Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Error "The file AdobePDF.dll is needed" installing CS3 on 64-bit Windows

This came up when installing Adobe CS3 on Windows 7 64-bit.

The fix is here. Thanks to Adobe for providing this.


Windows Vista 64-bit

In order for Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional to be supported, the application will need to be updated after installation.
  1. When the error occurs, click Cancel to exit the dialog and continue with the installation.
  2. Install the Microsoft has Hot Fix as documented in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #930627 available at
  3. Update Acrobat to version 8.1 or later. The Acrobat update is available on the Adobe website at

Windows 7 64-bit

Manually extract the file "adobepdf.dll_64" from the file before installing Acrobat. When the prompt appears, navigate to this file and select it.
  1. Navigate to the folder that contains the setup.exe file for your Acrobat 8 installation.
  2. Locate the file "" and open it (this may require a third party compression utility, such as WinZip).
  3. Inside the content listings, locate the file "adobepdf.dll_64" and copy it to your desktop.
  4. Run the installer setup.exe and when the prompt appears, choose browse and select the file you copied to the desktop.
    Note: If the file cannot be selected, change the file type drown down in the dialog box to "Files of All Types", or rename the file to "adobepdf.dll" by removing "_64" from the end of the file extension.

PDF Preview Handler for Vista, error

After installing Windows 7 64-bit and Adobe Creative Suite CS3 we ran into this error:
"PDF Preview Handler for Vista"

The ability to preview pdf's in windows wasn't functioning. This has been fixed in newer versions of Creative Suite, but not CS3.

The Fix can be found here. Thank you to Leo Davidson at

Or you can fix it yourself using the registry editor:

Open RegEdit and go to:


If it doesn't exist then you may not have Adobe Reader installed in the first place. Or Adobe may have changed the way they install it. Or you may be on 32-bit Windows. Or you may be on 64-bit Windows but have run the 32-bit version of RegEdit.exe by mistake.

There should be an existing AppID value, incorrectly set to {6d2b5079-2f0b-48dd-ab7f-97cec514d30b}

Change the AppID value to {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}

Now see if the same registry path exists but without the Wow6432Node part. If it does exist, make the same change as before. If it doesn't exist then that's fine and you can skip this part.

(This second area will exist if Adobe Reader was installed on Windows Vista. That includes Vista machines which were later upgraded to Windows 7. I think it's due to changes in the way 32-bit registry redirection works in Windows 7. If you have both values you need to change both; if you only have one you only need to change that one.)

If you are using 64-bit Office 2010 beta then the second area (without the Wow6432Node) must exist for the preview handler to work. Copy the registry keys/values there if it doesn't exist. Or just use the automated tool above as it will do this for you. This extra step is not required for the retail (RTM) version of Office 2010; only for the beta.

If you have/had another PDF preview handler installed, such as FoxIt or PDF-XChange, then whichever handler was installed last will usually be the one which is used. Uninstalling preview handlers does not always put back the previous ones; instead, do a repair install or a re-install of the preview handler you wish to use so that it takes over the PDF preview handler registration. You can also do this by editing the PDF file-type in the registry. The tool above takes care of this and all the other issues so use that if you get stuck.