Archive for the ‘Adobe Acrobat’ Category

Spine of "The Next Pope" Book by Anura GurugeTwelve days ago I got to see the little padlock icon beguilingly ‘appear’ next to a JPEG file icon — and then have the satisfaction of getting rid of it, using my instructions (albeit on the second try).

Happened to me TWICE toady, in quick succession — each time on files that were being created from scratch.

As with the incident 12 days ago, the first padlock today was yet again against JPEG I created from a PDF — using my fully legit Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.3.1. As in that prior instance I was creating JPEG of the cover of my latest book … from the final-form, camera-ready PDF. This time it was the spine … and it was for Amazon. << See right >>

As soon as I created it … BANG … padlock against the file icon … and I could see it come up because I had the folder it was being created open within an instance of Windows Explorer.

By now having encountered this problem so many times, I was not perturbed. Just annoyed. It is a waste of OUR time.

Again I fixed it quickly using the instructions I had got from Microsoft … and posted on this blog. It worked.

I know the problem. Since the file was created by Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional, Windows 7 was basically assuming that Adobe was the owner!

I now had to create a ZIPPED folder. I used the BUILT-IN capability within Windows 7, i.e., right-click on file or folder and select SEND TO COMPRESSED (ZIPPED) folder.

The zipping worked like a charm. I was happy and impressed. BUT I had a padlock against the zipped file! DAMN. Ballmer looks best in drag.

Followed the instructions again. Presto. Gone.

So our instructions do appear to work — consistently and well. For that I am glad.

So this definitely is a PERMISSIONS related issue — having much to do with WHO creates a file/folder. Obviously, it doesn’t happen when Adobe Acrobat creates PDFs … but does when it creates JPEG.

Happened when Windows 7 created a zipped file. I am sure that Microsoft uses 3rd party code for this. So there might be some other application ‘coded’ in there.

I know that a LOT of you have this same problem. I see search results, that end  up on this blog, on a daily basis that go “padlock icon Windows 7”. This is crazy. Ballmer looks best in drag.

I suspect that Microsoft, just to torment us, will not fix this until SP1.

Good luck.


Anura Guruge

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Last night, just after I had looked at a PDF document, I noticed what looked like a gray version of the EU flag in my Task Bar ‘tray’ [at the right-hand end].

Clicked on it. It was Adobe Updater saying that there was an update to Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.3 and Adobe Reader 9.3.

I was kind of glad. I had been waiting for a new update.

I had repaired my legit, Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.3 a week ago after its first crash.

I always like to see an update after I repair Acrobat because this refreshes the code and makes sure that much of it is OK.

I didn’t have to look. I knew the update had to do with security. I installed it. Worked OK. Required a restart.

As I had mentioned before, Adobe updates are nicely integrated with Windows 7. The Windows 7 Update History records the updates. I checked, via Action Center. The Adobe Updates were all logged and marked as successful.

Today, I went looking in Adobe.com for the Release Notes for 9.3.1. Yes, it was a security update. If you are interested, here is the Adobe Security Bulletin.

So far, so good. Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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Last night I got to see the little padlock against an icon ‘appear’ — and then have the satisfaction of getting rid of it, using my instructions (albeit on the second try).

I am no stranger to the padlock on the left of icon problem. I first encountered it, against 7 files (in the same folder), on December 4, 2009. Microsoft support, to their credit, helped me fix it. I then saw this problem come back on two of the originally impacted files two weeks later. This time I just fixed it using the instructions I had got from Microsoft … and posted on this blog. In both these instances I only saw the padlock icons when I opened the subject folder.

But yesterday I actually saw an icon appearing, in an Open Folder (within Windows Explorer), as I created the file.

Seeing the padlock appear allowed to get a good ideas as to what had happened. Since the file was created by Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional, Windows 7 was basically assuming that Adobe was the owner!

The Next Pope Book by Anura GurugeThis was NOT a PDF file. It was JPEG created from a PDF using Adobe. Yes, you can do that. Using Acrobat you can save a PDF into a myriad of other formats, JPEGs and PNGs among them. Before Windows 7 gave me its very handy SNIPPER TOOL, Acrobat was one of my favored means of creating JPEGs (PowerPoint coming after that).

My latest book, ‘The Next Pope,’ is out. I was submitting it to Google Books so that you folks can look inside it — online.

Google books likes you to give them the front and back covers — typically as JPEGs. I didn’t have these as JPEGs. I had created a one-piece cover. Front-Spine-Back as one big Word file … then converted to a big PDF. So I used Acrobat crop to get the Front Cover … then Acrobat ‘Save As’ to create the JPEG.

Since I have dual monitors, I happened to have open the folder into which the JPEG was being saved. BINGO. Saw the icon appear with the padlock.  I was a bit annoyed. But, as I had done previously I immediately made a copy. No icon.

