Adobe Reader Is Not Showing Pictures

By Jason Artman

PDF is a cross-platform document format that facilitates the viewing and printing of documents on many different types of computers and devices. The PDF format has the ability to embed images within a document. If you do not see images when displaying a document in Adobe Reader, you may need to update the reader or adjust your settings.

Show Large Images

You can configure Adobe Reader to not display large images in a PDF file. Adobe recommends using Adobe Reader on a computer with at least a 1.3 GHz processor and 256MB of memory; this option can improve performance when scrolling through documents on a computer that does not meet the minimum requirements. However, it may result in some images in a document not being shown. You can configure Adobe Reader to show all images by going to the "Edit" menu and selecting "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. Select the "Page Display" heading on the left side of the window, place a check in the box labeled "Show large images" and click "OK."

Scanning Issue

Adobe Reader X contains a known issue that can cause images to appear as black boxes when you scan a black-and-white newspaper to a PDF file. This problem relates to the interface mode used when scanning; you can correct it by using the "Custom Scan" option and selecting "Show Scanner's Native Interface" under "User Interface" when creating the PDF file.

Issues in Previous Versions

When exporting a large document with images to a PostScript file, Adobe Reader 8.1.2 may display the message "An error exists on this page" and won't display the images in the resulting PostScript document. Adobe Reader 9.0 also has an issue that can prevent images from being displayed properly; the PDFMaker plugin in Adobe Reader 9.0 may display images as black boxes when converting a Microsoft Office document to the PDF format. You can resolve both of these issues by updating to the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

No Pictures in Document

You can potentially save troubleshooting time by viewing a document in multiple PDF viewers. If you see no pictures when viewing a PDF document in another PDF viewer, the document most likely contains no images. Therefore, Adobe Reader does not have a problem. Foxit Reader is free and the Google Chrome Web browser has a built-in PDF viewer.