Although your Mac comes with a program (Preview) to view PDF documents, there are some advantages to installing Adobe Reader and using it to view them. Adobe has recently released Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which offers some new options to give us more flexibility using PDF files and you can install the program for free.
I do not recommend you remove your Preview application as it is used to view other types of documents other than PDF files, so leave it there. If you have a previous version of Adobe Reader already installed on your system, I recommend you remove it first before installing the new version. To do so, open Finder, go to Applications and move Adobe Reader to your Trash to uninstall it.
Next, open Safari and in the address bar at the top, type in www.adobe.com. After Adobe’s website opens, select Menu at the top and then at the bottom, select Adobe Reader DC. Under Optional offer, remove the checkmark if you don’t want to install Lightroom 5 or any other software offered along with Adobe Reader. Now, select Install now to proceed with the installation.
If you are using an older version of OS X, select the link “Do you have a different language or operating system?” and you will be able to select your operating system beginning in Step 1. If you don’t know your current operating system, in the Apple menu, select About This Mac to find it.
Next, you will need to open your downloads folder at the top-right. It has a downward facing arrow in a box. Click it to open. You can also find your Downloads folder in Finder. Next, double-click the “AdobeReaderInstaller” file. If you have more than one in your downloads folder, double-click the one that has “dc” in the name. After the installer opens, you will need to double-click the “Install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC” icon to begin the installation. When you get the notification that “Install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is an application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?” click Open. Next, enter your Apple ID password to allow it to install, click OK. The Adobe Reader Installer will appear and begin the download and installation.
Once the installation is complete, you can click Finish to close the box. Close all the open windows. There will be an Adobe installer icon on your desktop that you can move to the trash as well.
Next, open Finder and select Applications. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. To continue, you will need to agree to the license agreement. The Acrobat Reader welcome screen appears. Next week, I will cover some of the new options available in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
One more thing that you may want to do is set the default for your PDF documents so they all open in Adobe Reader DC. Open Finder and locate a PDF file in your Documents or All My Files folders. If you don’t have one, copy one to your desktop for this procedure. Once you locate a PDF file, click on it once and then at the top in the menu bar, select File, then select Get Info. Next, in the window that opens, select Open With, located near the bottom. Choose Adobe Acrobat Reader DC in the drop-down menu and click the Change All button. Click Continue to make the change to open all PDF documents with Adobe Reader and then you can close the window. Now, all your PDF documents will open with the new Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
For 14 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 300 articles about the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@Live.com.