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Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar in Office

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If you use Office v. X or Office 2004 for Mac OS X, you are familiar with the Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar. And as a Mac OS X user you are well aware that you can PDF in any application without the help of a stupid toolbar.

But did you know that if you used the Save as PDF, or the Virtual Printer installed with Acrobat 6 Pro, you get the same thing in less then half the time as using that Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar. Yes, it is true. You can test it for yourself.

This Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar exists if you have Acrobat 6 Pro installed, as I do. I, however, do not want to see that Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar show up every single time I open up an Office app.

The real reason I hate that toolbar so much is because it keeps loading when I launch Word or Excel, it is wasted space. If you go to View > Toolbars and uncheck that toolbar, then quit, and relaunch, the toolbar shows up again. If you go to View > Toolbars > Customize Toolbars/Menus and delete the Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar, quit, and relaunch, the toolbar magically shows up again. Even after saying that yes, I want to save the changes I made the the “PDFMaker.dot” file, whatever that is (you only get this warning in Word, not Excel).

If the PDF Maker Toolbar did not always re-spawn under the main toolbar (even if positioned to the right before quitting, closing the PDF Maker Toolbar before quit does not keep it closed either) I would be OK with it. It is a worthless palette on my screen but it is out of the way. Since it shows up the Standard Toolbar and above the document window, it is an annoyance (the PDF Maker Toolbar shows up between the Standard and Equation Toolbar in Excel). I like to be able to use the maximum resolution of my screen for my open documents.

There is an easy solution to this problem. I only found out after finding that this toolbar was in fact called “Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker Toolbar.” After searches for “Adobe” and “Acrobat” I finally found “PDF” inside the MS Office folder.

I say delete these files. Mainly because it is SLOWER to use this palette then to use the Save PDF… button or the Virtual PDF Printer. This is not suprising because of how slow Office has become. Office 2004 is slower then Office v. X, so I am going to assume that to PDF a document in Word 2004 with the PDF Maker is slower then completing the same tast in Office v. X.

Kill these files:

Hard Drive/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/PDFMakerLib
Hard Drive/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Startup/Word/PDFMaker.dot
Hard Drive/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Startup/PowerPoint/PDFMaker.ppa
Hard Drive/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Startup/Excel/PDFMaker.xla

Annoyance fixed!

The next time you launch Acrobat 6, you will get an error message asking to repair PDFMaker. Uncheck PDFMaker, check Don’t show this again, and click Continue. That is the end of the annoyance.


The cat came back, the very next day! OK I have had it with this irritating #$&@! Right-Click on Acrobat 6 Pro and choose Show Package Contents Now go here: Contents/ MacOS/ SelfHealFiles/ and delete the PDFMaker folder. Do the exact same thing to Distiller 6. You may have to go into your Office folder and delete the 4 files outlined above.

IT IS NOW GONE FOR GOOD. It will not come back now. Adobe are you listening?!? THIS SHOULD BE AN OPTION.


This hint works in Office X & 2004 on Mac OS X, and now has been confirmed to work in Office 2003 Pro for Windows, thanks to the latest comment by Doug!

Be sure to read the other comments at my Breaking Windows post.

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About Ken Edwards

  • BJM
  • BJM

    Could you please post instructions on how to do this in Office 2003 for Windows?

  • Steven Jones

    Thank You

  • Glenn

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • bliffle

    Switch to one of the excellent distros for any linux flavor and use one of the excellent PDF readers and editors therein.

    90% of your troubles will disappear. And for the few occasional problems you have will be more easily solved by the helpful community of linux users and the many alternatives to Adobe and Microsoft products.

  • Nick

    Thanks so much! $#%&#@ Adobe!

  • Sarah


  • d.i. johnson

    Thanks for the hint. But in looking here for the solution, your tip pointed me toward this simpler solution in Office X:

    Inside the Microsoft Office X folder are the subfolders Office > Startup.

