Fixing a Variety of PDF Related Issues and Removing Windows Reader

Windows Apps Screen
November 19, 2015

I was preparing to do a Webinar with a client that was having a number of issues with PDF files. Because of this, I knew I needed to fix a couple of issues on my laptop so I would be prepared to load the client’s PDF files for discussion.

My laptop is running Windows 8.1. No, I haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet and I’m still waiting for a compelling reason to perform the upgrade. In trying to be “helpful”, Microsoft provides the Microsoft Reader as the default app (an app, not desktop software) for reading PDF files. Every time it tries to “help” me by opening a PDF in the app, I get extremely frustrated. So it was time to take action and remove this app that I have zero desire to use.

Apps do not show up in Control Panel to uninstall. Since I never knowingly use any apps, I had to figure out how to uninstall the pesky Microsoft Reader. You’ll need to go into the “Metro” screen (where all the tiles are displayed). Then at the bottom left is a very unintuitive down arrow that leads to the “Apps” screen. Find the Reader app (or any other pesky app you wish to remove) and right-click on it to get the pop-up menu shown below. Select Uninstall and it will be gone!

uninstall windows reader app

Even though I have the full version of Adobe Acrobat X installed, it won’t load at all. After searching the Internet for solutions, I discovered there was a flaw in Acrobat X where it “forgets” it is a licensed version after 30 days. Thankfully there is a fix you can download and it got it working immediately.

Perfect, I got rid of the unwanted Reader app and I got Acrobat working again. Now I could focus on the PDF issues the client was experiencing.

Let’s get one thing out there now. PDFs are NOT Native Files! When you import them into CorelDRAW, often things don’t look as expected. That’s just reality because PDF files were never meant to be edited in that way. Sometimes they work perfectly and you should jump for joy when that happens. But in most cases you should try to get artwork in a file format that was designed for editing.

One of the PDF files presented by the client involved a line of text that they claimed “moved to the right”. The text did not move, but the character spacing in the line of text did increase making the line longer when imported into CorelDRAW. One thing I always do is look at how the PDF was created. In this case it was created from CorelDRAW. So the solution was quite simple: don’t export to PDF from CorelDRAW and then import it again. Just work with the CDR file!

Many of the major problems came from AutoCAD files that had been exported to PDF files. Some wouldn’t import, others imported with massive number of objects and nodes. One possible solution I suggested they investigate is using CorelCAD as it can open native AutoCAD files and save directly to CDR. Another suggested solution is CorelDRAW Technical Suite as it includes better AutoCAD import filters than the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.

Another common problem with AutoCAD files is having duplicate objects stacked on top of each other. The RemoveUnderlyingDups macro can help with this. It is a very old macro so no guarantees about it working in newer versions of CorelDRAW (especially 64-bit versions), but it could be quite helpful if you work with AutoCAD files.

Now my laptop can work with PDF files as I desire and my client is better educated about the best ways to work with artwork from AutoCAD.

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