PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

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PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

dianed143@comcast.net
I tried to download a beneficiary from from a financial institution today and also have a meeting with a financial advisor soon. He also sent me a PDF.


I cannot open either, I am getting a “Please wait. 

If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents of the document, your PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document.

You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.

For more assistance with Adobe Reader visit http://www.adobe.com/go/acrreader


I have done quite a few financial things in the past 2 months with no issues, but not with these particular companies.

I have Safari, Chrome and Firefox, in addition to Preview and Illustrator. All are updated. Is there a way around this or am I forced to download Adobe Reader?

Thanks!
Diane
Early 2015 MBP Retina 13”
10.10.5 (well as updated as Yosemite allows. Perhaps I will take the plunge soon)



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Marilyn Matty




Sent from my iPad
> On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I tried to download a beneficiary from from a financial institution today and also have a meeting with a financial advisor soon. He also sent me a PDF.

PDFs that have interactive content or require filling in blanks can make Preview go bezerk.

>
> I have done quite a few financial things in the past 2 months with no issues, but not with these particular companies.
>
> I have Safari, Chrome and Firefox, in addition to Preview and Illustrator. All are updated. Is there a way around this or am I forced to download Adobe Reader?
>

Acrobat Reader is free and works very well with even very elderly Macs. It handles live links, etc.

Marilyn



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

dianed143@comcast.net
>
> Sent from my iPad
>> On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I tried to download a beneficiary from from a financial institution today and also have a meeting with a financial advisor soon. He also sent me a PDF.
>
> PDFs that have interactive content or require filling in blanks can make Preview go bezerk.
>

I’m sure they are fill-in forms, but I’ve used them in the past. Just odd I’ve gotten 2 in the same day that won’t work.


>>
>> I have done quite a few financial things in the past 2 months with no issues, but not with these particular companies.
>>
>> I have Safari, Chrome and Firefox, in addition to Preview and Illustrator. All are updated. Is there a way around this or am I forced to download Adobe Reader?
>>
>
> Acrobat Reader is free and works very well with even very elderly Macs. It handles live links, etc.

With a tiny 256gb drive I try to avoid downloading duplicate things!

Diane


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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Rodney

On May 31, 2017, at 01:00, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

’m sure they are fill-in forms, but I’ve used them in the past. Just odd I’ve gotten 2 in the same day that won’t work.

Do you have any of those old PDFs around? It would be worthwhile to make sure that those that used to work still work. If they do, then you’ll know that the problem is with the 2 new PDFs and not with some other part of your system.



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

dianed143@comcast.net

On May 30, 2017, at 7:08 PM, Rodney <[hidden email]> wrote:


On May 31, 2017, at 01:00, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

’m sure they are fill-in forms, but I’ve used them in the past. Just odd I’ve gotten 2 in the same day that won’t work.

Do you have any of those old PDFs around? It would be worthwhile to make sure that those that used to work still work. If they do, then you’ll know that the problem is with the 2 new PDFs and not with some other part of your system.


Great idea! Scottrade still works from January. Ameriprise does not from today.

Diane



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Jeffrey Jones-2
In reply to this post by dianed143@comcast.net
On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.


How are you trying to open these files? How were they "sent" to you?

I am pretty sure that Preview -- even if it is incapable of dealing with the document -- would not tell you to install "Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux®". So what are you using? And what happens if you try Preview?



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

dianed143@comcast.net

On May 30, 2017, at 9:23 PM, Jeffrey Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:

On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.


How are you trying to open these files? How were they "sent" to you?

I am pretty sure that Preview -- even if it is incapable of dealing with the document -- would not tell you to install "Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux®". So what are you using? And what happens if you try Preview?

They are coming two ways - I’ll paste one of the links here - it’s right on their site.

The other one is attached to an email and instead of a preview of the PDF within Mail, I get that same “please wait message”

https://www.ameriprise.com/customer-service/beneficiary-designation-faqs/ - Click on where to get form, I am trying to get the IRA one. The other two work.


