Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cannot start Adobe Reader in desktop mode in Windows 8?

Windows 8 start screen looks like this.
Windows 8 has a new type of screen that I've seen has been called "Metro mode". Basically, it's the start menu that has been exploded out to a full screen, with options available on the right-hand side to take you to further tools such as a search tool. Clicking on the search icon, for example, gives you a screen labelled 'Apps'. (There's something happening in Microsoft's design department that is pushing the desktop PC into the world of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.) It's not so bad, except that it doesn't seem as though you can run Adobe Reader in desktop mode.

Desktop mode is where all your applications, such as Outlook or Word, run. It's the same kind of environment that has been standard on personal computers, including Macs and Windows boxes, from time immemorial. Nobody has to tell you how to operate it, it's completely intuitive. Metro mode, on the other hand, is not. It doesn't follow the same logic as desktop mode.

Because you're running all your regular applications in desktop mode you might need to use Adobe Reader in desktop mode as well. For example, let's say someone emails you a PDF document containing numbers some of which you want to type into a spreadsheet. If the spreadsheet - Excel in this case - is running in desktop mode you will also want Adobe Reader to run in desktop mode so that you can just switch your attention back and forth between the two applications, and type in the numbers you need using Excel. If Adobe Reader doesn't work in desktop mode, you have to keep navigating between Metro mode and desktop mode and, of course, you'll forget the numbers you want to bring across, in the process. It's sort of a nightmare.

I tried to get Adobe Reader to come across to desktop mode, but I couldn't do it. On the start screen (in Metro mode) you have 'tiles' each of which represents an application. You can right-click a tile and a menu appears at the bottom of the screen. One of the options you see there is 'pin to taskbar'. This lets you "pin" a symbol for an application to the taskbar in desktop mode. This means you will be able to use that application in desktop mode. If you right-click Word, for example, you get this option. But if you right-click Adobe Reader in metro mode there is no such option. Which means that you cannot use Adobe Reader in desktop mode, it seems.

We are entering the realms of nightmares now. There is no information about this problem on the Microsoft website as far as I can see (if you know where the solution is, please tell me). I called Microsoft support but they said that they do not support this kind of problem, only technical problems. They referred me to the Microsoft website. Nothing. Elsewhere online I can see that other people apart from me are having the same problem with Adobe Reader in Windows 8. But there are no solutions offered. Like I said, if you know how to get Adobe Reader to run in desktop mode in Windows 8, I am all ears.

UPDATE Thurs 10.35am: I should have mentioned this before, but on my computer printing from Adobe Reader in metro mode doesn't work. There's no problem printing from any application in desktop mode, and I can also scan from the printer from there with no problem, so it's not a printer setup problem. In fact, to get what I needed I had to take a screen grab of the page in the PDF shown in metro mode, paste this into my graphics manipulation software, and print from there. Hardly an elegant solution, wouldn't you agree?

And Microsoft on Twitter has said, "We'll look into this." Just a matter of waiting, then.

UPDATE Thurs 3.45pm: @WindowsAU account on Twitter (thanks Helen) told me to go to this page at the Adobe website where there's a link to the installation page for what's called Adobe Reader XI. This is the PDF reader you'll want if you want to open PDFs in desktop mode. Not sure why Microsoft does not include this version of Adobe Reader in its regular PC build.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I must say I am very disappointed with Windows 8 (should have stayed with 7) Thanks for the info I will download the one you mentioned

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. To clarify for new windows 8 users who may read your post (you are top on google right now) you can open adobe reader on desktop mode.

When we purchase windows 8 (a touch ready operating system (o/s)) software/devices the installation comes with a selection of use-ready apps including reader. These launch in Metro mode, the touch specific environment.

We can use the two environment independently of each other if we want, choose what suits you :) like any new device, o/s, software give yourself a break and some time to learn the new features.

When we buy/install Windows (even on older platforms) reader isn't standard, why? it's not windows software, we've always installed it like any other piece of software we've wanted to use and Windows 8 is no different here:)

In most cases only touch versions of common software are installed when by Windows 8 to get you going, you can install more from the app store, like installing Apples' apps on iDevices.

For info on getting abdobe reader for Windows 8 desktop refer Adobe:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/5113777

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information:)

Anonymous said...

Yup. That worked. One more annoyance of Windows8 now overcome.

How to install Windows8 step by step With Screen Shot and free download said...

I must say I am very disappointed with Windows 8 (should have stayed with 7) Thanks for the info I will download the one you mentioned

Anonymous said...

Ctrl + P to print in Metro mode

Anonymous said...

Your post was (is) of great help. From Rio de Janeiro, BRA.

Teresa Duhl said...

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed.

Teresa Duhl said...

Thank you. This is just what I needed.

Teresa said...

What a life saver! Thank you for this. You were right, before you put me on to Adobe XI, it was a complete nightmare!

Anonymous said...

ctrl+p will print from metro adobe pdf acrobat reader, but I'd just download the proper one
from http://adfos.com

Anonymous said...

Sorry...Windows 8 IS different. We all know reader is not MS software. But for god sakes why would you put a reader app that just irritates everybody because it doesn't do much to begin with. Maybe exclude it and leave a link so users can download the CORRECT version they want. Stupid MS. Excellent post BTW with solution for people who got irritated by what appears to be a useless app IN Windows 8.

Anonymous said...

1. I have downloaded a start button for desktop.
2. Pinned Adobe Reader to the taskbar in desktop.
3. Changed "Reader" (a metro application) to "Adobe Reader" as default for PDF files

Florence said...

Thanks for that link to adobe. Worked perfectly and solved my problem :)

Max Terry said...

I found another way to do it. Download the PDF file, and open any browser. Drag the PDF to the tabs location, and it will open in a tab. You can then lift this tab out as a new window, and place them side-by-side with the snap feature of the windows desktop!

Anonymous said...

thank you very much

Sean Bills said...

I just wanted to say thanks! this has been a major issue.
I am enjoying windows 8 enough but I do prefer 7 and I'm tired of this tablet nonsense on my laptop.

Have any of you had issues installing Adobe air? I have and I can not figure out how to fix it.

Sean Bills said...

I am fine with Windows 8 so far but this has been an issue. Thank you for posting a fix.

The only other issue I've had is Adobe air. I simply can't install it and keep getting an error message upon install.

Has anyone else had this issue? I can't seem to find a fix.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this solution! I assumed my printer was the problem, but so glad I did a Google search and found your blog. I went to the link you provided and downloaded the correct version of Adobe Reader and now it is much more user friendly and I can print successfully! (I have been using Windows 8 for almost a year, and I still find it very frustrating.)

Anonymous said...

Geez.....what babies....Come on...

Anonymous said...

Solution to get your PDF Doc into desktop mode, Print your PDF Doc to XPS Document..

Anonymous said...

works great. thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks a mill for your post. What a @#$%ing nightmare! Having to restart, resize and find your last place within 1000's of pages of a pdf in order to reference a written document when you have deadline. Why take a perfectly good system and ruin it, I wonder what genius over at Microsoft thought that up.