    Inside this Startup folder are additional subfolders for Excel, PowerPoint and Word.

    Inside each is a file named pdfmaker.xxx. This file starts the pdfmaker toolbar.

    The easy fix is to create a folder named “Disabled” in …Microsoft Office X > Startup and move the file pdfmaker.xxx into it.

    If you ever want the pdfmaker toolbar back, just return the pdfmaker.xxx file back into it’s original location.

    I hope this is helpful. Cheers!

  • bk

    Thank you, thank you!!
    I wish I’d found this 3 yrs ago when you wrote it….

  • Chris

    Thank you ever so much!!

    You are my new and powerful god!

  • Thanks much! Just wanted to make clear for others looking at this later that you have to get rid of all of the 4 listed files, as well as the folder in the update 2 at the top of the page and then you should be good.

    This worked in Acrobat Professional 7 in Office X on Mac OS X 10.4.10.

    Thanks, Ian

  • Daisy

    This was a great comment. Thanks for taking the time. Worked like a charm.

  • Thanks so much!

  • Mister Programmer

    Haha. Thanks, I knew I’ve done this in Windows, now I did it in Mac too.

  • macvill

    My problem was with Outlook 2003.

    The solution that worked for me, similar to Liz Fraley above:

    – Go to [wherever]AdobeAcrobat\PDFMaker\Mail\Outlook\ files may be.
    – Rename PDFMOutlook.dll to (1)PDFMOutlook.dll
    – Next time you open Outlook 2004, Adobe will try to repair: cancel. It opens with no PDFMaker toolbar! It never asked to repair again.

    Hope this helps.

  • juan

    Oh, man
    You’ll keep collecting thanks big time with this tip. It has made my office experience SO much better. THANK YOU!

  • Stephen

    Thank you! I’ve been pissed at that thing for so long. I tried everything in Word to get rid of it. This was the first site on Google I tried. I know many people have said it, but I feel I need to: thank you!

  • josh

    I found it extremely ridiculous to steal screen space on my limited macbook screen. I am so glad that I’m not the only person who hated this toolbar and is relieved to have it removed. I don’t feel quite so anal anymore!

  • Matt

    Thank you!
    Finally got rid of that annoying toolbar. If it could only remember to stay out of the way, or allow me to toggle it on and off I would have kept it.

  • Liz Fraley

    If it still doesn’t go away in Outlook/XP/Acrobat 7.0 (I could NOT get rid of it), two choices:

    1) if you also have Acrobat 6.0:

    in this folder:
    [wherever]\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\PDFMaker\Mail\Outlook\

    Delete file: PDFMOutlook.dll

    Go to this folder:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Acrobat

    copy this file:

    Into the 7.0 folder and rename to “PDFMOutlook.dll”

    No errors in Outlook
    No attempts by Adobe to fix/reinstall

    2) 2nd choice: No Acrobat 6.0

    Same as above, go delete PDFMOutlook.dll in 7.0 tree.

    Create an empty text file, but rename it “PDFMOutlook.dll”.

    You’ll get an error when you open outlook, but it’s better than the Toolbar.

  • ari

    Thank You!!! That was very annoying indeed.

  • maddym

    To disable pdfmaker tool bar in Mac OSX Office 2004, here is ther easy option:

    1. Open Acrobat
    2. In the Help menu, select Detect & Repair
    3. Un-check the box for the PDFMaker plug-in
    4. Click OK.

  • Craig

    Thank you. The hint worked perfectly with Office 2004 and Adobe 7 Pro

  • Burachan

    Thank you!

  • Mike

    Thanks – worked perfectly in Office X on OS 10.4.6

  • Mehmet

    You’re great. I have spent hours to get rid of that stupid toolbar before reading your tips. Thank you so much.

  • Ahh, I hate that QT system tray icon. At least that was easier to disable! You just had to look in the Control Panel and switch it off.

  • Thank you so much!

    I cannot understand how companies can get away with such deceitful practices.