I went ahead and did all the Google book uploads and ‘paperwork.’ Pretty smooth. They provide a very slick, Java-based FTP upload tool. Very quick. Uploaded my 30MB PDF, of the body, across my 415KB uplink in about 10 minutes.

I then decided to fix the icon. Used the posting on this blog. Since Adobe was appearing as an owner things looked slightly different. And I screwed up on my first try. No harm. The padlock just stayed on. Did it again. Using the same instructions. Was more careful. Bingo, as I typed in ‘everyone’ and hit OK … the padlock disappeared.

So at least we know we can get rid of that damn annoying padlock.

Good luck.


Anura Guruge

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FireFox 3.6 rc1, on Windows 7, hung a few times.

I got FireFox 3.6 rc2 the day it became available; January 18, 2010.

It had done well until a few days ago … and I use FireFox hard and furiously during much of my 12 to 16 hour work day. I always use two instances of FireFox, one of each of my dual monitors, with each instance running at least 6 tabs.

Windows 7  now recognizes and catalogs FireFox 3.6 hangs. So my beloved RELIABILITY HISTORY for this Windows 7 machine show the two hangs in 4 days … and the ensuing hit to the reliability rating of this system. Kind of sad. You can see, from the TOP ragged wave (in blue) that the reliability has become choppy … exacerbated by the Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional crash I had on Fe. 10.

I get, on average, 7 people a day who come to this blog because they did a Web search on ‘FireFox 3.6 hangs.’ So others are seeing this too. I had a look at the FireFox Support Forum. Hangs continue to be an issue.

I have been anxiously checking FireFox for a new update. We are due one.

To be fair, I know that the FireFox crashes were caused by anomalies on sites I was visiting. One of them was the Amazon Merchant Center. I had clicked on a link for a report that didn’t exist. That caused FireFox to hang. Probably a JavaScript on Amazon.

The other crash, IF I may say so, was kind of cute! << smile. At my age and after 40 years with computers, I sometimes find the causes of some crashes cute. >>

The crash was caused by a CLASH of incoming (unsolicited) and outgoing messages. I had been on Bank of America. After 30 minutes of inactivity they pop-up a we are going to disconnect you message. Since I have upwards of 12 tabs, the Bank of A. tab was inactive. I was just logging on, with userid/password to another site (I thinking Lightning Source, a book printer) … when the BofA tab activated itself and poped up that disconnect message. So I am hitting enter on an HTTPS session when another HTTPS session pipes in. FireFox 3.6 hung. Kind of felt sorry for it. Kind of MY FAULT.

To be fair, each time, FireFox 3.6, when restarted, came up with BOTH instances, on the correct monitors, with ALL the tabs intact. So recovery was good. Not automatic. I had to restart FireFox … but when I did, BINGO. Bob was my uncle.

So that is where we are. Yes, I know I hammer FireFox. But, that is me. Type A cubed, +++. A psychologist once asked me. Tell me she said: “you get bored brushing your teeth. If there is nothing else around you will grab the toothpaste tube and read that. Am I right?” I was MORTIFIED. I had been caught. Yes, if there was no newspaper, magazine or book for me to read while I brushed my teeth, I USED to read the toothpaste tube. I am too embarrassed to do that SINCE she caught me out. She said: “We had heard about people like you. You are the first I had met.” She also told me to go and get a dog. I have had four goldens since.

Good Luck.


Anura Guruge


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I have been using (a legit copy of) Adobe Acrobat Professional 9  [initially 9.2 but now 9.3 ], with Windows 7, on a near daily basis since November 2009.

Though there have been a few quirks [print-to-file prompt doesn’t appear at front & icon inconsistencies], Adobe Acrobat 9, in general, has been resilient and rugged — a far cry from the ever so fickle and fragile Adobe Acrobat 6 Professional.

Until last Wednesday I had, to my delight, not experienced a single crash. To ME, that is bloody miracle. Acrobat and I go back a long time. I started using it in 1996 or 1997 … with Acrobat 4. During my first 10 years of using Acrobat, I easily lost 5 years of life expectancy due to the undue stress caused to me by Acrobat. I also pulled out large volumes of my hair — which is why I look pretty bald, unless I am wearing one of my cheap toupees (and I am sorry to have used pretty in a sentence that relates to me, since I am in no way a pretty sight).

Wednesday was CRUNCH time. I was scrambling to get my book done and uploaded so I could get a printed galley proof.

I was creating new PDFs, each around 5-7 MBs, every few minutes and then, on a regular basis, combining 18 PDFs to create a 30MB PDF — that being THE BOOK.

When I was doing one of those 18 files ‘compiles’ Adobe Acrobat 9.3 Professional CRASHED. [The crash is even noted in the Windows 7 Reliability History].

