Why Adobe Reader Sucks


Adobe Reader

Adobe Systems developed the PDF file format which is now widely used as a standard for business files. But which reader should you use for reading PDF files ? Adobe Reader may be the original PDF reader but it doesn’t have to be the best..

Here are a few reasons why Adobe Reader Sucks….

1. Huge Download Size

Here is the screenshot of the Adobe Reader Download Page….

Adobe Reader Download

The download size of Adobe Reader is 45.11 MB which is quite a big download. It may seems as a small download to you, but downloading a reader which is 45MB ? It can’t even edit files ! I’m sure many people will forget to uncheck the free Mc-Afee download which can create one more headache.

2. Size on Disk

Here is the sreenshot of the application after installing on a PC….

This installation is of version 9.2 which took 208 MB on my hard disk. This is ridiculous ! More than 200 MB for a PDF reader ? It can’t even edit my PDF files. The newer versions eat up even more space.

3. Installer

Here is the new Adobe Reader installer…

Adobe Reader Installer

Is this installer really good ? It downloads from the net as well as the downloaded package. This combination is not very pleasing if you ask me.

4. Installing and Uninstalling

Have you tried both installing and uninstalling Adobe Reader ? Its a complicated software that stores many registry values and takes a long time for installing and uninstalling. This can become a big headache, especially while updating.

5. Slower System Start

By default Adobe Reader starts its start-up app so that it loads part of the software when the system starts. This ensures that when you open Adobe Reader it will start up faster. But this ultimately slows down system start up time.

Most important reason

Adobe Reader is only a free PDF viewer. Its not a PDF editor. This means that you cannot edit any PDF files, neither make new ones. This I would say is the most horrible part. All these bad things in one PDF viewer.

Best Alternative to Adobe Reader

If you want a free PDF viewer as an alternative to Adobe Reader then use Foxit Reader which is a free PDF viewer now fully compatible with Windows 7. It also has its mobile version available now.

If you need to edit a few PDF files, instead of downloading and installing a software you could use PDF Escape which is a free online PDF editing solution.

For professional business I would suggest Nitro PDF which is a paid PDF program as a good alternative for Adobe Acrobat.

Solution to Adobe Systems

  1. Reduce the size of Adobe Reader
  2. Use an alternative installer which downloads from web only. This will indirectly reduce the download size
  3. Make Adobe Reader simpler
  4. Adobe Reader should not occupy too much space on the disk
  5. Upgrade the framework and simplify the design even more

Basically Adobe Reader has been getting ‘bigger’ and ‘better’. I like the ‘better’ part, but not the ‘bigger’ part. It has become a bit too big and heavy compared to the new features it added. If Adobe can limit the size but at the same time provide quality software it’ll be #1 in the market. But of course, Adobe is known for quality, not the size. Applications like Photoshop and Flash are known for their quality, but they occupy a lot of space on the disk.

Are there any more features about Adobe Reader which you hate ? Are there any more suggestions you could give to Adobe to improve this PDF reader ? Leave your comments….


  • Cool Share i agree with you on adobe acrobat reader…. but believe me you. Nitro Pdf sucks!!!!!!! we used to use it for some documentation !!!! that crap software keeps crashing!!!!!!…..

    • Agree with you… The older versions crashed a lot.. Though once cracked into a portable version it worked fine for me…

  • You have brought out many points here but the worst part is that this is necessary to install in system.

  • 4th can avoid using msconfig.
    .-= Anish K.S´s last blog ..Paypal Resuming local bank withdrawals to India =-.

  • Great work, you have pin pointed the problems in a nice sequence.
    .-= Rathnakumar´s last blog ..Power Plant Box =-.

  • Your absolutely right bro! i also don’t like the “Only a reader” part! wish it enabled us to create PDFs as well!
    .-= Pubudu Kodikara´s last blog ..2010 February : Monthly Report =-.

  • Size on disk doesn’t always give a good idea about the software. If you haven’t noticed, Mozilla Firefox takes loads of memory space while it is running (takes more space than even SQL Server — check your task manager now).

    But despite of this overhead, I think there are lot of people out there who love using Firefox! 😀
    .-= TechChunks´s last blog ..Don’t Press F1 If You Are Using Microsoft XP =-.

    • True. I know Firefox is a monster that eats up memory space. But, its good, and I like it. But Adobe Reader I don’t like. That’s why I got irritated seeing it took so much of space.
      .-= Siddhu´s last blog ..Browser Chooser to manage your browsers easily =-.

  • Dutch

    Great post but I think you missed one serious flaw:

    The adobe reader does not scroll continueously while reading. If you use the cursor keys to scroll down while reading, like I do, you’ll find that near the end of the page the reader suddenly jumps to the next page! Very annoying!!

    • jsh

      This should be the number one annoying feature of adobe reader. Both scroll and cursor have independent brain, in contrast to the browser experience where both of them move together. So many times I’ll read some pdf file using the scroll bar and then whenever I touch arrow keys –which control cursor– the freaking page will jump to some page that has nothing to do with where I was. This is so idiotic and annoying that each time it happens I curse adobe PMs and developers for screwing it up so royally.

      • Adobe blows

        + 1,000. This is most definitely the number 1 reason adobe completely blows. The way it jumps around like that when I am trying to scroll through a document makes blood shoot out of my ears.

  • grs

    adobe reader sucks, period.
    why would they make it mandatory to use it as a firefox extension in windows vista and beyond?
    Installation is a pain in the ass, uninstallation is even worse, and then they want to charge you 40 bucks to ask a freaking question for support.
    This only shows you that they have a very bad product, that is dependant on yo uhaving someone elses software (remember roxio being dependant on you having microsoft OFFICE installed on your computer?
    What if I don’t USE a browser and want to use it (adobe) stand alone? I guess the “really smart” programmers at adobe didn’t think of that ,or the yare in cahoots with firefox and microsoft to sell more of their product.
    Whatever the problem is with them, their product has really gotten lousy to use and stupid to install as a forefox extension. I would much rather have an installanble program on my comouter tha tis not dependant on the internet for installation, period. What else are they trying to steal (in terms of information) from your computer by getting you to use the internet for installation? For All companies that install software like this, unless yo uhave a data monitor watching what they are accessing, yo uhave absolutely no idea what the yare doing, during the installation process. And if they are using the internet, to do it, then you MUST assume they are taking more information than needed, every time you install programs like this. Adobe may be the first but they are certainly the worst.
    I went to PDF viewer. No problems…..it has a full download, and it works as good or better than adobe anything. and it is free.
    adobe can now kiss my ass, as far as wanting anyitng from them.
    If they are going to be stupid, then I have no use for them or their products. One would think, that after many years of providing a great product, they would not bury their head up their ass. Must be new management……………….

  • Anurag

    dude you were born in december ’94? i was born in august 🙂

  • Nek

    it does. the newest version is the worst ever – I uninstalled it after seeing that it takes at least 5 seconds to turn a page, and sometimes it just won’t react at all. thanks for recommending foxit reader — it is really much better (i.e., it works!!! when I press “right arrow” I can see the next page as it used to be with previous versions of acrobat reader – and I don’t have to wait for ages). why would adobe pay salaries for people who can’t write programs??

  • tjesp

    Adobe Reader has been a pain in the ass from the beginning. How it still is the most used pdf reader is a mystery. It often takes 2 minutes to launch it, and it has to be updated like several times a week, just to read pdf files! There is no reason to download and use Adobe Reader instead of just using the native Chrome pdf reader.