If you are like me, you receive lots of email attachments in the form of PDF files. That's because turning documents into PDFs is the best way to create documents that look the same regardless of which computer you view them on. So with Outlook's built-in attachment previewer, you would think that it would be a snap to view PDF attachments.
But right out of the box, Outlook won't view this kind of attachment. Instead, you need to view them outside of Outlook. Or more correctly, that's the way things work until you configure Outlook to use the free PDF previewer that's included in recent versions of Adobe Reader.
Now before we go any further, let's be clear on what this all means. Like all other Outlook previewers, setting this up will allow you to display but not create or edit PDFs, even though you are using software from Adobe. With that clarification out of the way, lets get to it.
Actually telling Outlook how to use the PDF previewer is easy. All you need to do is download the current version of Adobe Reader, install it, then configure Outlook 2007 to use it. It usually only takes a few minutes to from start to finish. Even if you aren't someone who fiddles arounds with the programs running on your computer, if you can follow simple directions, you can surely set this up.
Why is this worth the effort?
Because you won't have to jump out of Outlook to view PDFs anymore. Instead, you will be able to preview PDF attachments in Outlook's Reading Pane. You won't have to open a PDF viewing program and get sidetracked. Your preview of the attachment occurs right in Outlook where you would expect it to happen. And you can make it happen for free.
Where do I download this Adobe Preview PDF add-in?
You download this previewer add-in at the Adobe website. The add-in is part of Adobe Reader, the free PDF viewing program that Adobe distributes. You can find detailed instructions for every step of the process, including downloading the perviewer add-in at the link listed at the end of this article.
Can I really do this?
If you have ever installed anything on your computer, you can definitely install this Adobe add-in. All you need is detailed, step-by-step instructions. With quality instructions you can literally complete the process and start previewing PDF attachments in minutes.