    Reminds me of the QuickTime systray icon:-)

  • Chris

    Just like the rest of them, THANKS A MILLION!
    I got so fed up with that stupid toolbar and now it’s gone……GONE!!!!
    Thanks again

  • Stuart

    LOL… I’m amazed to find blogs, articles, and so many other people after a fix for this on the net. Quite nice have that stupid toolbar gone.

    I thought there might be a documented fix *somewhere* but not this level of exposure. 🙂

  • Karina

    Hate to be repetitous – but THANKYOU!

    It makes me ridiculously happy to open Word and not have that annoying toolbar pop up and knock my document down the screen. 🙂

  • JB Peterson

    Thank you

    I did delete all the pdfmaker files and that bloody toolbar has finally disappeared. As far as I am concerned, programming that was equivalent to theft. Desktop real estate is attention. Shame on Adobe for their cheap marketing ploy. They could have designed the icons so they fit neatly into another toolbar but, instead, chose to steal 3/8 of an inch from every user. Sad and second rate behavior from a good company.

  • Carrie Cohill

    Thank you for your confirmation that it is okay to delete these files. My files were in a different folder than you indicated. I did a search for “PDFMaker” as part of the file name in the Program Files folder. A whole slew of templates for MS Office came up and I deleted them all. What a relief to get rid of that message!
    Thank you!

  • Donald

    Works with Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0 and Microsoft Office 2004 too. Thanks for the hint (if only this stupid PDFMaker toolbar could be set to off or given a less annoying location …)

  • Jason

    THANK YOU! You have saved my Mac, because now I won’t succumb to rage and inevitable smash it over my knee in misdirected fury.

  • THANK YOU! This has got to be one of the most annoying word features eva!

  • jk

    another huge thank-you

    you expressed my thoughts exactly

  • shakira

    Yes, to add to those before me, you are wonderful to have found out how to delete that pesky pdf maker thing on toolbars everywhere that are so very annoying and make my toolbars too long with no room for critical elements that I actually use. I was so glad to read your directions. Thanks.

  • THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for this PDF Maker removal tip. I did all the same things other users tried: deleting it from the Word Toolbar etc. I even tred fishing around the registry. Your tip did the trick.

  • Geoffrey Buhl

    This hint has been extremely helpful. It has saved my from untold ire directed at that little horrible pdfmaker pallete. Thank you.

  • Francois

    You can add to your list a fifth file to delete :


    By the way, you can quicky get the list of all the five files to delete by typing “pdfmaker” in a Finder’s window search box.




  • THANK YOU!!!!!

    Adobe clearly is just trying to keep their icons visible as some kind of marketing ploy, sacrificing the user experience as a result.

    Thank heavens for your research on this.

  • b1

    There is a god! I like Adobe Products, well damn, I use them every day but that toolbar has to be the single worst bit of programming the adobe guys have EVER done (well, maybe short of PageMaker) But anyway, thank you!!!!!

  • Ryan

    Thank you. Thank you so much. THANK YOU!
    All I can say is thank you. You are a genious. You are close to God. I could have saved 48 hours of time if I would have found your site earlier

  • Krofojed

    I don’t know about Mac, but in Windows, if you print to PDF virtual printer, you don’t get links (web links and links produced by cross-reference option) in your PDF, which you do if you use the toolbar. Possibly toolbar has other advantages, so IMO it’s quite worthwhile.

  • sharaf

    i have a prob with office 2002 and pdfwriter 4.00

  • Lunatik

    Adobe’s customer support was most unhelpful on this issue. They are incredibly clueless. I mistakenly did a search on the Adobe website, and, as bad as their customer service is, their website support is even worse. Fortunately, this simple answer was here, and the problem is solved. Adobe, GET A CLUE!

  • Bob

    THANK YOU!!!! I wasted an hour trying to fix it until I did a simple Google search and found your site.

  • N/A

    Annoying isnt it. Useless pesky PDF toolbar.

    Thanks for the tip.