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Double-clicking PDF file on Mac fails to load PDF

Nov 11, 2013 1:58 PM

Tags: #acrobat

Using Mac, OS X Mavericks (but the problem has persisted though three versions of OS X and has continued in Mavericks: It is NOT new in Mavericks).


If Acrobat Pro is already running, double-clicking a file displays an error: The document "xxx.pdf" could not be opened. Acrobat cannot open files in the "Adobe PDF document" format. Clearly, Acrobat CAN open these documents. If Acrobat Pro is not already running, double-click xxx.pdf opens in Acrobat just fine. This has been the cast through three operating systems, and two versions of Acrobat pro. What is up?


This happens with all PDF files, which all open correctly if Acrobat is not currently running. THe files are not invalid, the file association in OS X is valid, everything works FINE if Acrobat is not already running with a PDF file open when I double-click a PDF file. Since there are a zillion questions about this online, I have to believe it's a continuing problem. It has been a problem for me for several years.


Any thoughts? -- Ken

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 11, 2013 2:08 PM   in reply to kengetz

    When you note "Three Versions of OS X" - were these in-place upgrades? In-place upgrades are notoriously flaky and clean installations are recommended. (You will not see any documentation from either Microsoft or Apple to this, but it is pretty well known fact.)


    Have you tried creating another user account and testing?

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    Nov 11, 2013 4:41 PM   in reply to kengetz

    I just double checked and I opened Acrobat XI first then  did ⌘-H to hide Acrobat. Then I located a PDF and Double Clicked.


    I've never had your issue since OSX.2.8 up to OSX.9.0 (Mavericks).  So it’s a problem with your set up or some type of Utilitity , Plugin or extension is interfering.


    I don't know how to tell you how to troubleshoot.


    Try the Following:


    Restart with shift key down


    Then open acrobat.


    Then Hide Acrobat and double click on a PDF.


    If you don't have the problem you have a a Startup Item.

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    Nov 11, 2013 6:34 PM   in reply to kengetz

    Just tried with acrobat runing a PDF loaded and moved enough over to open another PDF by double clicking worked like a champ.

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