For clarification, the user interface in Acrobat X retains the Acrobat 9 SDI structure. Many of the arguments outlined in the original Acrobat Blog post still stand.
As the new Tools Pane and Quick Tools bars are fixed within the application window, explicit support for multiple-monitor desktops (for example in terms of undocking tools and moving them to a second screen as might be done in Creative Suite apps) is not relevant - SDI windows can of course be positioned wherever a user wishes, and the new UI helps to maximize the screen real estate available to the document pages.
It's important to bear in mind that many of the Tools Pane panels contain processes rather than actions - for example the process of replying to comments or sharing a file using SendNow. In an MDI world, managing the state of these "half-finished" processes when the user tabs to a different document is a lot more complex than it seems. MDI software tends to get round that by putting all their interactive workflows into modal dialog boxes, so until you've completed the task you're locked out of the main window, hence can't change the document under focus. Acrobat and Reader of course use dialogs for some multi-step and system processes, but retaining SDI means every document can have an independent set of panes, panels and dialogs, for example one document in Forms Editing mode and another in comment review mode, so a user can read what changes her peers have requested and implement them in a side-by-side desktop layout. It's this concentration on multi-instance SDI that led Microsoft to bring in the window "snap" feature in Windows 7.
"the user interface in Acrobat X retains the Acrobat 9 SDI structure"
which is why I will not upgrade to Acrobate X, thank you.
I had to put together a single document from 35 single page pdfs, that were all supposed to be in the same page format, but had to be checked, of course. I opened the first of these pdfs, checked it and it was fine. Now I wanted to add the other 34 pages from the 34 pdfs, so I opened them one by one, checked the page format, and then clicked to see the page icon so I could drag this over to the first document and have the page inserted there.
Here SDI came in my way. Everytime I opened one of the new pdfs, the window opened on top of the window with the document that I wanted to drag the page to. So, first I had to move the window, only then did I have room to grab the page icon and drag it to the first document.
So, the workflow was this:
1. Open new pdf
2. Check page format,if ok
3. Drag window away from the base document window
4. Click to see the page icon
5. Drag the page icon over to the base document.
In an MDI setting, I would simply have tiled the windows with the base document on one side and the newly opened doc on the other and dragged stuff over.
I am seriously looking for something other than Acrobat to fulfill my needs.I still have not found one that has all the features I need, but I keep looking...
In that workflow I wouldn't advise opening each single-page file in Acrobat before combining them - you can look at the PDFs and their metadata information using Adobe Bridge etc. or use the preview panel in Windows Explorer, select the ones you want, and use Combine Supported Files from the context menu.
Adobe, Please bring back MDI. It's ridiculous not to...who is the customer, the individual user or Microsoft? It's frustrating to have several windows open. With the technology available today, there has to be a way to make this work. If there's somethign in the work's, we'd like to see it sooner than later...No more excuses...let's see some results. Talk is cheap...
Well of course I can use other apps for this.
Maybe I'll start using Foxit instead, thanks for the hint...
Bottom line is, MDI is flawed and it breaks the work-flows of many, *many* people,just look into this thread.
PS I have no idea what Adobe Bridge is, doesn't seem to have been installer with my Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. Furthermore, the win explorer preview panel shows no useful info. I need to check each document that it has the correct page size, fonts, layout etc. "Combined Supported Files" from what context menu? Is that a Mac thing? I'm on W7x64pro... From my view-point, all your suggestions failed, and MDI would have solved the problem quite nicely.
Now, on to another Acrobat stupidity... "You must restart the system before using Acrobat. Click Restart Now to restart automatically". Stop this madness!
PS I have no idea what Adobe Bridge is, doesn't seem to have been installer with my Acrobat 9 Pro Extended.
Adobe Bridge is the file browser and management utility installed with Creative Suite. It's not part of the Acrobat installation, but as many Acrobat users have purchased it as part of a CS bundle, they will have Bridge installed by default.
"Combined Supported Files" from what context menu? Is that a Mac thing? I'm on W7x64pro...
Select a bunch of files (not just PDFs - anything that Acrobat can read) in Windows Explorer and right-click.
