October 15, 2012

Adobe Reader XI Deployment

Adobe Reader XI is now available and along with this release comes some interesting tools for deployment:

  • Citrix XenApp enhancements for better performance (it’s not clear whether this specifically XenApp or RDS enhancements. Hopefully this means reduced memory requirements)
  • New App-V support, including a Package Accelerator (presumably this is App-V 4.6, not 5.0)
  • GPO Template for the most common enterprise settings (this includes a hand full of settings; however removing menu and toolbar items still requires resorting to Javascript)

There’s a full list of new features in this blog post: Announcing Adobe Reader XI. All of the bits that are currently available can be downloaded here:


Customisation of Reader XI with the Adobe Customization Wizard XI is the same approach as previous versions and I have a comprehensive post on deploying Adobe Reader X which will largely apply to XI, but Adobe does have customisation and deployment documentation available:

The Adobe Customization Wizard XI for Windows is now available and the administration experience does not change massively (or at all) from previous versions.

Extracting Reader XI from the installer is the same as previous versions – run the following command:

AdbeRdr11000_en_US -nos_o"C:\Folder" -nos_ne

Restricting user interface elements in Acrobat/Reader XI is the same as previous versions. This cannot be performed by Group Policy but requires Javascript instead. Here’s an example Javascript that you can use to hide the most common menu items:


// [Help - Repair Adobe Reader Installation]

// [Help - Check for Updates]

// [Help - Purchase Adobe Acrobat]

// [Help - Digital Editions]
app.hideMenuItem("eBook:Digital Edition Services");

// [Help - Online Support]

// [Help - Online Support - Knowledge Base]

// [Help - Online Support - Adobe Support Programs]

// [Help - Online Support - Adobe User Community]

// [Help - Online Support - Accessibility Resource Center]

// [Help - Online Support - Generate System Report]

// [Help - Product Improvement Options]

// [File - Share Files Using SendNow Online]
app.hideMenuItem("SPAObject 51");

// [File - CreatePDF Online]
app.hideMenuItem("SPAObject 47");

Save this file as HideItems.js and copy the file into %ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\Javascripts.

To create a custom transform file, open the extracted AcroRead.msi, set your required options and save the transform file. The following table list some recommended options to set via the Customization Wizard. Review these settings to see how they might apply in your environment.

SectionItem and Settings
Personalization OptionsSuppress display of End User License Agreement (EULA) [Enabled]
Installation OptionsDefault viewer for PDF files [Installer will decide]
Remove all versions of Reader [Enabled]
Enable Optimization [Enabled]
Enable Caching of installer files on local hard drive [Enabled]
Run Installation [Unattended]
If reboot required at the end of installation [Suppress reboot]
Files and FoldersDestination Computer [ProgramFilesFolder / Adobe /Reader 11.0 / Reader / Javascripts / HideItems.js]
ShortcutsRemove [Desktop / Aobe Reader XI shortcut]
SecurityProtected View [Off / Files from potentially unsafe locations / All files]
WebMail ProfilesPrevent end user from configuring WebMail profile [Enabled]
Online and Adobe online services FeaturesDisable product updates [Enabled]
Load trusted root certificates from Adobe [Enable & Install silently]
In Adobe Reader, disable Help > Purchase Adobe Acrobat [Enabled]
Disable Help > Digital Editions [Enabled]
Disable Product Improvement Program [Enabled]
Disable Viewin of PDF with Ads for Adobe PDF [Enabled]


Deployment of Reader XI will be largely the same as Reader X and 9 before it, so if you’ve deployed Reader previously there’s little new.

Although Adobe Reader is free you’ll need to agree to and obtain a license to distribute it in your own environment. Obtaining a license is simple, you’ll just need to answer a few questions such as the number of copies, how you will distribute Reader, which platforms and some information on your company including contact information. To apply for the license go to the Adobe Runtimes / Reader Distribution License Agreement.

To deploy Reader in your environment, you would continue to use the same approaches you are using today. Now might be the time to look at delivering Reader with App-V as this is now officially supported. The only hurdle will continue to be in browser (embedded) viewing of PDFs under Internet Explorer.

Whilst the Group Policy management support is great and way overdue, there’s currently only a handful of settings – don’t expect the same level of policy configuration that we get with Microsoft Office. It remains to be seen whether more will be required in production environments.


Go forth and deploy.

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  • Antonin

    Hi, just to let you know… the HideItems.js didn’t worked properly… so i remove the “;” at the end of each lines and it started to work !

    becomes :


    Anyone else had to do this ?

    • Antonin

      Nevermind 😉 was looking too fast… looks like it takes about 3-4 seconds before the javascript kicks-in… that would have been nice if it would have loaded faster…

      The users could still access the menu items before it disappears…

      Any ideas to speed up the settings loading time ?

