How to Open Adobe Acrobat

by Gregory Hamel

Adobe Acrobat is a series of document viewing and editing software created by Adobe Systems. Adobe Acrobat allows users to view, edit and create Portable Document Format (PDF) files. PDF files are commonly used for official forms, such as tax forms, as well as maps. PDFs are also sometimes used as a container to store long documents like scholarly articles and papers. Adobe Acrobat can be launched by itself or you can launch the program by using it to open a PDF file.

Open Acrobat in the Program List

Step 1

Click "Start" and then click "All Programs."

Step 2

Click on the "Adobe" folder.

Step 3

Click on your version of Adobe Acrobat. The programs will launch. If you do not see an Adobe folder in your program list, go to step 4.

Click "Start," "Computer," double click on your hard drive and open "Program files." Open the "Adobe" folder, open the folder associated with your Adobe product (such as Acrobat 9.0) and open the "Acrobat" or "Reader" folder. Double click on the .exe program launcher located in the folder. It should have a red Adobe logo as its icon and be called something similar to Acrobat.exe or AcrorRD32.exe.

Open a PDF with Acrobat

Step 1

Right click "Start," choose "Explore" and browse your computer for the PDF file you wish to open.

Step 2

Right click on the PDF file and choose "Open With."

Choose your Adobe product from the list of programs to open the file. The file will open using your Adobe product.


  • If an Adobe product is set as your default PDF reading program, the program will launch simply by double clicking on a PDF file.
  • Adobe Reader, formerly called Adobe Acrobat Reader, is a free program released by Adobe that allows users to view PDF files. Adobe Reader has limited features and will not allow users to create new PDF files. See the first Resource link at the bottom of this page.


About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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