"Select a bunch of files (not just PDFs - anything that Acrobat can read) in Windows Explorer and right-click."
Nope, nothing like "Combine Supported Files" there.
There's nothing at all related to Acrobat in my Explorer right-click context menu.
But this is all beside the point.
The point is that MDI is flawed, broken, ill-behaved, not working correctly, breaking well-established workflows, etc...
And all those Acrobat window icons clog the task bar...
After finding out AcrobatX will not support a proper tab browsing interface my question is why isn't there a "container app" shipped with adobe/acrobat that keeps track of all documents? At the moment I'am using Acrobat together with Firefox... but it’s a pain to drop 20 and more documents at once into FF just to have nice tabs and not a messy taskbar... and even worse: Many functions are not available through the browser plugin so the user is still forced to open certain PDFs in Acrobat again. Why is usability neglected concerning such an important point? If my other apps were oriented like this DjvuReader, FF, Matlab, notepad I would waste half my time during a normal working day with switching while not knowing which window keeps which content...
It would be nice to have such a container!
Can you hear us??? Seems like MDI is kind of essential to a not so small bunch of customers. Looking at the view counts of the regarding threads I suppose there are even more frustrated customers out there. So please bring up a solution to this issue. The smell of this "dead horse" sucks out loud.
Currently I have 16 pdfs open. So I have 16 icons in my W7 task bar. Increadible that Adobe thinks this is a good thing...
In addition to this mess, I now I want to close all Acrobat windows. With MDI I simply closed the parent window and all was hunky dory. Now I need 16 clicks (at least) to close all windows. Who on earth can think that this is a good thing...
Thank god for Google giving Chrome a built-in pdf.viewer with tabs. I have now set that as my default pdf-viewer. Acrobat I only use when I need to comment or otherwise edit the pdfs... Was that the intent of removing MDI, Adobe?
Well, here we are more than 2 and a half years after this thread began and Adobe still has it's back turned to the large crowd that like to work with many files open at once.
I can't imagine how such a bad decision was made. The lack of MDI clearly limits Reader and Acrobat. Don't they want professionals with hundreds and thousands of pages to work efficiently?
We've got more than 25,000 pages off graphics, batch generated, we want to assemble into PDFs for eBooks. So, naturally, we want to load dozens and hundreds of files at once. Put differently, we want to review these individually without watching the OS bog down and crash and without wasting time managing operating system windows.
While searching for better solutions than writing batch scripts that place my PDFs in Firefox I came across an argument:
Adobes target is to offer the same user experience on all operating systems.
A desirable aim and since Windows 7 provided an arrangement of windows that can probably work well with SDI one might think it is a good thing to change/remove approved features but why not extend them: Let the user decide at installation process or give an option to switch between both.
What if the expectation that everyone will update to a new underlying systems isn't fulfilled? What if Windows XP is still a very very important system (market share levels off at 55% at the moment since many industry areas are highly interweaved with XP).
The tremendous amount of barriers I was confronted with in my "eight hours Win7 test phase" shocked me and showed me that it will take me month to set up the environment as it operates now (scripts, drivers failing to work; hardware simulations couldn't be run; etc.) additionally the idea to bury well known options behind new dialogs which led me into the "clicking hell".
So I will not/never use a different WinVersion or Mac (even "more closed" though its style and design - hardware and software - is great) and virtualizing desktop environments offers me the opportunity to keep all under the Linux cover. I can’t prove it and I'm not sure but by talking to others I got the feeling that many environments look like that these days.
I know consumer industry has a different flow, it needs to destroy old and reliable concepts to force customers to buy new products otherwise they will keep their old working stuff forever and a day e.g. no DirectX support higher than 9 in XP: ridiculous. I'm not sure if removing MDI from Acrobat 9 is connected to the same tactic. Please bring MDI back.
I too am wondering what they are thinking at Adobe.. Dropping support for useful features because Macs can't use them? Come on, it really would not be that challenging to create a containerized architecture to support MDI as an option.
I have been waiting for several years now to see if Adobe would wake up. They haven't. So I'll keep using the same old Adobe products with MDI support that I always have. It also seems that there are a few new Acrobat-like products responding to the clear market demand. Cheaper, too.
