Friday, December 23, 2016

Time to uninstall Acrobat Reader and use Foxit

Replace Adobe Acrobat with Foxit's Reader program.  You will find Foxit loads faster, has less risk, less overhead, and is free. This article describes how to download and install.   I recommend this software.  Article updated on 2016.12

Why change?

Acrobat Reader has become big, complex, and cumbersome and now loads too slowly and is exposed to security attacks. 

Adding insult, Adobe Reader keeps trying to install McAfee's advertising program "McAfee Security Scan plus", which I consider malware (see Keyliner article:  Because of this, I never allowed the program to update automatically, which makes its security problems worse.

Installing Foxit Reader

1.  Using the Control Panel's "Programs and Features", uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

optionally, use this recommended de-installer from 
Be sure to pick the correct version. 
As of 2015.07, you probably want version "10.x and later"

2.  Download and install the Foxit Reader:
Foxit can be downloaded and installed without registering.  The program is free.

From the menu, click "Downloads"
On Left-nav, look for Foxit Reader "Free Download"

When Installing, I recommend these options:

[  ] Shell Extensions (do not select)
[  ] Foxit Reader Creator (Deselect unless you want to use it within Microsoft Word and don't mind the slow overhead of installing the plugin.)
     [  ] Windows Shell Extension
     [  ] Word Plugin  (or [x])
     [  ] PPT Plugin
     [  ] Excel Plugin
[x] Plugin used to open PDF files inside the browser  (or uncheck to open in separate window)
[x] Foxit Spell Check Language

Click Next:

[  ] Create Desktop Icon  (you don't need the clutter)
[  ] Add icon to the Start Menu [x] or optionally check
[  ] Create Quick Launch Icon (you don't need the clutter)
[x] Set Foxit as the Default PDF Viewer
[x] Show PDF files in Browser (or turn off if you want the PDFs in a dedicated window)
[x] Disable ConnectedPDF features - recommend check to disable

[x] Enable Safe Reading (Trust Manager)

(x) Don't install a free 30-day trial of Foxit PhantomPDF Standard  (shame this option is not default)

Once the install completes, launch the program and consider these changes:

Under menu File, Preferences
Consider Disabling
"Cloud Reading" e.g. "Disable extras tab"

In "General"
- Disable show start page
- Disable Show Advertisement
- Disable Show floating promotion page

In "Page Display"
- Set Zoom to 100% - I find this is better than auto-sizing

In "Trust Manager"
- Consider disabling (unchecking) Enable JavaScript actions.  I am testing this and am unsure of the ramifications, ,but in general, disabling Javascript is probably a good security measure.

Installation is complete.

From File Explorer, locate any .PDF file; double-click to open.  Foxit Reader should open and display the document.

If you need a PDF editor or other PDF features, look at Foxits Product page and consider sending business their direction.

Related Articles:
Unsavory copies of Foxit from Scamming Sites:

Keyliner article:  Adobe's Acrobat Reader and McAfee Scam

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