Diane






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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Jeffrey Jones-2
On May 30, 2017, at 9:31 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

I’ll paste one of the links here - it’s right on their site.
...
https://www.ameriprise.com/customer-service/beneficiary-designation-faqs/ - Click on where to get form, I am trying to get the IRA one. The other two work.

It looks to me like it is just a PDF that says, "Please wait..."
I would say web-site error. But maybe someone with Adobe Reader can try it.



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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Nigel Stanger-2
On Wed May 31 2017 14:18:05, Jeffrey Jones spake thus:
>
> It looks to me like it is just a PDF that says, "Please wait..."

I think that’s just what the macOS PDF rendering layer displays when it hits something it doesn’t know how to deal with (I remember seeing it some years ago under similar circumstances). The form opens no problems in Adobe Reader. I did get a message about a “trusted certificate update”, but that may just have been coincidental.

--
Nigel Stanger, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND.  http://xri.net/=nigel.stanger




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

dianed143@comcast.net
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Jones-2

On May 30, 2017, at 10:18 PM, Jeffrey Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:

On May 30, 2017, at 9:31 PM, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

I’ll paste one of the links here - it’s right on their site.
...
https://www.ameriprise.com/customer-service/beneficiary-designation-faqs/ - Click on where to get form, I am trying to get the IRA one. The other two work.

It looks to me like it is just a PDF that says, "Please wait..."
I would say web-site error. But maybe someone with Adobe Reader can try it.

The one I got in email says the same thing in Mail as it tries to render the preview. That one was from a different site.

Diane




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Curtis Wilcox
In reply to this post by dianed143@comcast.net
On May 30, 2017, at 10:22 PM, gastropod <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Tue, May 30, 2017, at 06:31 PM, Diane wrote:
>
>>> On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>>> You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download <http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download>.
>
> I get the "Please Wait" on Sierra, both with Quick Look and Preview.  It
> usually means that the file is using proprietary Adobe features, such as
> fancy  form widgets (dynamic XFA forms), that Preview and probably other
> pdf viewers don't/can't support.  


Yes, I believe the  "Please Wait" message is embedded in the PDF files themselves, that part is encoded in the older, open standard version of PDF. I downloaded the Ameriprise Change of Beneficiary - IRAs form and I think there are potentially two issues. Looking at the file properties, I see it's in PDF 1.7 format, Acrobat says specifically "1.7, Adobe Extension Level 3 (Acrobat 9.x)," which Preview and most 3rd party software can't read.  The other issue is the XFA form content, which most software can't read. PDF 1.7 is a standard but other companies haven't caught up to Adobe yet, I think macOS Sierra at least partially supports PDF 1.7. XFA is not a standard so supporting it would require reverse engineering.

> You could try demos of mac PDF software such as PDFpen or PDF Expert to
> see if they can cope.  

PDFpen 8 can't open these files either.

The file properties show the PDF was made using Adobe LiveCycle Designer, I don't even know if that software *can* produce PDFs that non-Adobe software can use.

Because Adobe Reader is freely available for multiple platforms, companies generally don't feel any pressure to support other PDF readers. For forms especially, the restricted client base is a feature; some of these forms perform calculations and they don't want to risk a total coming out wrong because some crappy 3rd party program didn't work correctly.




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Paul Chernoff
I am taking a look at it. One possible cause is the use of trusted certificates and other security settings. 

In my experience Adobe Reader allowed you to fill out a form but not save the filled out form. Has this changed. I have the full version of Acrobat on my iMac to I cannot check that issue right now.

PAUL CHERNOFF
Director of Information Technology
Washingtonian Media
W. 202.862.3504 
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036


We are a WBENC Certified WBE/WOSB.

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 12:18 PM, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:
On May 30, 2017, at 10:22 PM, gastropod <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Tue, May 30, 2017, at 06:31 PM, Diane wrote:
>
>>> On May 30, 2017, at 1:28 PM, Diane <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>>> You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download <http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download>.
>
> I get the "Please Wait" on Sierra, both with Quick Look and Preview.  It
> usually means that the file is using proprietary Adobe features, such as
> fancy  form widgets (dynamic XFA forms), that Preview and probably other
> pdf viewers don't/can't support.


