April 27th, 2004 • 3:07 am
If you own and use both Microsoft Office X and Adobe Acrobat 6, you’ve probably noticed that installing Acrobat 6 results in the appearance of a new toolbar in Word X, Excel X, and PowerPoint X:
There are several irritating aspects in this. First of all, Adobe did that without asking for your permission. Second, even if you close the toolbar in the Office application, thereby indicating that you don’t need it, the next time you launch the application, the toolbar will reappear. Third, the toolbar consists of only two buttons, yet takes up an entire row in the toolbar interface; even if you move the toolbar elsewhere (next to another toolbar) to regain that wasted space, the next time you launch the Office application, the Acrobat toolbar will be back in its own row.
Fortunately, there is a solution for this (with no help from either Microsoft or Adobe, though!). You can get rid of the toolbars altogether by doing the following. Go to your Microsoft Office X folder. Inside that folder, open the (usefully named) “Office” folder. Inside that folder, open the “Startup” folder.
Inside the “Startup” folder, you will see three folders, one for Word, one for Excel, and one for PowerPoint. Each of these folders contains a file installed by Acrobat 6. The one in the “Word” folder, for example, is called “
(As an aside, the “
.dot” suffix is the file extension normally used for Word templates in the Windows world. You don’t need to use this extension on the Mac. As long as you save a Word document as a template from within Word, it will be recognized by Word as a template and not a Word document, even if it doesn’t end in “
.dot“. In fact, if you happen to have renamed Word’s main template, which is called “
Normal.dot“, Word won’t work properly anymore. It will recreate a new “Normal” template called “
Normal” without the “
.dot“, and you might lose some of your customized settings.)
You might wonder what a Word template is doing outside the “Templates” folder inside the Microsoft Office X folder. Well, that’s Microsoft for you. When you launch Word, the application actually looks for templates in several places, one of which is the “Word” folder inside the “Startup” folder inside the “Office” folder.
PDFMaker.dot” file obviously contains the Acrobat toolbar that appears when you launch Word X. If you’re curious, you can look inside that file by opening it directly as a template from within Word. If you do that and go to the “Macros…” command in Word, you’ll see that it also contains a series of macros called “
startMail“, and “
startPrint“. Unfortunately, you cannot actually explore the macros themselves. You can just run them.
As well, if you use Word’s “Organizer” command (a tool that you can normally use to move bits of customization — toolbars, macros, autotext entries, and styles — from file to file) to look inside the “
PDFMaker.dot” file, you won’t see anything. (No macros, no toolbars.)
In other words, “
PDFMaker.dot” file is not your average Word template file. Never mind the fact that the “
.dot” suffix normally indicates a Word template file… I suppose it would have been too easy for Microsoft and Apple to keep things relatively simple for us.
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that this prevents you from altering the file and its behaviour. The only thing you can do is move the file out of the “Word” folder inside the “Startup” folder inside the “Office” folder. This will stop Word from reopening the file (with its intrusive toolbar) every time you launch the application. But it will also deprive you of the commands (macros) that the Acrobat toolbar gives you access to.
What if you still want to be able to access these macros? Well, I’ve found that, once you’ve launched Word, you can open the “
PDFMaker.dot” file manually from within Word. This makes the macros visible through the “Macros…” command in Word. I tried running the macros from there, but it doesn’t seem to be working. The “
AddToolbar” macro does add a toolbar with two buttons, but the two buttons have no icon and don’t do anything as far as I can tell. The other macros don’t do anything. I suspect this is because opening the “
PDFMaker.dot” file from within Word as a template treats it as a plain vanilla Word template, which it obviously is not.
Do you really need these macros and the toolbar buttons? I doubt it. I don’t think there is anything in there that cannot be achieved with a few mouse clicks within the normal Mac OS X and Word X interface. You can always “print” your current Word document to the “Adobe PDF” printer that Acrobat adds to your printer list.
So, to make a long story short, if you want to get rid of these pesky Acrobat toolbars in Office X, just drag the files installed by Acrobat in the “Startup” folder inside the “Office” folder inside the “Microsoft Office X” folder.