My heart sank. I had vision that getting my book completed was not going to happen. I had to gulp down two handfuls of nitroglycerin pills (and since I am a Brit, each of my handfuls is BSH, a British Standard Handful and measurement I also use for gauging other entities).

But …

But …

Acrobat resurrected itself, all by itself, miraculously, and continued to work on my document.

Miracles never cease. I was in shock. I took another BSH of nitroglycerin pills just to be on the safe side … plus I like their sugary taste.



I got the book done. Used Acrobat quite a bit that day, after the crash, and it did fine … though I can’t say the same about my poor, dickey heart (so badly damaged by Adobe Acrobat 4, 5 & 6).

The next day, with the book at the printer, I really tried to put Acrobat through its paces. Could not make it crash. Even when dealing with a 17.98″x11.25″ document, with zero margins. [That is the one-piece cover.]


I used to be VERY INTIMATE with Adobe’s ‘Detect and Repair’ feature with Acrobat 6. I would have to run it at least once a month.

It would always ask me for my Adobe Install Disk.

9.2 I downloaded. I didn’t have a disk.

So I have refrained from running Acrobat 9’s new ‘Repair Acrobat Installation’ — in case it asked me for a disk.

Do you get the feeling that I don’t TRUST Adobe. Wonder why.

But, on Thursday, I had time. If Adobe got its fancy, embroidered I had time to download a new version, call my lawyer, call my cardiologist etc. Did I tell you that the book was at the printer?

The damn thing worked! Miracles never cease.

It didn’t ask me for a disk. Ballmer be praised, but he still looks best in drag.

Said it was going to take 14 bloody minutes. On this rig that is CRAZY.

Well it didn’t take 14 minutes. Took about 4 minutes. But the time remaining was wrong right till the end. Adobe, obviously, has not calibrated their timings for i7s.

Anyway … the REPAIR worked.

I haven’t had a crash still. But, that doesn’t MEAN ANYTHING. It could crash the next time I use it.

Did I mention that I don’t trust Adobe? Give me a break. I am old. Memory isn’t that good. It is DDDR1 with missing parity.


I see folks coming here, DAILY, looking for solace with Adobe. So I am trying to help.

Good Luck. We need it.


Anura Guruge

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I am a total slave to my Windows 7 dual-monitor configuration. I have had a dual-monitor system since c. 2001. XP handled dual-monitor well and Windows 7, on the whole, is carrying on that tradition, though there have been a few non-serious oddities.

If you are using dual-monitor with Word, Excel, PPT etc. you may realize that it may be nice to be able to jump between windows on each of the monitors WITHOUT having to select [i.e., click-on] each Window.

I had discovered, Serendipitously, that you can indeed do this with Windows 2007; i.e., jump between two documents, one on each monitor, without Windows 7 or Word making you select which document is the currently active document. In other words << no pun intended >>, Word 2007 allows you to, in effect, have two ACTIVE windows, concurrently, on each monitor.

In case YOU are wondering WHY I am making such a big deal about this … it is because it really boosts your productivity. Having to click on a Window to activate it, slows you down and can disrupt your flow of work (let alone your concentration).

The other day, I also noticed, to my DELIGHT, that you can also flip-flop from Word 2007 on one monitor to Adobe Acrobat 9.3 on the other monitor … with BOTH windows staying active at the same time.

This is what I am talking about, editing a Word document (in this case the index to my book ‘The Next Pope’ on the right-hand monitor) while displaying a Adobe Acrobat PDF on the left-hand monitor.

In this type of Word 2007 cum Adobe Acrobat 9.3 configuration, you can continue to update the Word document [i.e., type] while popping over to the Adobe PDF and using the cursor to look up references.

Let me explain that further. If you do a SEARCH on Adobe it displays a LIST of search results in a search window (furthest left in the above screen shot). But the page numbers are not displayed. To get the page numbers you need to ‘hover’ above the search entry. Then Adobe pops up the page number.

Well with Windows 7 dual-monitor you can get Adobe to pop up the page numbers WITHOUT deselecting the Word document.

For me this was GRAND. Saved me a LOT of time and aggravation.

Say, I was indexing papabili. I would do an Adobe search for papabili on the left-hand side monitor. Then, I would jump over to the Word document, i.e., the index, and select the entry for papabili. This would activate Word as the ACTIVE Window. But, I could move the cursor across, go to the Adobe search list, get the page number … THEN type it into Word … in one step.

I got quite good at this. I would use the mouse to go through the Adobe search list, while using my left hand to type in the page numbers into Word. It was seamless. I could do as many page numbers as I wanted WITHOUT disrupting the sequence.

Trust me. It saved me hours of work. Again, I do NOT think this is in any way a design feature. Just a fortunate by-product. But do not look a gift horse in the mouth. Exploit it. Enjoy it.


