Remove Acrobat Toolbar From Mac Office 2004

Updated 2/26/2008

It appears that Acrobat CS3 gives you a choice of whether or not to install the toolbar. Hooray! So the best solution appears to be upgrade … ugh.

pdf toolbar

Updated 6/20/2007, original post below

Here are two methods to remove the Acrobat toolbar from Mac Office applications. These suggestions work better than my original tip!

Tom wrote:

1. Find your Adobe Acrobat app inside your Applications folder

2. Right click on the application and choose show package contents

3. Go to Contents/MacOS/SelfHealFiles/PDFMaker/

4. Drag the APP_Office folder somewhere (like your desktop)

5. Eh presto. No more annoyingness.

Tony Hodgson wrote:

Thanks for your original hint, but I found that by just moving the three files to the ..Office/Add-Ins folder I can control whether I want the PDFMaker tool bar visible or not through the Tools/Add-Ins menu item in each of the three Office applications.

Original Post

Thanks to MacOSXHints.com, I successfully removed the pesky Acrobat toolbar from Office for Mac. However, I had to amalgamate pieces of advice from different sources.

After installing Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional, it automatically placed an Acrobat PDF toolbar within Word and Excel. This toolbar would be placed on its own, which became an eyesore. Trying to close out of it, or going to Views -> Toolbars -> Delete would only remove it until the program next started.

There is a fix for this, thankfully. Go to: Applications/Microsoft Office X/Office/Startup. Within that folder, go into Excel and remove PDFMaker.xla. Back up one level, then go into the Word folder and remove PDFMaker.dot. Problem solved.

PDFMaker templates

I had to take one additional step. This piece of advice suggested that Acrobat would ask before reinstalling the Office toolbar. My experience (perhaps due to the newer version) was that Acrobat reinstalled the toolbar template without asking. I was able to block this by creating my own, blank template files of the same name (PDFMaker.dot, PDFMaker.xla, PDFMaker.ppa), saving them to the correct locations, and then locking them!. This has worked for one day now. I’ll write again if it fails in the future.

How pesky of Adobe to insist that their toolbar must exist in your Office!

Another update: If you run Adobe Acrobat Professional with this trick enabled, Acrobat will ask you to authenticate when launching and quit if you don’t authenticate! Of course, it wants to restore the template files. So, I keep a copy of my blank template files and recopy them into their locations when I use Acrobat. If you use Acrobat daily, I don’t know of a better fix.

19 comments

  1. Matt Shepherd says:

    Hooray! Thanks for helping me solve this very annoying problem, Richard!

  2. Machine Man says:

    This rocked. Keep it up.

  3. rkassissieh says:

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  4. nancy says:

    Genius.

    No seriously, this helped.

    P.S. This blog is number 1 for the Google search "remove acrobat toolbar mac."

  5. Brock says:

    I just created folders with the same name and extensions as the files. Moved the files into a "Startup Disabled" folder. Seems to work 🙂 thanks for the tip.

  6. rkassissieh says:

    That’s even easier! I’ll give it a try. One word of warning: I am beginning to suspect that Acrobat gets around my little trick when I launch the application itself. I don’t run Acrobat Professional often, so I haven’t tested it fully.

  7. Doug says:

    Find this folder:

    /Applications/Microsoft/Office 2004/Office/Startup

    Rename "Startup" to "_Startup" like this:

    /Applications/Microsoft/Office 2004/Office/_Startup

    The PDF toolbar is gone and doesn’t come back under any circumstances. If you find out you need something from the Startup folder, just remove the underscore character and relaunch the office app. It fixes all three apps in Office 2004.

  8. Janne Auvinen says:

    Thanks a million. It’s been so annoying…
    Cheers!

  9. dsimpson says:

    Ahoy, you’re my hero..

  10. pjbailey says:

    fab, fab, fab! Works a treat to get rid of something so small it irritates under your skin! Cheers

  11. James Aitken says:

    For a full solution, if you don’t want the tool bars or the capabability at all, see tip 5 of this article
    http://www.macworld.com/200

    However, if you do wish to retain the functionality, then for Word, create a template called _PDFmaker.dot containing the macro AutoExec as follows:

    Sub AutoExec()
    CommandBars("Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker").Visible = False
    End Sub

    Put that file in /Applications -> Microsoft Office X -> Office -> Startup -> Word and the pesky tool bar disappear, but can be recalled. N.b. the file name has to be alphanumerically lower than PDFMaker.dot so that the macros contained therein are loaded afterwards (don’t ask me why!).

    It is possible you can do something similar with Excel. However I have found that if you move the permanent toolbar to the right, and slot the Acrobat one to the left, it stays there and isn’t really in the way.

    Haven’t, though, found a reason for using Acrobat to create PDFs since Apple’s one (Tiger) seems to be 10 times faster. On a PC, for Word, Acrobat will also create bookmarks for contents iems, but that doesn’t seem to happen on the Mac.

  12. rkassissieh says:

    Great suggestion! I like the idea of the toolbar being available but off by default. I believe that the advantage of using the toolbar is to automatically generate links and bookmarks from a Word doc.

    Unfortunately, the MacWorld article is incorrect. Deleting the template files removes the toolbar only temporarily. The next time you run the Acrobat application, it requires you to authenticate and then restores the old

  13. James says:

    Thank you!

    I guess by locking the Startup Folder no-access would to the same thing.

  14. rkassissieh says:

    Except that you cannot thereafter run Acrobat Professional without unlocking your startup folder.

  15. Tom says:

    Actually I found another way round the Adobe problem:

    1. Find your Adobe Acrobat app inside your Applications folder

    2. Right click on the application and choose show package contents

    3. Go to Contents/MacOS/SelfHealFiles/PDFMaker/

    4. Drag the APP_Office folder somewhere (like your desktop)

    5. Eh presto. No more annoyingness.

  16. Andy says:

    thanks for this post, I hate the acrobat toolbar. I feel freeeee now 🙂

  17. Tony Hodgson says:

    Thanks for your original hint, but I found that by just moving the three files to the ..Office/Add-Ins folder I can control whether I want the PDFMaker tool bar visible or not through the Tools/Add-Ins menu item in each of the three Office applications.

  18. Shaun says:

    Tom’s instructions did not work on my computer with Acrobat 7.0.

    Any thoughts?

  19. SRH says:

    Thanks, away this unnecessary toolbar always coming back