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I have tried many different programs for viewing or manipulating PDFs, but in the end, I always stick with Adobe Acrobat. It’s not cheap, and its rich feature set makes it daunting for new users. There are some things about Acrobat that annoy veteran users, including me. It occurs to me that perhaps if I start posting some of my frustrations it will prompt others to share their annoyances as well.

The goal is not to mindlessly rant, but to collect feedback in an open, transparent way. Perhaps Adobe will take note and then fix some of these annoyances (especially the ones that many users agree are a problem) in future versions of Acrobat. I think software companies are under pressure to create new versions each year or two, and, with mature products like Acrobat, they run out of useful ideas for improving the program and do silly things instead.

Adobe massively changed their user interface in version 10 (also called Acrobat X, so they also changed their naming convention for the product itself, which is also annoying). The new user interface was supposed to help new users figure out the program. I don’t know if the new interface helped new users, but I know it annoyed the hell out of experienced users. In fact, I don’t know one person who thinks that the UI that emerged out of Acrobat X was helpful.

So, I’m throwing down the gauntlet: if you have a pet peeve about Acrobat and would like to share it let me know by emailing me at ernie@paperlesschase.com. I am more interested in hearing from loyal Acrobat users who use the software extensively but have a few things that annoy them. I’m not interested in generalized bashing of Adobe or Acrobat.

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