I recently uninstalled Adobe Reader because it was persistently reinstalling itself as the default reader without permission. While Reader is likely a fine product, there are other products out there that are better at accommodating what I need out of a PDF Reader, primarily being able to do scaled takeoffs of PDF plan sheets. So anyway, I uninstalled the product. Subsequent to this, the PDF file format is no longer recognized by Windows Vista when I go to the Control Panel to set a default and there are thousands of file types but PDF is not one of them. Furthermore, all of my other programs now cannot accept any type of default setting for opening PDFs and require navigating through the menus to find the specific program.
Any tips? This experience is really souring me on Adobe products and appears to be pretty anticompetitive behavior.
Have you installed another PDF viewer since uninstalling Reader?
Have you tried right clicking a PDF, choose "open with", then "Choose Program" after choosing the PDF viewer that you want to use, you should be able to select the box that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." or the equivalent for Vista (that is the option in XP)
Short of that, you can try uninstalling all PDF viewers, running the Microsoft Installer Cleanup Utility to get rid of all traces of them (and Reader if any) then reinstall what you want to use.