The Mac Orchard - HomeHelpFAQALEMIAForumsDrew's Picks

Helper Applications

Adobe Reader

Home Page Release Notes Release Notes License:

Current Version: 7.1.0 (May 12, 2008) / 8.1.3 (November 5, 2008) / 9.3.3 (June 30, 2010)

Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) is the industry standard tool for reading and interacting with PDF (Portable Document Format) files (although Mac OS X's built-in "Preview" application handles the vast majority of PDFs with aplomb).

The version 8.1.3 update addresses a number of customer workflow issues and security vulnerabilities while providing more stability. These issues are described in detail in the online release notes.

Version 9.3.3 - the latest release for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later - addresses a few security and stability issues. Version 9.0 added/changed the following:

  • Improved launch speeds - Looking for faster launch speeds? Adobe has enhanced general performance and, in particular, has reduced launch times with Adobe Reader 9. Try it: You'll notice the difference.
  • PDF Portfolios - Packages, introduced in Adobe Reader 8, have been greatly enhanced and renamed. Portfolios provide easy navigation when you work with multiple PDF documents and other document types. They also enable you to work with a collection of materials such as drawings, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, and videos as a single file, which makes distribution, storage, retrieval, and collaboration easy for end users.
  • Native Adobe Flash support - Adobe Reader 9 can natively display rich media content, which you'll notice immediately with Portfolios. Interested in viewing SWF and FLV files? Adobe Reader 9 is the answer.
  • (beta) - Included with Adobe Reader 9 is (beta), an exciting new set of online services from Adobe. With, you can create PDF files online; create and coauthor documents with others; host live web meetings; upload and share PDF files and other types of documents and control who has access to them; and even embed a rich, interactive preview of your document in a web page. All of these services and more are provided online, so you can access them from anywhere. And you'll find easy access points from within Reader 9. As an added convenience, leverages Adobe AIR, so you can interact with from your desktop. on Adobe AIR is a small application that is included with your download of Adobe Reader 9. Available in select languages. Learn more
  • Improved CAD and geospatial functionality - CAD and geospatial functionality have been greatly enhanced in Adobe Reader 9. For instance, CAD designs or geospatial maps that have been converted to PDF offer Adobe Reader users access to CAD features, such as dimensions, or map features, such as longitude and latitude, for powerful collaboration and interaction.
  • PDF Standards Pane - When a PDF/A or PDF/X standard compliant file is opened, a Standards Pane appears and provides important file details.
  • Security enhancements - Adobe Reader 9 provides new digital signature functionality for an improved user experience. The new version also adds support for 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Accessibility enhancements - Adobe Reader 9 significantly improves the viewing of XFA forms for accessibility, while providing greater screen reader support.
  • Adobe Reader 9 MUI - Adobe Reader 9 MUI is Adobe's Multilingual User Interface version. This product is capable of installing any combination of supported languages. So, for example, you can install French, German, and Spanish simultaneously and then have the capability to switch among those languages within Adobe Reader. The user interface changes to the appropriate language on the fly.

Version 9 is for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and higher; version 8 is for Mac OS X 10.4.3 and higher; version 7 is for Mac OS X 10.2.2 and higher. Version 4.05 is available for OS 7.5.3 - 8.5; version 5.05 is available for OS 8.6 - 9.0; and version 5.1 is available for OS 9.1 - 10.2.1. All of these downloads are available at

User Reviews

Currently, no user reviews have been submitted. Send me yours!

Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!