Posted on Mon 16 March 2009

Adobe Acrobat 8.1

Hit the ground running... I know that at one time Adobe had a great reputation for the attention to detail in their applications. They cared about fonts and page layout when few people knew what these terms meant. It’s therefore disappointing when the standard of their software and the user experiences are poorer than expected.

Since being upgraded to Acrobat Reader 8.1 on my work Windows PC, I have been finding it extremely difficult to select text in the application. Today I finally worked out what is happening and find it hard to make any sense of Adobe’s design choices.

In every application I have ever used that allows text selection, one can select text by positioning the cursor to the right of a line of text and begin to drag the cursor over the required text starting from the line where the cursor is positioned. In Acrobat reader this practice has been discarded for something much more sophisticated...

Position the cursor just at the right of a line of text and begin to select text and all works well. Move sufficiently far away and when you click the cursor your selection point starts in the line above or below the cursor! For me, this just defies all logical explanation! I see that other Acrobat users have had this same problem and I also experience it using Acrobat 9.0 on Mac OS X, so I know it’s not caused by other software.

The screenshot below illustrates the problem, showing how cursor selection in the whitespace actually positions the text entry point in the line above.

screenshot1.png

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