Installing Acrobat Reader on a Macintosh CD-ROM

Summary: Downloading the Acrobat Reader for the Macintosh and installing it on a Macintosh (HFS) medium from a PC to offer your curstomers a complete solution


Acrobat Reader is a program distributed freely by Adobe to read Acrobat files (PDF - Portable Document Format). On the other hand, those PDF files are produced by applications which are distributed commerfcially (Distiller). PDF files are cross-platform compatible.
If you want to distribute PDF files on a hybrid (HFS/ISO 9660) CD-ROM created by MacImage, you can't be sure that all potential user already have a copy of Acrobat Reader. It os therefore better to include the installer on your CD-ROM.

Downloading Site

Acrobat Reader for the Macintosh is available from Adobe Downloading Page. As for all Web addresses, it could change with the time. If the link doesn't work any more, please check Adobe Home Page.
The main part of this downloading page looks like that:

In the first block, you can select the language and the operating system. In the sample screen shot above, we selected he PPC version for Macintosh, as a MacBinary file (bin suffix). Below, there is a link to Adobe page explaining the differences between the MacBinary format and the BinHex format. See also our comments on the main Installation Page.
In this precise case, you'll have anyway to make a second choice, since the Acrobat Reader exists both for the 68K processors (Acrobat version 3 only) and for the PPC processors (Acrobat version 4).
We tried with several navigators (MS Internet Explorer, Netscape 4 and 6) and always got correct files when downloading the MacBinary files. With Opera, use the Alternate Downloading Page, which gives real addresses (FTP addresses).
The two other blocks of the screen shot don't need any comments. Just click on the download button when you're ready to download.

Real Application or Installer?

Please note that the program you'll get on the Macintosh medium is an installer and not directly the Reader. The downloaded program is named "ar405en.bin". After copying it to the Macintosh medium, the name (stored in the container) becomes "Reader Installer".
You should tell your user to do the installation before viewing the PDF files. You can also use the Autostart feature to launch the installer automatically, but it is not necessarily a good practice to do that (How many user already have the Reader on their computer?).

Pierre Duhem (ex-Logiciels & Services Duhem)
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