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!