This request has been going on since 2008? Recently I noticed that the newest version of Acrobat Pro v9.4.4 is not allowing PDF's in the same window. Did Acrobat bring back MDI and then remove it again?
I cannot get multiple windows open on the same monitor. If I have a PDF open on the Right monitor and click to open a PDF, the PDF opens in a new window on the Left-hand monitor. I do not want my monitors to be taken up by multiple PDF's that I work with. I want one Window and I can then select which PDF I want by going to the Window open in the menu.
Has there been any fix or solution for this yet? I cannot believe that Adobe has yet again removed a feature and has not at least provided something for us Windows users. This is lame.
I'd like to add my voice to this chorus of pleas for MDI. Some time ago I installed - and then immediately uninstalled - Acrobat 9 when I discovered this obvious design flaw; it essentially ruins the Taskbar. Today I repeated this insanity with Acrobat X; it never occured to me that Adobe wouldn't have fixed the problem in the new version. Incredible...
Just upgraded from Version 7 to X.
I was really scratching my head as to why MDI was not working!
Where is that paramater, am I going mad!
Alas no, a failure of Adobe to understand my job workflow environment.
Very frustrating, please bring back this feature.
The reasons published for ditching this feature appear flimsy on the surface!
Please bring it back!!!!!!!!!!!!
Same here. Why on earth did you not keep an option to enable Single Window Mode!! This is highly frustrating! I hate to have 20 independent pdf pages open on my computer all the time, and zero convenient way to switch between them. Ofter, I resort to creating a Binder with the documents I need to see together, but it takes time.
Why not have:
a buton for single window mode
a pop op asks you to select the documents to gather for viewing (with ALL as the default)
when you hit ok, all documnets that were selected for singel window mode get closed from the individual pdf mode.
Allow me to add my voice to the growing chorus urging Adobe to reinstate the MDI mode of version 8 and prior, or similar capabilties (tabs?).
My company transitioned from AA8 through AA9 and now AAX (Pro versions). When we transitioned to AA9, the loss of MDI was horrendously detrimental to my and my colleagues' productivity. (So was the bug in AA9 for loss of viewing all thumbnails for large documents, but that's another story.) I was disheartened that MDI was not restored in AAX.
Like many others, I keep several applications running to efficiently accomplish the tasks I'm paid for. My OS is WinXP. I normally have available a few Explorer windows, Office 2003 (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) windows, and several other programs' windows. Most work with MDIs so I can switch between applications quickly and easily work with same type documents. Removing MDI from Acrobat has reduced my efficiency since I now have to use more brute force keystrokes/mousing, instead of using my brain for analytical tasks. My company is very large (about 155,000), so our office worker corps is very large. Not all of our office workers use the full Acrobat (Pro) in any version, but the Reader is installed as a standard load on all PCs. The loss of MDI in the full Acrobat and Reader versions for all these workers has to frustrate them and reduce their productivities.
Mr. Merchant's work-arounds are good, but they require more brute force effort than the MDI. I could be wrong, but the work-arounds appear to assume that all Acrobat users have a vast and intimite knowlege of their operating systems (Windows or Mac), other programs' capabilities, and have at least one relatively large monitor in a dedicated office environment. Obviously, this is not true. The vast majority just want the computer to accomplish a purpose for them. Many are mobile and use notebook computers with 15" or smaller screens. For easier visibility, many use lower resolutions which reduce their monitor's effective real estate. They also don't want to lose features they expect to retain. When updating programs, removing well-thought-out features without customer input can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Re: Enable Single Window Mode in Acrobat 9Here is some background on why MDI support was dropped in A9:
http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobat/2008/09/mdi_vs_sdi_in_acrobat.htmlYou people keep posting this link as if it were the answer to everything. The only thing it says is "WE HERE AT ADOBE ARE LAZY!" How about giving us a response that isn't canned?The removal of MDI has made Acrobat COMPLETELY useless for us. We have dual-monitor setups and the right monitor is rotated to portrait mode. With Adobe's lovely coding skills, if you have a PDF open on the right monitor expanded to fill the screen, when you open a 2nd pdf file, it opens up on the left monitor, but with the same dimensions! That means the window's title bar is off the top of the screen.You have to right click that pdf's taskbar button, click move, then arrow down until you can grab the title bar. Every. Single. Time.Tell me, Adobe: How is this "better?"
