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PDF SpeedUp

CNET Editors' review

It's not surprising that Adobe's Acrobat and Reader are the top PDF tools, since Adobe invented PDFs, but if there's a factor driving the market for third-party PDF tools (other than cost, since Reader is free) it's the time it takes Adobe's big programs to load. What if Acrobat or Reader could load as fast as the lightweights? That's where PDF SpeedUp enters the race. It makes Acrobat and Reader load faster by disabling plug-ins, updates, splash screens, and other startup slowdowns. You can allow the plug-ins and features you want or enable them as you need them.

We tried PDF SpeedUp with a new, clean installation of Adobe Reader X. We opened and closed Reader several times to see how quickly it loaded. We have to admit, Reader launches fast from a solid-state drive (SSD) in Windows 7. We then started PDF SpeedUp. The program's setup screen selects all applicable options by default. We simply had to uncheck any feature we wanted the program to leave intact. A small window listed all our plug-ins.

Aside from small flags for choosing an interface language, PDF SpeedUp has only two buttons, Optimize and Restore. We clicked Optimize. PDF SpeedUp disabled Reader's browser integration, closing confirmation, plug-ins, and updates and prevented various other features from loading. A pop-up offered to open Reader. We clicked OK. Reader opened. Yes, it did seem quicker. Noticeably quicker. We closed Reader and reopened it. Several times. No doubt about it: PDF SpeedUp made Reader open more quickly, and the difference became more apparent after we restored Reader's full features. Reader worked normally with PDF SpeedUp.

As we said, we weren't exactly checking our e-mail while we waited for Reader to load, but PDF SpeedUp did what it was supposed to. On a slower, older system with many more plug-ins, it could make a much bigger difference. We didn't have a copy of Acrobat to try with PDF SpeedUp, but in our experience, Adobe's ponderous premium tools are especially cumbersome. And if PDF SpeedUp seems particularly designed for Acrobat, it was.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 21

  • 3.0 stars

    "ADOBE READER START QUICKLY WITH THIS PROGRAM"

    September 4, 2011  |   By capitanflorius

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 2.01

    Pros

    THIS PROGRAM DISABLE SOME PLUG-IN FOR ADOBE MAKE MORE 'QUICK OPENING PDF FILES

    Cons

    AFTER USE, SOMETIMES ADOBE READER DON' START REGULARLY.
    IT'S NOT a standalone program that acts of its own, but modifies adobe reader who remains the reader of the PDF file

    Summary

    NOTHING ELSE TO TELL

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent! It really works!"

    August 16, 2011  |   By dalla_via

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 2.01

    Pros

    Adobe Reader X is full of useless functions and so slow that I was looking for something else but this program solved the problem.

    Cons

    The user interface is home made but it works.

    Summary

    It really speeds up Adobe Reader in a dramatically way. Recommended.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Adobe would not start"

    September 30, 2008  |   By perbac

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    It was easy to restore the changes made

    Cons

    After running PDF SpeedUp Adobe Reader would not start. I tried twice and it crashed.

    Summary

    After running PDF SpeedUp Adobe Reader would not start. I tried twice and it crashed.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Excellent as it speeds up the process dramatically"

    August 22, 2008  |   By LesDelaney

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    Because it speeds up the opening of Adobe PDF Reader by removing junk add on's the whole process is now faster

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Crashes Acrobat Reader 8.0"

    January 29, 2007  |   By STG

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Cons

    After using it, Acrobat Reader 8.0 crashes on every run. Restore almost did work right, except that it did reset some preferences.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Brilliant little gem"

    August 20, 2006  |   By Fussy Madam

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    Small download size and no installer - run straight from exe. Options clearly marked with check boxes and there are options to cover all of the loading annoyances and remove them. Covers different versions of the reader successfully and most importantly speeds up loading immensely.

    Cons

    Interface is slightly rough looking but this really isn't a big deal considering the programme is a gem.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Buggy software with no support. You can do better."

    March 30, 2006  |   By The Conundrum

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    It does what it says it will do, but not very well.

    Cons

    This program is clunky, poorly written and irritating to use. I use Acrobat 6 instead of Reader, and this program asks me the file path every bloody time that I open it because it's not in the "Reader" folder. Then I have to resize the window -- again. Sometimes it gets confused and I have to redo it a couple of times before it works. Even the interface design is ugly.

    Worst of all, there is absolutely no help or documentation, either with the software or online. You just have to guess how to use it. No menus, no options, nothing. You just get the application file, nothing else, not even a readme file. And of course there is no uninstaller. Inexcusable.

    Fortunately, there is a better alternative. I recommend "Adobe Reader SpeedUp" by Bootblock instead. Much more friendly to set up and easy to use. It even includes a description of every plugin and why you may not need it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Wow!"

    October 14, 2005  |   By asrirama

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    My Acrobat Reader 7 now hums like a fine tuned race car. I simply can't believe the improvement in speed. Great job guys, best of luck.

    Cons

    None yet

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great customization, speeds loading the program up!"

    September 2, 2005  |   By TransUtopian

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    Acrobat Reader starts up very quickly now... I've disabled browser integration for now but I can re-enable it with one checkbox. I still want PictureTasks (allows me to export pictures), so I took that off the "Don't load these plugins" list... Note this company also makes Photoshop SpeedUp, which is what I was looking for originally.

    Cons

    If you want to re-enable several plugins, Ctrl or Shift don't allow you to select more than one at a time. This could become a bear if Acrobat Reader gets a whole bunch of plugins like Photoshop comes with... To "re-disable" a plugin you've enabled, you have to close and restart PDF SpeedUp... There's an ad for its AcroPDF every time you close PDF SpeedUp... However, these cons are small compared to the pros for me.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "WOW!!!"

    May 23, 2005  |   By jay26tm

    Version: PDF SpeedUp 1.32

    Pros

    Awesome program -- I had reverted to using Adobe Reader 4.0 because it takes 6.0 forever to load, and then it never wants to unload from memory. Adobe is now lightning fast and doesn't eat up my resources.

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Results 1-10 of 21

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