Acrobat MDI-ish


What is this?
Acrobat MDIish is a wrapper that snatch all of you Acrobat windows and present them into a single window.

OS: Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7 x86/x64

Acrobat MDI require the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (x86) installed!
Note: If you have a 64-bit system, you still need the x86 version (because the software is x86!)

Please use the new installer if you want it to be downloaded automatically. (Recommended for novice users)

Current version is 0,8,9,2: Installer or zipped (portable version an exe directly to your USB; packed with UPX or zipped with VC_redist files included)

Previous version 0,7,1,8: Installer or zipped (portable version an exe directly to your USB; packed with UPX)
Previous version 0,5,0,1: zipped (or exe directly, packed with UPX)

How does it look

Systray support

Multimonitor support (Still in MDI!)

Known problems
There are some issues when Acrobat opens modal dialogs, sometimes they don’t activate as they should.
Press the Adobe MDI window and the modal dialog should show as expected

There are Acrobats in the taskbar that I don’t see!
You probably got multimonitors? If you have Acrobat MDI on screen 1 and the Acrobat opened on screen 2 you got “nada”.
Rightclick on the Acrobat in taskbar and select “Center” πŸ™‚

Why did I do this?
In my current work I have a lot of Acrobats opened at the same time.
It hogged my taskbar and I got pretty annoyed!

After searching for a solution and found the blog stating that “SDI is better” annoyed me even more, so I started to fix-it-myself.

What is the background?
Adobe posted on their blog a question to the users about SDI vs MDI.

My way can not be called “real” MDI, because Acrobat MDI doesn’t “own” the Acrobat application session.
But I call it “better MDI”, because of all the extra features I’ve added πŸ™‚

PS Adobe:

Going forward the Acrobat Product Management team has started exploring alternative ways to accomplish some of what is so loved about MDI mode. While we canΓ’??t comment publicly on that at this time, please know that we have heard you. I hope the reasoning I provided helps you understand the choices we made a little bit better as well. Please let us know your thoughts about the removal of MDI support. Let us know what you feel the benefits of MDI are and how it helps you get your work done. We would love to hear from you.

We did respond, we didn’t get any love back from you…
I developed this app in 2 weeks after work (est 28 mhrs time in total, how much time do you need?)
How about opening a SDK so external programs can actually control Acrobat?

 Posted by at 22:49:56

  20 Responses to “Acrobat MDI-ish”

  1. Thank you very much for this much needed feature we Adobe Acrobat users used to have! I still cannot believe that Adobe has not fixed this in Acrobat X or XI. I use your tool under Acrobat 9 and I have thankful you have created such a useful tool. Shame on Adobe for removing something in Windows simply because Apple users never had that feature. I really wish Adobe would listen to their paying users!

  2. Thank you for developing this. It’s wonderful and much easier to navigate. I have just one concern.

    I use tabs in chrome, ms word (a 3rd party solution like your own), and now acrobat. This means that I am ctrl+tabbing in many applications. It seems that mdiish responds globally to the ctrl+tab command. That means that it is spinning through pdf tabs when I am switching tabs in another application. (I’ve also noticed some mdiish tab switching when I do things in word, such as ctrl+left arrow or ctrl+shift+arrow, but this is inconsistent and I can’t figure out the exact pattern.)

    Would there be a way to make the ctrl+tabbing specific to only when a pdf is active, or only when within mdiish?

  3. You are wonderful for programming this. The only thing I wish would be that the real estate at the top could be minimized a bit. Is the bar at the top that says “Acrobat MDIish” completely necessary? I can move the tabs and the menu to the sides, but not the overall container bar. I’m on a laptop so I need every quarter inch I can get.

    • Hi, I will put it on the list of suggestions.
      A frameless-mode is what’s nearest in my mind. Usually my program are used on 2×24″ screens, so I don’t mind the frame πŸ™‚

  4. Great program! Thanks so much for offering it. We use adobe to open up PDF prescriptions to view on a second monitor. The newer versions of Acrobat will open the first pdf on the second monitor but 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc pdf’s will open in their own window on the first monitor with no way to change the default monitor where it can always open on the 2nd monitor. Acrobat 8 would handle opening up multiple scripts and stacking those for us, where the later version’s without MDI would not. Now we can offer this as a solution to our employees and have all the pdf’s open on the 2nd monitor. This will be a great help. I wish there was a way to automatically open MDIish when a pdf opens automatically (file association) and for it to automatically close all open pdf’s when we exit MDIish. Thanks so much for this software!

  5. Thank you so much I have been looking for a solution for days and yours is the first I have found.

    I use Lightbox to preview my pdf’s before I open them and every time I opened one it would jump back to the starting point. Using Acrobat MDI-ish I can drag and drop to open multiple pdf’s without having to open 12 layers of files first.

    You rock.

  6. Thank you SOOOOO MUCH!!! this fixed my crash/hangup problem when opening more then one PDF since more then one SDI window in XP causes system hangs!

  7. Hi guys
    I’ve listen to your suggestions and added the feature requested, enjoy! πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you for your efforts and for sharing this software! One thing it would nice to have is cycling of windows with CTRL+TAB and CTRL+SHIFT+TAB as the old MDI interface had. Best regards.

    Los Angeles

  9. Another option that would be good if you could add it is the ability to move tabs along the tab bar. That way the 2nd document opened can become the top document when tiling horizontally without you needing to close the first document. This is all if you get time of course. the software is a lifesaver already as it is πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for such a wonderful piece of software. I was going insane trying to work on Acrobat X with 20 tabs on the taskbar. Could never find anything other than acrobat and could never get the right acrobat document the first time. I have a small request for you if you have time. In the next update could you please add an option to dock the tab bar on the top of the screen? I find that I function better on most of my files with tabs located at the top.

    Thanks again for saving me from going insane. I’m also on windows 7 64 bit and I havent had any problems yet.

    • Hi Alex, you can move the tab by press and hold an empty area of the window list.
      The move to bottom is just a recovery solution πŸ™‚
      It is pretty much customizable..

      I have a bug while printing, I’ll fix that later on.

      • Hi Lars.

        I know I can move it, but if I do it tends to take up a larger amount of space then if it is docked, as in there will be 2 rows worth of space for tabs even if only 1 pdf is open. The major problem with doing this is that if I press “tile vertically”, the location of the tab bar doesn’t register and the tab bar will be covering part of the document. Whereas if I lock it then press “tile vertically” (or horizontally), the tab bar will remain under the document.

        Just a suggestion but if the tab bar could be docked on the top similar to how it can be on the bottom, it would be really helpful.


  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am forced to use Adobe 9 by my firm and I frequently have to compare two PDF files to see if they are the same and I royally missed being able to always get the two files to open full screen in the same monitor so that a simple would allow me to quick see any differences.

  12. Thank you very much! I’ve just been forced to start using Acrobat 9 again, after having been at a location where we used 8, and was starting to go a little bit insane, having to use SDI. Your solution will help preserve my sanity just a little longer!

    I’m on Windows 7 64-bit, and so far, it seems to be working properly.

    Thanks again!! And I hope Adobe will eventually listen to their customers.

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