I'm not sure of Adobe's plans to add back MDI support, but something that may help with these documents opening at the wrong size is Window > Tile > Vertically or Window > Cascade. Instead of trying to reach the top title bar. Cascade has a shortcut of Ctrl Shift J. Tile Horizontally Ctrl Shift K. Tile Vertically Ctrl Shift L. Hope this is of some help.
I have had to register on this site... just to express my amazement at the arrogance of Adobe in this regard. OK- so it might make some advanced functionality hard to implement... but what about the basics.
I couldn't believe it when M$ appeard to drop MDI from Office back in 2003 (I think)... how is this better for anyone with a job to do? It might be slightly easier to teach octogenarian morons how to use Office for the first time...Fortunately even though 2007 and 2010 is also a backward step in usability... (why change all the keyboard shortcuts... how helpful is that?? Why?????) at least it allows MDI.
For Adobe to do something like this just shakes my confidence in the common sense of professionals and developers....
I live in hope. But not much.....
The forced SDI in Acrobat 9 is a big disappointment and my experience transition to CS5 is definitely smudged by this.
I do not feel better noticing how patronizing Adobes community professional are when responding to this user reaction. Jeff Moran states that “some of our customers have noticed a change”. When discussing this issue with colleagues in the office I can’t see other than this is a huge understatement. And reality is for sure that very few uses multiple monitors… or even large desk top monitors…. Many have gone mobile and have a laptop as their main work tool.
Unfortunately most of these people won’t raise their voice in a forum.
Adobe, please stop using technical challenges as a reason to compromise on user friendliness, thank you!
Wow, just wow. I am an IT rep working to rollout Adobe Reader X, and I'm still being asked by users to rollback to version 8 for this MDI malarchy. I am astounded that Adobe has not figured out business processes and needs of users that process large amounts of documents. How many years has this gone un-fixed? I suspect they merged the coding for Mac and Win versions and don't want to go back to separate versions...
I read the Adobe explanation at http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobat/2008/09/mdi_vs_sdi_in_acrobat.html -- it is funny to note that in my company each user has between 4 and 8 screens, 19" or larger. PDF processing wants to be done in one screen, one window, one application.
I gave up waiting and spent some time evaluating alternatives. I'm now happily using PDF-XChange Viewer (the name is somewhat misleading, as it's more than just a viewer). Sure, there are some rare instances in which I go back to the old version of Adobe Acrobat to run some prepress tasks etc., but otherwise PXCV is it.
I wonder sometimes if Adobe is aware of how their products are used. For me as an architect, having a whole set of drawings and other documents in PDF format open, Acrobat 9 is a major step back in the evolution of the software. I wonder if the staff at Adobe have tried having the complete Alt-Tab menu filled with PDF-files?
I've read the blog post that was posted at the top of this page, but I think the reasons were rather weak for dropping MDI. Removing useful features is a big no-no if you ask me.
Hope the next version - or better yet: a hotfix - makes Acrobat behave the way us users want it to.
Adobe, from your blog http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobat/2008/09/mdi_vs_sdi_in_acrobat.html it was indcating that you (Adobe) heard the complaints loud and clear and were working on a solution? Really? Where? I find it exteremly annoying one of your reasons was because Mac users could not use this function anyway. I'm sorry, but we Windows users have ALWAYS used this feature. To have you remove this in version 9 and X is insane. You may want to cut costs on programming, but please it is quite obivious from the complaints on your own forums that users are fed up with your issues under Acrobat 9 and now Acrobat X.
It is 2012 and no MDI support still. Funny how you closed the blog on October 7 2008 because you did not want more complaints. You have really disspointed your clients and I am recommending that we do not go with the next version of Acrobat because of the lack of support from Adobe.
