6 steps for using the Adobe Customization Wizard for Adobe Reader 10

Posted by Shawn Anderson

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Feb 9, 2011 5:00:00 AM

Adobe Customization Wizard in 6 Quick Steps

  1. Be sure that you have the most recent version of Reader.
  2. Install the Adobe Customization Wizard for Reader X. (ftp)
  3. Extract the .MSI from the AdbeRdr10xx_yy_zz.exe file.
  4. Start the wizard and open the AcroRead.msi file.
  5. Customize to your hearts content.
  6. Save your project (which creates the TRANSFORM file, AcroRead.mst).
***Note: Note that this method of installing Adobe Reader is intended for new installations of Adobe Reader X. If you are upgrading from an existing Adobe Reader X (e.g. upgradging from version 10.1.0 to 10.1.3) you only need to run the MSP file (you will extract that later in this article).***

The Details

After installing the customization wizard it's time to extract the AcroRead.msi from the Reader EXE. (see video)

To extract the files, open a command window and navigate to the path of your Adobe Reader EXE file and run the appropriate command. For this example we will run:

AdbeRdr1012_en_US.exe -nos_o"<file_path>" -nos_ne

adobe nos resized 600

This will open the extraction window.

adobe expand setup resized 600

Verify that your extracted files exist and you are now ready to open the customization wizard.

adobe reader files resized 600

Open the customization wizard and select File > Open. Navigate to your extracted files and select the AcroRead.msi. You will now be able to make customizations to Adobe Reader.

Note the left panel and the sections listed.

The Sections of Adobe Customization Wizard for Reader X

While you can do quite a bit, we're going to focus on the following four sections:

  • Installation Options
  • Shortcuts
  • EULA
  • Online and Acrobat.com

Select "Installation Options" and ensure that "Silently (no interface)" is selected. This allows you to push the installation to all your computers without disturbing your users. Also, ensure that "Suppress reboot" is selected.

Next let's jump to the "Shortcuts" section. We are going to prevent the Adobe Reader shortcut from being placed on the All Users Desktop.

Right click on the desktop icon and select Remove.

Next move on down to EULA. This is a handy step that allows you, as representative of your company, to auto accept the End User License Agreement between your company and Adobe. This means that the first time your users open Adobe Reader they won't be nagged to accept the EULA. It's a minor thing, but it does help prevent help desk calls from confused users.

Lastly we have "Online and Acrobat.com". I call this the phone-home section. Most companies like to control when patches are deployed, and making changes here will prevent each installation of Reader from contacting Adobe to check for updates.

I suggest checking the following four boxes:

  1. Disable all updates
  2. In Adobe Reader, disable Help > Purchase Adobe Acrobat
  3. Disable Product Improvement Program
  4. Disable all Acrobat.com access...

Disable phone homes in Adobe Reader

That's it. Unless you have more changes that you'd like to make, you're now ready to save your work (which will create the transform file AcroRead.mst).

Preparing for Deployment

When you deploy Adobe Reader 10 you call this transform file which contains your customizations, including pushing silently, suppressing reboot, auto accepting the EULA, whacking that annoying desktop icon, and stopping the numerous Adobe phone-homes.

Fridays' blog will demonstrate installing Adobe Reader 10 silently but just in case you can't wait, here is the usage.


To push from the command line, you would enter:

msiexec.exe -i <path>\AcroRead.msi TRANSFORMS=AcroRead.mst

Using the free version of PDQ Deploy to push Reader 10? You can import the Reader 10 installer file here.

See our video of the Adobe Customization Wizard for Reader 10 now.

Here are some resources for your Adobe Reader deployments:

Topics: adobe reader, install software remotely, software deployment, software distribution, unattended installation software, install silently, technology

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