Adobe Reader is an application used for viewing and printing portable document format, or PDF, files on your computer. PDF files can contain multiple different types of elements that standard document files do not. A single PDF file can contain drawings, videos, images, spreadsheets and more. Because of the capability with this format, digital manuals for software applications are often distributed in PDF. In addition, many employers may require you to have Adobe Reader on your computer to be able to read and follow presentations. You can find out if you have this application from within the Windows Start menu.
Click the "Start" button to display the Start menu. Type "Adobe" in the Search field, and then look in the list of search results for "Adobe Reader." If this is present, Adobe Reader is installed on your computer. You can launch the application by pressing the "Enter" key.
Type "Installed Programs" in the Search field, and press the "Enter" key. This opens a window titled "Programs and Features," which contains a list of programs installed on your computer. Look for "Adobe Reader" in the list of programs. If this is present, Adobe Reader is installed on your computer. If this is not present, Adobe Reader is not installed. Download the application from the Adobe Website, and follow the on-screen instructions to run the automated installation.
Press the "Windows" and "R" keyboard keys simultaneously to open a Run dialog. If you have a 32-bit version of Windows, type "C:\Program Files\Adobe" and press the "Enter" key. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows or if the previous text displayed an error, type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe" and press the "Enter" key. This action opens the main Adobe program directory. Inside of this directory might be multiple folders. Locate and double-click the "Reader" folder to open it. Inside the Reader folder will be a second folder named "Reader." Double-click to open this folder. This opens the directory that contains the shortcuts used to launch Adobe Reader.
Locate and right-click the "AcroRD32" file, and click "Send To (Desktop Create Shortcut)." These actions will place an icon on your desktop that you can use to open the program.
Navigate to your desktop, and double-click the new "AcroRD32" shortcut. This opens the program in a new window on your screen. Click "Help," and then click "About Adobe Reader." This opens a second window containing information specific to your version of the program.