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Old 02-26-2019, 09:01 AM
JohnW2 JohnW2 is offline Windows 10 Office 2010
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
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Default Ancient version of Adobe Pro able to open Excel and Publisher, but not Word or PowerPoint

Hi there,

I’m doing things which aren’t guaranteed to work, so it’s only too easy for people to ‘answer' my questions simply by talking about "unsupported", "incompatible", "obsolete" and suchlike - but I'm not a person who gives up that easily!

My apologies in advance for the length of this post, but it’s quite a complicated issue to describe. Also, please be reassured that this does ultimately culminate in an office-related question, even if that might not initially appear to be the case!

I have an ancient ('unsupported', and some even say 'incompatible with Windows 10') version of Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, and also Office 2000 Pro ('unsupported') and Office 2010 Pro which, a few months ago, I installed on a new Win10 machine (exactly the same things had previously been installed on a Windows XP machine, and all work fine under that OS).

Acrobat, and all of the Office 2000 and Office 2010 applications work fine, in all respects, on the Win10 machine - with the one exception I am discussing below.

Not only does virtually everything within Acrobat (which I installed after installing Office) work as it should, but installing it resulted in "Convert to Adobe PDF" appearing the the 'context' (right-click) menus for all Office files (e.g. .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pub etc.), and ".PDF” (using the Adobe add-in) appearing as a "Save As" option in all the Office 2010 applications - and those options all work as expected.

Within Acrobat, one of the options is to 'combine files into a single PDF'. If one invokes that (and I describe here what happens with the same versions of Acrobat and Office running under XP), one can enter a list of files in 'supported formats', that list of formats including (under XP) all types of Office files (as above). When one asks Acrobat to 'combine' those files, it goes through them in the order specified, briefly opens the application in question (presumably to convert the file to PDF) and then, at the end, combines all those PDFs into one, as requested.

That was with XP. With my Win10 installation (of the same version of Acrobat, and same versions of Office), the same thing works, "up to a point", BUT the only Office file types which appear in the 'supported file types' list (and therefore the only ones which can be processed/combined) are those for Excel (.xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb) and Publisher (.pub). I can therefore combine together Excel and/or Publisher files into a single PDF, but cannot include Word or PowerPoint files (which I can under XP). Similarly, if one tries to use Acrobats “convert files into PDF” facility, the list of files it can covert also includes only Excel and Publisher, not Word or PowerPoint

I have discussed this at length with Adobe folk and, although I've had lots of interesting ideas and suggestions on the Acrobat side, none of those have so far proved to provide a solution to the problem, and all ideas (as regards Adobe itself) seem to have been exhausted.

It is therefore being suggested that ‘all that is left’ (I’m sure that is not literally true!) is that Acrobat may be regarding these file types as "unsupportable" (and therefore not including them in the list of 'supported file types') because, unlike the case with Excel and Publisher, Acrobat is finding that it cannot open Word or PowerPoint. It is therefore being suggested that I explore the possibility that it is something to do with the installation and/or configuration of those Office applications and/or Windows that is preventing Acrobat from being able to open these applications.

The file associations are all correct, and I cannot find any clues in the registry - all possibly-relevant registry entries I’ve found and looked at are essentially the same for Word and PowerPoint (both 2000 and 2010) as they are for the corresponding keys for Excel and Publisher.

So, at long last, the question is …. has anyone got any thoughts as to what might possibly be making it impossible for a program (Adobe) to open Word and PowerPoint (both 2000 and 2010), even though it can open Excel and Publisher ones?

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Kind Regards, John
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:04 AM
JohnW2 JohnW2 is offline Windows 10 Office 2010
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
JohnW2 is on a distinguished road

A quiock update, at least partially answering my own question ....

I have solved this problem, at least as far a Word is concerned (which is all that really matters to me).

Although it took a lot of time/effort, as is so often the case, once found the solution was very simple - and, fortunately, it was not due to any issues of obsolescence, 'unsupportedness' or incompatibilities of the applications/OS involved.

The problem was some rogue registry entries for Word file associations which were not apparent by using ASSOC / FTYPE. Once these were sorted out, the Word formats (.doc, .docx, .docm, .docb) immediately appeared in Acrobat's 'supported file types' list, and all functionality was as it should be.

I have found, and corrected, some similar registry issues with PowerPoint, but Acrobat still does not recognise any PowerPoint file types as 'supported'. This doesn't really matter to me, but I suspect that I need to take a finer toothcomb to the registry. It's certainly not 'far off' working, since a right-click on any PowerPoint file enables one to successfully convert it to PDF (using Acrobat's 'engine'). If I find the (probably, again, 'simple') solution to this, I'll report back!

Kind Regards, John
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