I Love Adobe

Well knock me down with a feather: Adobe have produced an excellent administration tool that is brilliant for apps packagers and sys admins.

The tool can be downloaded from here http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/837/cpsid_83709.html (click the Administrator’s Information Manager link).

Once installed (it is an Air application grrr)  it is an encyclopaedia of information for people that need to distribute Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

Like many apps packagers I use, amongst others,  http://www.appdeploy.com/ to get information on software that other packagers out there have already unearthed.  The Adobe Reader pages have had many contributors over  the years (including me), and they have many registry settings that people have set to control their installations and make them more professional (e.g. losing Acrobat.com integration, switching off auto-updates, opting out of the opt-in etc.).

But not all the settings are explained, and I ended up being guilty of bunging in registry values that I didn’t have time to fully investigate because everybody else was.

But now the new tool has a complete reference of all* the registry values that can be used to amend the installation.  Some of the information has typos, e.g. the bDisplaySplash setting should say bDisplayedSplash and LoadOnStart should be bLoadOnStart, but the information is still extensive and explains what each setting is for.

Adobe’s own packagers have also pulled their socks up – they offer the msi as a direct download now and the files are no longer in an external data1.cab file.  Let’s hope they keep that up.

And more good news!  The Adobe Customization Wizard X is actually really useful.  When I used it and installed the result, I found that it put down many of the HKCU settings on first run that I used to add-in manually.  In fact I only ended up adding two more: one for bDisplayedSplash = 0 and the second for OptIn = 0.

SO: well done so far Adobe, keep up the good work!

* all ?  Really?  Well certainly a boatload of settings!

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