Problems with Winedt 7 and Adobe Acrobat?

I just spent a while trying to solve this problem: the latest version of WinEdt (v7) seems to be unable to close the pdf document that it is working on and therefore can’t compile a new version of it (because Adobe Acrobat is blocking access to the file). I keep getting an error message saying “Cannot Open DDE Link to: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat9.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe” Service: AcroviewA10 …” (see screenshot below).

Some posts (can’t find it anymore) suggest that this is not so much a problem of WinEdt but of Adobe constantly changing the interface of their pdf software. Whoever is to blame: I could not find a solution that works with WinEdt 7. Regardless of some people stating that the solution is the same for any version of WinEdt, the idea of  replacing DDE Service Acroview with AcroviewR10 (Acrobat Reader) or AcroviewA10 (Adobe Acrobat) in “PDFCloseDoc.edt” (that’s what the file is called in WinEdt 7) does not work (for me).

So what’s the solution? It’s more a workaround than a solution: don’t use an Adobe product as your pdf viewer when working with WinEdt. You can keep Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader and use it as you like, but don’t have it as your pdf Viewer in WinEdt. Use Sumatra pdf instead. WinEdt works fine with it and you no longer need to close your pdf-document manually everytime you compile your LaTeX text.

How do you change the settings in WinEdt? – Go to

Options -> Execution Modes -> PDF Viewer

and change the path to the “PDF Viewer Executable” to wherever you installed SumatraPDF (in my case, it is “C:\Program Files (x86)\SumatraPDF\SumatraPDF.exe” because I have a 64bit version of Windows). Voilà!


4 thoughts on “Problems with Winedt 7 and Adobe Acrobat?

  1. Thank you so much for this! Again I tried changing ‘Acrobat.exe to AcroviewR10/A10’ with no joy & also doing a ‘System Restore’ to before Adobe updated, causing me this problem…
    Yay, I can continue writing my thesis again!

  2. Adobe 11 (blues continues)

    For those of you that are still using Adobe as a previewer with
    WinEdt 7 (rather than the more suitable application for this task:
    SumatraPDF) and are considering upgrading to Adobe 11 here is what
    you should know.

    Adobe 11 installer “forgets” to update the registry with the new
    DDE Service (in fact it puts old AcroViewR10). Consequently WinEdt
    will not be able to perform forward search or close the file that
    is being locked by Adobe before it is recompiled. You can read more
    about it on:

    or google for more (it affects all applications that rely on DDE
    service with Adobe)…

    Solution (if you still insist on using Adobe): In WinEdt start
    Options Interface. In Advanced branch open PDF Macros and
    double-click on Adobe Blues. At the end you will find something

    // If you must manually modify any of these variables do it here:
    // Assign(!”PDF-Caption”,!”Adobe Reader”);
    // Assign(!”Acro-DDE_Topic”,!”Control”);
    // Assign(!”Acro-DDE_Service”,!”AcroviewR11″);

    Remove the comment in the last line and restart WinEDT. If you have full Acrobat (rather than a free reader)
    then the service is probably AcroviewA11 or else just Acroview for
    Acrobat Pro (try a few values until it works for your version).

    And remember these instructions for the next Adobe version…

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