Adobe PDF” is where it used to be with Acrobat XI: If you have Acrobat installed on Windows, just select the print function and then select the “Adobe PDF” printer. If you are on a Mac, the “Adobe PDF” has been missing since the days of Acrobat 8 or so, but you can still convert to PDF using the “Print” dialog: Just click on the “PDF” button in the lower left corner of the print dialog and select to “Save as Adobe PDF”.

    If you are running the free Adobe Reader, printing to PDF has never been part of it’s functionality. If your old computer had Adobe Acrobat installed, but the new one only came with the free Reader, that could explain why you are not seeing this functionality anymore, and you need to re-install the software that you had on the old computer.

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