Yes, I believe the  "Please Wait" message is embedded in the PDF files themselves, that part is encoded in the older, open standard version of PDF. I downloaded the Ameriprise Change of Beneficiary - IRAs form and I think there are potentially two issues. Looking at the file properties, I see it's in PDF 1.7 format, Acrobat says specifically "1.7, Adobe Extension Level 3 (Acrobat 9.x)," which Preview and most 3rd party software can't read.  The other issue is the XFA form content, which most software can't read. PDF 1.7 is a standard but other companies haven't caught up to Adobe yet, I think macOS Sierra at least partially supports PDF 1.7. XFA is not a standard so supporting it would require reverse engineering.

> You could try demos of mac PDF software such as PDFpen or PDF Expert to
> see if they can cope.

PDFpen 8 can't open these files either.

The file properties show the PDF was made using Adobe LiveCycle Designer, I don't even know if that software *can* produce PDFs that non-Adobe software can use.

Because Adobe Reader is freely available for multiple platforms, companies generally don't feel any pressure to support other PDF readers. For forms especially, the restricted client base is a feature; some of these forms perform calculations and they don't want to risk a total coming out wrong because some crappy 3rd party program didn't work correctly.




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

@lbutlr
In reply to this post by Marilyn Matty
On 30 May 2017, at 16:01, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Acrobat Reader is free and works very well with even very elderly Macs. It handles live links, etc.

BUT! It installs itself with deep hooks into your OS and screws things up in many other ways.

I use PDF Pen on iOS to work with PDFs that Preview balks on. I did this earlier this year for my Passport renewal form.

I have a strict "no Adobe" policy on my computers.

--
Apple broke AppleScripting signatures in Mail.app, so no random signatures.




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Larry Gusaas


On 2017-06-02, 12:23 AM @lbutlr wrote:
On 30 May 2017, at 16:01, Marilyn Matty [hidden email] wrote:
Acrobat Reader is free and works very well with even very elderly Macs. It handles live links, etc.
BUT! It installs itself with deep hooks into your OS and screws things up in many other ways.

What other ways??? I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.

It hasn't screwed anything up for me.





_____________________________________________________________________________

Larry I. Gusaas

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan   Canada
Website:   http://larry-gusaas.com

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

“An artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs.” - Edgard Varese





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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Randy B. Singer

On Jun 2, 2017, at 12:19 AM, Larry Gusaas wrote:

> What other ways???

I recall that a number of years back Safari began using Preview by default to view PDF's.  When Acrobat Reader was installed, it caused a nasty conflict that made viewing PDF's in Safari problematic.  The simple solution was to uninstall Acrobat Reader.  At that time there was a mass exodus away from Acrobat Reader by many Mac users.
 

> I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.

One extremely nice feature that Acrobat Reader has is the ability to print PDF's that overwhelm the limited memory capacity of some printers. (Usually inexpensive laser printers.) When a large or complex PDF won't print using Preview, you can switch to Reader and there is an option in the Print dialog somewhere to "print as graphic" or to "print as bitmap" or "print as image".  It may have to be accessed by clicking on an "Advanced" tab or button.   That will usually allow the PDF to print.

___________________________________________
Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
___________________________________________






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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Ron Risley
In reply to this post by Larry Gusaas

> On Jun 2, 2017, at 00:19, Larry Gusaas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 2017-06-02, 12:23 AM @lbutlr wrote:
>>
>> BUT! [Adobe Reader] installs itself with deep hooks into your OS and screws things up in many other ways.
>
> What other ways???

Well, there's this, though not all 515 (five hundred and fifteen!) vulnerabilities have directly impacted macOS:

https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-53/product_id-497/Adobe-Acrobat-Reader.html

Adobe has been abysmal with security. Remember, they're the same folks that brought us Flash Player, noted for having over 1,000 CVE-recognized security vulnerabilities.

