2021 Acrobat SDK Release Notes


A new release is available which fixes bug 4324516: Acrobat cannot launch if PDFLib TET Plugin is present. If you’re using v1 - Jan 2021, migrate to the latest version described below.


To access the downloads:

  1. Go to https://console.adobe.io/downloads.

  2. Download the SDK:

  • Windows: SDK version v2 - Mar 2021

  • Macintosh: SDK version v2 - Mar 2021


The 32-bit Windows and Mac platform uses separate installers for Reader and Acrobat. Windows 64-bit installers combine the two into a single installer.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: 32 and 64 bit

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: 32 and 64 bit

System requirements

The SDK supports the following:

  • Windows: Samples have been upgraded to compile using VS2019 for Windows 7, 8, and 10.

  • Macintosh: With this release Acrobat SDK samples could be compiled using X-CODE 9.2. Target Mac OS Deployment version is 10.11.

Changes for this release

All code samples, tools, and other API dependent assets are updated for compatibility with the latest compilers.


  • General changes for 64-bit Windows:

    • You must upgrade 32-bit plugins to 64-bit for them to work with the 64-bit app.

    • The SDK provides 64-bit public headers to 3rd party plug-in developers so that they can successfully create or upgrade their plugins.

    • Acrobat and Reader use the same, single installer. The unified application determines the mode in which it’s running (Reader/Acrobat) at run time. Plugins must dynamically check the whether the app is in Acrobat or Reader mode in order to determine what functionality should be available.

    • The application can transition from Reader mode to Acrobat mode without a relaunch, so plugins must react to mode notifications accordingly.

    • If any Acrobat-specific HFT is invoked in Reader Mode, it could throw a run-time exception. Plugins need to ensure Acrobat specific HFTs are not invoked while the application is running in Reader mode.

    • Existing plugins with different binaries for Acrobat and Reader must combine into a single binary. Product differentiation (Reader vs Acrobat) at install time is not possible.

  • Installation path

    • 64-bit: /Program Files/Adobe/<app name>/Acrobat/plug_ins

    • 32-bit: /Program Files (x86)/Adobe/<app name>/Acrobat/plug_ins

    • There is no “Acrobat Reader” specific path for 64-bit; there is for 32-bit.

    • The app name in the path is Acrobat DC.

  • Samples

    • App Wizard: The App wizard has been upgraded and will only work with VS2019.

    • wxPlugin: Upgraded to use wxWidgets 3.1.3. Developers must compile wxwidgets and copy the generated libs to NonAdobeSupport\wxWidgets\win\lib and header files to NonAdobeSupport\wxWidgets\win\include. File paths may vary with a user’s project configuration.

    • Removed unsupported CommonInterfaceAIR.air from snippetRunner Sample.

    • All existing samples are ported from Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 to Microsoft Visual Studio 2019. Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 is recommended to create and upgrade 64-bit native plugins.

    • Public header and sample plugins are updated.

  • Config folder: A new folder contains the common Visual Studio Settings for import by all VS project solutions: Adobe\Acrobat DC SDK\Version 1\Config.

  • Code changes:


Impacted API


AccessibilitySupport (AcrobatAccess.idl)

get_accID. See PDF Accessibility API Reference

32-bit: HRESULT get_accID(long *id); 64-bit: HRESULT get_accID(long long *id)

  • New data type

The following new data scalar type is added to the data types:


Byte size



4 ( win-32); 8 (win-64)

intptr_t: Signed integer of size equal to a pointer


4 ( win-32); 8 (win-64)

size of objects (as in size_t)


  • Plugin samples

    • MultiTab: To run the sample, place multitab_icons.pdf (from the SDK package) in /users/{username}/documents

    • wxPlugin: This plugin is delivered as Windows only due to dependency on the wxwidget library in Macintosh. TBD

  • AppleScript: WatermarkJsoAs: you must place the package input files present on the desktop. On script execution, users are prompted to specify an output folder in which to save the stamped file.

  • Tools

    • verifyUrl.acroplugin: Removed since it uses HITToolBox which is deprecated by Mac.

    • Sign Plugin.exe: Upgraded to 64 Bit to support Mac OS Catalina.

Known issues

  • Mac only: Acrobat crashes while running media in RunMediaPlayers.pdf

  • Mac only: Flash player crashes while running media in ScriptEvents.pdf

  • “SHA1 algorithm warning message” appears when signing using DocSign SDK sample

  • When protected mode is ON:

    • PDF file will open in a temporary window while using StaticViewVC.exe/StaticViewVB.exe

    • WatermarkJsoVB.exe will not work

Other issues:

  • 4301819: PDDomView present in Acrobat SDK sometimes doesn’t work

  • 4316221: Snippet Runner and Weblink Demo are not working on 64-Bit Acrobat due to dependency on the CommonInterfaceAIR.air

  • 4315936: [Protected mode] DMS integration sample is not working

  • 4315935: [Protected mode] Error coming while running ClienApp.exe for the DDE server sample

  • 4324516: Acrobat cannot launch if PDFLib TET Plugin is present. Note: this bug is fixed in the 3/11/2021 update (v2 - Mar 2021).