Annoying PDF Toolbar…

February 24, 2006

Why is it that programs assume that they know best for you and don’t honor your requests?? When I installed Adobe CS2 (great software BTW), I also got Acrobat 7.0 installed. I’m not all that thrilled about the PDF in general but they do make reading a big document a little easier. And they are the de facto standard when it comes to whitepapers, something I read a TON of, so I’ve learned to live with them. What I can’t live with is the fact that they add all kinds of garbage to all my applications. The toolbars in Word are nasty enough with Adobe throwing a bunch of extra crap in there that I’ll never use. I don’t need a top-level menu item to generate or comment on a PDF. To make matters worse, when I hide the toolbar it simply reappears (seems to happen when the window loses focus and then regains it). GAAHH!!

UPDATE: You’ll also want to set AttachmentsOption to 0 in the Settings for Outlook. This will get rid of it in the Compose a New Email. (Thanks Trint for catching this one.)

I googled around for a solution but nothing was forthcoming so I attempted to edit my “normal.dot”. Nothing. Enter the registry hack.
** DISCLAIMER: DO NOT EDIT YOUR REGISTRY IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING **

In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat\PDFMaker\7.0, there is a list of apps that it hooks onto like a life sucking leech attaches to. Each app is it’s own directory and has a sub-directory called Settings (e.g. Word | Settings) which contains a REG_BINARY key called ToolBarVisible. Delete this key and start the application in question. When you remove the toolbar, it should stay gone. Not sure why it won’t honor this normally but this was the only way that I could get my system to stop re-adding the toolbar – at least for the moment. 🙂

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