Pathetic document format

I use Preview by default in the Mac. I’ve seen the following message a few times now:

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
For more assistance with Adobe Reader visit acrreader.html.
Windows is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Mac is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.


It’s a curious form of advertising for Adobe. It emphasizes that Adobe stands for proprietary junk. Preview’s functionality comfortably exceeds Adobe Reader yet it’s amazingly lightweight. How many hours of human existence have been wasted waiting for the Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin to load? Preview can’t do everything that Adobe Acrobat can do, but the full version of Acrobat has suffered from nonsensical feature bloat for years- mostly connected to Adobe’s dreadful attempts to monetize its usage. The above document turned out to be just a form. Interestingly, Acrobat has all kinds of “Sign and Certify” options – I couldn’t make head nor tail of them. I tried to add a signature digitally – I have a Wacom tablet that could be used for input. But I wasn’t able to add a regular signature (now available and very convenient in Preview – via the iMac camera). In Acrobat, this option required a “print as pdf” command to remove the active features of the document, but this command wasn’t present in my Mac version – typical Adobe sloppiness. I wasn’t able to save the file this way. Ultimately, I still had to print it, sign it by hand and fax it. Like it was 1986.

Not far off a fairly typical Adobe experience. A proprietary form, non-functional features and baffling complexity. This is what Adobe means by professional – junk for people that have their whole day to deal with bad software.


2 thoughts on “Pathetic document format

  1. Pingback: Native rendering of pdfs in Firefox arrives with a bump | Serious Piffle

  2. Pingback: Bring Quick Look back | Serious Piffle

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