Sunday, November 01, 2009

How to Fix: "Unable to find Adobe PDF resource files" - Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions- Acrobat Pro

Have you found yourself facing an Adobe Distiller (Adobe Acrobat Pro) error message something like this recently, when trying to print / output to a PDF file from a non-Adobe application on Windows?
"Unable to find Adobe PDF resource files" that mentions the directory "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Adobe PDF\Settings" and the supposed missing file "Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions"?
Well, I ran into this, and after searching the Internet for fixes, I found a whole lot of people talking in vagueness about how to "fix" this, to say the least, and providing little real information about how to fix the problem at hand (and, the advice produced zero resolution to the problem). Well, I figured it out myself, and I hope this information helps you.

Symptoms / Setup
First, I am using Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional (with 7.1 update), as was installed via the Adobe Creative Suite CS2 software, and on my Windows XP Professional desktop machine that has Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed. Producing PDF files was never a problem for me, until at some point (perhaps SP3?) it just stopped working, and every time I tried to produce a PDF from various applications, it would prompt me about "Do you want to run the installer in repair mode? ", to which I (foolishly, hopefully) said "yes" to, which of course does NOT fix anything. [note: I hate software like that!!! What is the point of a "repair mode" that does not repair the issue at hand?]

How to Fix / Resolve
Well, if you are "Unable to find Adobe PDF resource files" because your Acrobat Distiller can not find the file "C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents/Adobe PDF/Settings/Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions", let's get that file to exist!

It seems, from what I can tell, that Adobe Acrobat Distiller (i.e., the program that creates PDF files for you as a print-driver essentially), needs that EXACT NAMED FILE to exist, at that exact location. Never mind that you already have a "Standard.joboptions" file defined, and that logic would dictate SHOULD be used in the absence of the file "Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions"; you have to tell Acrobat 7.0 / 7.1 / 8.0 / etc that you really want that "standard" one to be used for performing conversions from certain non-Adobe applications that you are trying to "print a PDF from".

So, go to the folder mentioned: NOTE... THIS IS A HIDDEN FOLDER. So, to make things easy, presuming you installed on the "C:" drive, just copy and paste this following line to your Windows File-Explorer's address-bar, and you will go right to the folder, hidden or not:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Adobe PDF\Settings
Now, you should see other ".joboptions" files in that directory already, and presumably you do NOT have the "Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions" there, or you would not be getting this error message.

Choose whatever ".joboptions" file makes sense as your "default" for printing PDF files from your various Windows applications, and copy it to a file named,... you guessed it: "Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions" (in this same directory) I chose the "standard.joboptions" file, and copied it.

Now, try to print / generate a PDF from whatever application was otherwise having a bug or problem printing PDF files because of this pesky "Unable to find Adobe PDF resource files" Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions message and "run in repair mode?" not-a-fix option...

With luck, YOU CAN NOW PRINT A PDF from any application! (I sure hope so... it worked well for me!) What finally inspired me to FIX this issue on my desktop was when I was using the new VMware Workstation 7.0 feature called "Virtual Printer" which allows the guest VM's (virtual machines) to print to any installed host-printer (including, you guessed it, Adobe Acrobat / Distiller PDF printing!). Now I can print from ANY of my guest virtual-machines to an Adobe PDF file, using the host machine's installed Acrobat Professional 7.0 / 7.1, via a virtual-printer-passthrough mechanism. Sweeeeeet. But, this is a bit off topic aside from how cool it is!

Optional - Create your default PDF output-settings file first...
If you want to create a custom .joboptions file in this directory, just open up Acrobat Distiller, go to "Edit Adobe PDF Settings", and create a definition for however you want your default-output (when printing a PDF) to be, and "Save As..." whatever file name you desire. Then, copy THAT definition file to "Adobe PDF Converter.joboptions" in the directory I have been talking about here (which is where your new definition, by default, should have been saved during "save as" operation).

Final Thoughts...
From the types of web pages I was seeing when searching for a way to fix this "unable to find adobe pdf resource files" bug / feature, I noticed that it seems to occur with Acrobat Pro 7, Acrobat 7.1, Acrobat 8.0, and perhaps even Acrobat 9 (and Acrobat 6.0 ?).

So, hopefully this helps anyone trying to "solve the problem" on their machine with printing a PDF file and getting that darn message about running repair mode (which does nothing). If it helps, I would not mind a link to this page to promote a solution that really IS a solution (after all the time I wasted searching, and not finding one, I wish someone else would have promoted a real fix). Enjoy!

21 comments:

blackworx said...

Thank you!!

What really annoys me about this is that absolutely nothing changed about my windows installation and suddenly this happened. Printing PDFs from InDesign was working fine with SP3, then all of a sudden it wasn't, and I haven't applied any updates to XP, Acrobat or Indesign in the last six months!

The mind boggles.

m said...

Thank you! It fixed the problem

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I have been struggling with this issue for months and finally just gave up and started converting the files or exporting them until that also stopped working. I appreciate this help, now I can get back to work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is a simple solution that actually works!

Astrid said...

Thanks! it works for me too!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

dashaman said...

do this fix include win7? we all know that folder doesnt exist with win7?

Mike Eberhart said...

@dashaman,
I have not confirmed this issue or fix-procedure on Win7; I had Windows XP at the time of this writing, and have not had the opportunity to test on Win-7. Perhaps some others reading this have? If so, please leave comments pointing out any differences on Win7. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This worked perfectly thank you!

Anonymous said...

thanks very much..you should know that you have saved me a lot of trouble by sharing this..keep up the good work

dashaman said...

@mike,

it's so confusing alright. i have no problems with this issue if i am intalling acrobat 8.0 on win7 inside virtualbox under debian linux.

but with my win7 native pc, i am having problems with this issue.

and been using the same version of win7. what i have right now on my win7 native pc, i don't have the pdf printer on my printers list unlike to the virtualbox win7 it is there.

will do try to work at it some more and see if i can find a solution to my case. thanks again

scott said...

thanks, but still not working for me. I'm not trying to print, I don;thave a printer, just trying to convert a doc to a pdf. I followed your instructions but I'm still getting the same error mesage.

Anonymous said...

Worked for 6.0 as well. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Thank you.

Hairyfriend said...

For a very long time i was struggling with this problem until i'll find your answer. THANK YOU!!

Lussya said...

For Windows 7, the location is:
C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings

Thank you for sharing the solution!

Anonymous said...

I'm on a very old version of Distiller (5.0) as it's been working fine for me for everything I need. However, went to do the trial version of XI Pro, and didn't actually purchase it, and that's when I noticed it start happening. I did implement these instructions, but it didn't work for me. It is a different directory that my joboptions are stored: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Distillr\Settings

Mike Eberhart said...

Anonymous-2013-10-11,
Sorry, I do not have the latest version of Acrobat Pro XI so I cannot (currently) try to help debug the issue. Maybe someone else reading this will and post the "solution". regards.

Elridge Tann said...

Thank you so much for posting this solution. I was stuck in the middle of a project, and this is worth it's weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million ...after doing the decimal a few times this was the only solution.

Miftah Farid said...

Thank you so much. It's work