Anura Guruge

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Late last night, after my post that AnyBizSoft was offering its PDF-to-Word for FREE, I felt morally compelled to try it out.

I got a product code via email and gave it a spin.

I first tried it on a 8 page PDF — albeit much of it as a multipage PDF. The Converter had no problems with that.

PDF from Anura Guruge's "Next Pope After Benedict XVI" bookI then tried in on a PDF of Chapter IV of my current book — 56 pages tightly formatted pages with lots of images, graphics, tables and text boxes. << See ‘thumbnail’ example >>This is about as complicated a PDF that I deal in. It handled it with panache. Didn’t take long. About the same time that Adobe 9.2 Professional takes to create the PDF from Word. I had a quick look. Looked good.

I was impressed.

I had tried to use this product earlier this year on a 689 page PDF for my father. But without a product-key this Converter would only do 3 pages.

So I ended up using nitroPDF’s online serviced. They too did a great job, though my father’s PDF was all straight text without any graphics, tables, text boxes etc.

So I decided to award BOTH these PDF-to-Word conversion products an Anura Guruge “Two Glasses of Red” Award. Congratulations, AnyBizSoft and nitroPDF. Well deserved. It is not easy to win me over.

The “Two Glasses of Red” Award

In one way or another I have been reviewing IT products and services since 1992. I used to publish a monthly 16-page Newsletter.

During the term of Bill Clinton I used to award CIGARS for products that impressed me … with a box of cigars being the most coveted. But most of you are probably too young to remember the significance of cigars vis-à-vis Bill Clinton. But, it was fun. My cigar awards meant something. Bill is no longer in the White House and I have never smoked. So cigars seem inappropriate. However, purely for medicinal reasons I force myself to have a glass and a half of red each day — rain or shine, snow or sleet. So two glasses of Anu’s red seems like a good choice.

Enjoy. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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A reader of this blog just sent me an email giving me a ‘heads-up’ of this free offer.


ALL I am doing right now is passing it onto you. I think I tried to use this earlier this year and was foiled because I didn’t have a license.

They CLAIM that you will now get FREE product code, with no time limitations.

Again, I am NOT endorsing this product. I haven’t even tried it. But, IF you need PDF-to-Word, which always worth having around, YOU might as well grab this.

But, as ever, proceed with caution. There could be a catch.

Good luck. Share your feedback.

I THANK my reader for this ‘heads up.’ That was kind and thoughtful.


Anura Guruge

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I have a folder with 6 PDFs that I created in the last 24 hours using (my fully paid-up) Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.3.

What I show above is what I saw, a FEW MINUTES ago, when I viewed that folder using the ‘MEDIUM ICON’ setting on Windows 7. All 6 PDFs were created using the exact same Acrobat settings — since they are all chapters for the same book. [If you want to get technical, I even use a Acrobat ‘default setting’ file to ensure consistency.]

This happens OFTEN and it drives me NUTS. Call me strange. Call me odd. Call me crazy. Call me a stupid old man stuck in his ways. All of those could be true. I am a sucker for consistency. I just abhor inconsistency, particularly when it comes to computer behavior.

[Maybe his was my IBM training 30 years ago.  Way back, c. 1976, I sat mesmerized at a meeting looking at the results of a detailed user study that had been conducted by IBM — as they were wont to do in the 1970s when they had money to burn. When it came to computer response times what bothered users most was not slow response but inconsistent response times. In other words, if the response time was always 6 seconds (for example) they were cool. They were even cool if it was 10 seconds. But if response times fluctuated between 2 and 10 seconds, it drove them NUTS. Made sense. Consistency. Computer users get used to consistency.]

I don’t care if it is the COOL, preview type icon showing the first page of the document or the generic Adobe PDF icon from 15 years ago, just give me bloody consistency.

Now, look at this. This is what I got a FEW MINUTES later.

Generic icon GONE. What happened. I tried something. I opened that PDF using Adobe Acrobat Professional (not the reader) and closed it. Bingo. Preview icon. But, don’t get excited. This does not happen all the time. It is inconsistent.

If you follow this blog you must have a handle on me by now. I wasn’t going to let this just go. I was going to experiment. So I enlarged the icons, given that Windows 7 permits me to do that.

I now get this when I enlarge the icons:

Same PDFs. I did NOT change the PDFs between these 3 screen shots (taken using Snipper).

This is NOT good. I have checked the properties of all the files. They are consistent. It is just the Windows 7 icons that are NOT consistent.

What gives? I do not know. Not sure whether this is a Windows 7 bug or an Adobe bug. All I know is that it drives me NUTS. As I have repeatedly said, I hate Adobe Acrobat. But, I have no choice. I have to generate PDFs for my books. So I would not be surprised if this is an Adobe bug.

Anyway … just wanted to document this inconsistency.

Good luck. If you use Adobe Acrobat you will need it.

Thanks. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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