First of all, I use both Macs and Windows, and leaving out a Windows feature because a Machead can't use it defies the imagination. Secondly, am trying to edit a form in Acrobat Pro X and not 9, on a Windows laptop docked in a dual monitor setup (laptop screen and external monitor). Would love to move the Tasks/Fields panel onto the laptop screen so I could see the tab order of my form elements on a different screen from the form itself. While Adobe InDesign allows this, Acrobat does not. Not a happy camper. Will have to take this project home and hook up to a widescreen monitor to get done in a timely fashion without scrolling all over the screen.
If there is a different forum for that, let me know and I will go there.
It seems obvious that not enough customers have been affected by the loss of the MDI environment.
I've finally had to upgrade from WinXP and my Adobe 7 software. I'm now running Windows 7 and Adobe 9 Pro. I am also taking advantage of Win7's support for more than two displays. I've got the laptop display and two external monitors going. The screen arrangement is somewhat unique in that both monitors are rotated to portrait mode and are side by side. (The laptop is _not_ rotated)
The SDI environment makes the Windows Alt+Tab feature nearly useless when I am working with PDF files. In addition to this, each document I open with Acrobat seems to open on a different screen, in a different position, often with the Menu Bar off-page (beyond the established Windows desktop size). This forces me to use keyboard shortcuts to move the window back to usable screen space.
As a result my productivity drops considerably when I need to work with Adobe files, which happens to be all the time.
Is anyone at Adobe watching these community pages? Can I downgrade my license to an older version please?
P.S. I don't use Mac products and don't plan to. On the few occasions that I've been asked to help somebody else with theirs I've found the 'alternate reality' user experience to be frustrating. I have no desire for the software I use to have a similar user experience with anything related to a Mac.
No further updates since Adobe indicated they heard their users "Loud and Clear" and then promptly closed the website from further messages. Messages started on 9-11-2008 until the last post by Adobe on 10-7-2008 -Look here: http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobat/2008/09/mdi_vs_sdi_in_acrobat.html. Seriously this issue has been going on since 2008 and Adobe has YET to provide a fix for us Windows Acrobat users. What "best way we can make this issue better" has happened? nothing that is what.
If you go to this link: http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobat/how-you-can-influence-the-future-of-acrobat/ you will see users have been complaining about this since April 24 2009 from that website as well.
There are plenty of business users who do not want multiple PDF's opening in multiple windows for no rhyme or reason. I prefer and have also preferred one Acrobat window with multiple PDF's. IF I want another window (side-by-side) I can open another Acrobat window manually. Taking away the MDI from Acrobat starting with v9 is outrageous claiming that Mac users cannot use this function. I'm sorry, but since when does MAC users influence what Business users of Windows have always used? The fact that Adobe is trying to save programming by only using codes that are compatible with both systems (Windows and MAC) is the worst excuse I've seen.
There are STILL issues with Acrobat Pro v9.5.4 and not having MDI is becoming more and more of a Pain-in-the-butt! Adobe please Wake Up and see that users since 2008 HAVE been complaining. Fix this MDI problem and no more excuses. Your continuation of ignoring your users makes me think you are like Congress and will DO what You want not want the people want.
Time to look for another alternative to PDF creation and editing in the Windows environment.
In my opinion, Adobe has become too large and customer service has been degraded. (The Left-Hand does not know what the Right-Hand is doing mentality)
I recommend anyone and every Business user who are fed up, go to this website to fill out the Bug report.
Feature / Bug Report:
Let us bombarb this website with business users who are tired of using the Acrobat Pro line (since v9) with MDI support disabled/removed.
Adobe i'm sure reads their own forums (since they run it) but have not indicated when they will be fixing this. I think if more of us use that Feature/Bug report and let Adobe know they really screwed the pooch on this one!
Bring Back MDI support in the Windows Acrobat Pro 9+ line!
Adobe won't restore MDI into versions 9 and X. They want everyone to upgrade to XI, which has a feature called Merge and Combine Files. It may be a suitable alternative:
There are demo videos on that page. I'm waiting for the go-ahead from my company and department that the program is compatible with the rest of our enterprise OSs and specialized software before I load the program.