  • Perfect! Very useful for a network administrator like me 😀

  • Pingback: Deploying Adobe Reader X | Aaron Parker()

  • It will work if the browser is running inside the virtual environment as well. It won’t work if the browser is running outside of the virtual environment because it then knows nothing about the Reader plugin.

  • Tom

    Is this the correct syntax??
    We only want to hide the Print button…
    // hide the print button
    Thank you, Tom
    P.S. Is the ending semi-colon required??

    • The syntax is correct, but I’ve had issues hiding the toolbar buttons – I’ve not got that to work yet. Yes the semi-colon is required, it’s basic Javascript.

      • tom

        Thank you, I asked because someone commented below that they got it to work *without* the colon, though I know the semi-colon is standard JS. Thank you, Tom

      • tom

        And the actual statement app.hideToolbarButton(“Print”); is correct so far as you know?? I have done this edit into all our XenApp servers and the button is not hiding in 10.1.2 — this has worked in 9.x on other servers…Thank you, Tom

        • I presume that it isn’t because it’s not hiding the toolbar button

  • Tom

    Another question: Are the javascripts only functional if deployed at install time?? Or can the javascripts be edited after installation??
    Thank you, Tom

    • The Javascript files can be edited after deployment and take effect on next launch of Reader. You can test this quite easily by elevating a copy of Notepad, opening the file, make a change a save it, reopen Reader

      • tom

        Thank you for replying so quickly, I will test again…

  • Volker Kleiner

    works perfect for WIN7 and App-V 4.x but using App-V 5.0 and WIN8 did not work.
    Seems to be, that the Adobe Customization Wizard XI is not released for WIN8 yet.

  • Ben

    Group Policy management support has been there since the beginning of time. The only item missing was a premade GPO template. The existing template is provided so that users can use the Preference Reference to add any of the 500+ documented settings–it makes no attempt to provide all settings since most admins won’t care about 98% of them.

  • John

    Hi Aaron. Just wondering if you knew why Adobe removed the ‘Display PDF in Browser’ option under the Preferences page of the Customisation Wizard for Reader XI? It seems that now PDF’s will open in the browser by default, and if you don’t want that to happen you need to go to Manage Add-Ons under IE and then select Run Without Permission then select Adobe Reader PDF and then Disable it on each clients machine. Do you know of a way to do this during the installation of Adobe Reader or if that can’t be done a way to do it in Internet Explorer silently perhaps as a separate scripted task after you install Reader? thanks

    • No idea why, but you might be able to achieve the same thing with the option ‘When launching PDF in Internet Explorer, prompt user with Open/Save dialog’

      • Matthew

        You can do this with a registry hack:



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  • Ricardo Cooper

    Hey Aaron, I used the LiteItems.js from the X tutorial on XI Reader to get a list of stuff I can hide, does not show any menu buttons…Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

    I would like to get a list of menu buttons I want to hide

    • Since X or XI, I don’t think we can report on the buttons. Something must have changed and there might be another way, but I haven’t seen how at this time.

  • jonathanpitre

    There is

  • Schakal

    I deploy adobe reader 11.0.3 with App-V 5. The language is german. After allocate the package to my test clients, start the reader and now the language ist english. Can anyone explain me why this happen?

    • santosh

      Even I’m facing here the same with french language.Have you got any solution?

  • wdcsad

    i need javascript for adobe print option
    pls help me

  • Santosh

    Hi Aaron,
    I have sequenced the Adobe Reader 11.04 french edition using APP-v 5.0 SP2, however after publishing the sequenced the application I’m getting the application english instead of French.
    Please help me on this.

  • Karan

    Hi Aaron, I have installed acrobat reader 11 on my tests machine but I can’t use/open pdf file inside the app-v bubble, whilw I have launched it from outside, I have alreadt disabled protected mode option, but still could not get it working, please advise if you have any more information on this

    • Hi Karan, if the Reader executable is already open and you attempt to open another instance, Reader will see the existing instance and invoke it.

      • Karan

        Hello Aaron, Sorry !! I am not very clear with your comment, may be you need to elaboret to make me understand, As of now we have been using reader 10 & following fixed were added to the osd file to have reader launched out side & inside the biubble without any problems, but same does not work with version 11.0.


        “C:Program Files (x86)AdobeReader 11.0ReaderAcroRd32.exe” /N “%1”

        Many thanks for your valuable comments!!

  • Guest

    Hi I have a problem with my PDF reader, I published my PHP file into

  • g

    Hi Aaron, trying to use the Files and Folders feature in the
    wizard to drop a text file under ProgramFiles/Adobe but once compiled the file doesn’t
    get created. Any ideas on what I could
    be doing wrong?

  • Wunth

    Any chance of a post relating to Adobe Reader DC or is it just a case of avoid if you can? Got here via the post about managed/unmanaged policies – helped me start the day way less confused, thanks!