Getting rid of the Acrobat PDFMaker toolbar in Office XP

This is a post I made in an old blog over a year ago, but that blog no longer exists and I had to go hunting for this information again today. So here it is.

October 19th, 2005

I have been through hell trying to figure out how to permanently delete the annoying little PDFMaker toolbar that Acrobat 7.0 installs in Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. This toolbar cannot be turned off by any ordinary means. It pops up in different places in the application, sometimes making a two-tiered toolbar set into a three-tiered one. It’s in the way, it serves no purpose when all one has to do is print to PDF anyway.


I did a few hours of searching before I found this fix. Here’ the entire document if you’d like to read it, but I’ll summarize below.

1. Open the Windows registry by typing ‘regedit’ at the command line.
2. Backup the registry before making changes.
3. Click on the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE]
then go through \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\PDFMaker.OfficeAddin].
4. Change the subkey called ‘LoadBehavior’ from a value of 3 to a value of 0.
5. This makes the change for Word; to do it for the other Office apps do the same thing (Excel, Outlook, Access, Publisher).

Easy-peasy and so much less of a headache. I love Photoshop but I really think less of Adobe for installing this little annoyance that insinuates itself into everything else.

4 comments

  1. Eeep, I use hacking the registry as a last resort!

    In newer Adobe applications the item can be removed from control panel, add remove programs, custom installation (select unavailable) for PDFmaker.

    I don’t believe Adobe Photoshop installs PDFmaker. That would be Acrobat.

  2. Me too. But when you install Adobe CS2 with the full version of Acrobat (which also contains Photoshop) this little problem insinuates itself into all Office apps. You cannot get rid of it by uninstalling PDFMaker; it comes back with every reboot unless you go after it at the registry level.

  3. For me, this was a wonderful fix–but for an altogether different program. I had installed a dictionary program some time ago, which has long since stopped working (Houghton Mifflin/American Heritage). Word insisted on creating a whole other level of toolbar with that single, inoperative icon. I could not get rid of it no matter how many things I tried, until this. Many thanks.

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