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Every Computer needs Adobe Reader?

Updated on April 13, 2010

Every Computer needs Adobe Reader?


Abobe Reader needs to be on your computer.

Oh, really? Why is that?

It's an extremely popular product.

Reruns of The View are also popular, but I don't want them on my computer.

Your computer needs Adobe Reader because sooner or later someone will send you an email attachment or a document that requires Adobe Reader. If you don't have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, the file will be unreadable. You won't be able to open it.

Uh Oh. What if that happens?

You will have to ask them to resend the attachment in some other format. This could lead to social ostracism, or worse.

I'm convinced. How much does this program cost?

It's free.


No lie. It's free.

Where can I get it?

You can download it at

Do they accept PayPal or Visa?

Weren't you listening? It's free.

It is difficult to install?

Not at all. Just download the 40 MB program and launch it. Almost everything is automated.

Cool. Why is it free?

Adobe Reader is free because the Adobe Writer costs money.

Wait... do I need Adobe Writer also?

No No No. You only need Adobe Reader. Unless you want to create or edit documents in the "PDF" format.


PDF stands for "Portable Document Format". It's a type of document that is readable by the Adobe Reader program. Most other popular word processing programs can't read it.

Ha Ha. You said PDF Format, which means you actually said "Portable Document Format Format".

You are easily amused, aren't you?

Umm. yes. Anyway, why would I need Adobe Writer?

You would need Adobe Writer (actually called Adobe Acrobat) if you want to create documents and distribute them to other people who have Adobe Reader.

How much is Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat comes in three flavors:

  • Acrobat Standard
  • Acrobat Pro
  • Acrobat Pro Extended

The Standard version starts at $299.

That's a lot of Caffè Lattes.

Using the Standard version of Adobe Acrobat, you can create PDF forms that can be filled in, you can add digital signatures to documents, and you can even scan a paper document and convert it to a searchable PDF document.

Why doesn't Adobe Reader come with my computer?

Sometimes it does. Some operating systems provide it automagically while others do not. There's a myriad of legal reasons as to why you might have to manually download it and install it. A vendor who elects to pre-install it on their computers may face the wrath of Abobe Reader competitors. Some software companies tend to throw a digital hissy fit if their proprietary document reader isn't granted the same privileges.

It's all so complicated!

You can find PDF readers from other vendors if you are willing to search. Given that Adobe Reader is free, most people simply stick with it.

Thanks for the great advice. I will save up to buy a copy of Adobe Reader so I can be prepared to receive PDF documents.

Did I remember to tell you it's free?


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    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 7 years ago

      I figured out how to create a pdf file with photoshop :)

      Quite amusing and a good read!

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Another great hub I so enjoyed it. And 299 bucks no thanks.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA I see your point, but theoretically a web page is also read-only and we know what a wonderful virus transmission mechanism that has become.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Tom Whitworth: you caught me. Too much allergy medicine.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      D'accord! Isn't it also true Adobe reader is a read-only download so can never give your computer a virus?

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I see you're up also. Maybe the title should be "Every insomniac needs Adobe Reader."

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj: I may change the title: "Every nutjob cab driver needs Adobe Reader."


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      So what I want to know is, Who were you talking to? As my hero, De Niro, would say, "Are you talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to me?"