Adobe as a company have behaved badly. They made PDF an open format. If they hadn't, it likely would not have gotten the traction it did. After it had become an accepted standard, they tried to exert intellectual property rights over it in spite of having promised that they would not do so. Largely thwarted on that front, they engaged in the time-honored practice of "extending" the standard in proprietary ways. Adobe products that create PDFs seem to default to using features which aren't supported in non-Adobe products -- I'm sure a lot of institutions aren't even aware that they're pushing non-standard PDFs.

I complain when a financial institution suggests or requires that I install Adobe Reader. A bank asking you to install a trojan horse on a device you use for financial transactions seems like a setup for disaster. I usually suggest that if they want my business, they'll make sure that their documents conform to open standards and point their users to https://pdfreaders.org instead.

Of course, given that my business will often amount to tens or even hundreds of dollars means that they really sit up and take notice!

--Ron


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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

@lbutlr
In reply to this post by Larry Gusaas
On 02 Jun 2017, at 01:19, Larry Gusaas <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What other ways??? I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.

It subverts the display of PDFs in other programs (like Safari) and it screws up the printing of PDFs. It also keep taking over for ALL PDF files on the system, regardless of your settings or preferences. It is, to my mind, little better than malware.

--
Apple broke AppleScripting signatures in Mail.app, so no random signatures.




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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Al Varnell
On Jun 2, 2017, at 1:16 PM, "@lbutlr" wrote:

> On 02 Jun 2017, at 01:19, Larry Gusaas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> What other ways??? I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.
>
> It subverts the display of PDFs in other programs (like Safari)

Easily overcome by removing it's Plug-ins.

> and it screws up the printing of PDFs.

The print dialog has some additional features that take some to get used to, but I've not had anything unusual show up in the printed document.

> It also keep taking over for ALL PDF files on the system, regardless of your settings or preferences.

Has never occurred for as long as I've had Acrobat Reader, but I have probably seen that in years past. Was easily fixed then.

I too prefer Preview for most everything, but there have been a handfull of times when I must use AR to accomplish some task.


Sent from Janet's iPad

-Al-
--
Al Varnell
Mountain View, CA


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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

John Turner
For what it’s worth Carol and I use PDF Expert and it offers no problems at all. No matter the PDF’s origin or what you need, it is very capable, and the support is fast and extensive. PDFs created in Acrobat and saved to PDF Expert import into all of my apps with no problem, except for Word, which is really deficient in this area.

JT

On Jun 2, 2017, 7:03 PM -0400, Al Varnell <[hidden email]>, wrote:
On Jun 2, 2017, at 1:16 PM, "@lbutlr" wrote:

On 02 Jun 2017, at 01:19, Larry Gusaas <[hidden email]> wrote:
What other ways??? I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.

It subverts the display of PDFs in other programs (like Safari)

Easily overcome by removing it's Plug-ins.

and it screws up the printing of PDFs.

The print dialog has some additional features that take some to get used to, but I've not had anything unusual show up in the printed document.

It also keep taking over for ALL PDF files on the system, regardless of your settings or preferences.

Has never occurred for as long as I've had Acrobat Reader, but I have probably seen that in years past. Was easily fixed then.

I too prefer Preview for most everything, but there have been a handfull of times when I must use AR to accomplish some task.


Sent from Janet's iPad

-Al-
--
Al Varnell
Mountain View, CA


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Re: PDFs forcing me to use Adobe?

Larry Gusaas
In reply to this post by @lbutlr


On 2017-06-02, 2:16 PM @lbutlr wrote:
On 02 Jun 2017, at 01:19, Larry Gusaas [hidden email] wrote:
What other ways??? I use preview most of the time but I also have Acrobat reader for when I need it. It has some printing functions that I find very useful that Preview doesn't have.
It subverts the display of PDFs in other programs (like Safari) and it screws up the printing of PDFs.

Not in my experience

 It also keep taking over for ALL PDF files on the system, regardless of your settings or preferences. 

Acrobat Reader has never done that on my systems since I switched to Macs 10 years ago.

It is, to my mind, little better than malware.


Not in my experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Larry I. Gusaas

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan   Canada
Website:   http://larry-gusaas.com

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

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