Adobe PDF is missing from the menu

April 10, 2008

If you have full Adobe Acrobat installed, then you get Adobe PDF as a menu option in Word and other Microsoft Office applications. But sometimes this menu item goes missing.

Word 2003

To get it back in Word 2003, go to Tools > Templates and Add-ins and make sure PDFMaker.dot is checked. (In Acrobat 9, it appears to be called PDFMCustom.dot.)

If that doesn’t work or you can’t see PDFMaker.dot on the list of templates and add-ins, try Help > About Microsoft Word then click the Disabled Items button. Select the Acrobat item, then click Enable. You may need to close then re-open Word for it to get back on your toolbar and menu bar.

If you can’t see anything related to Acrobat in the Disabled Items list, you may need to re-register the DLL using regsvr32. Follow Solution 2 here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/403/kb403561.html — even though this solution is for Word 2007, it works equally as well in Word 2003 (I did it successfully on my Windows XP machine with Word 2003 installed).

Word 2007

Adobe have a slew of suggestions for getting it back in Office 2007 here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/403/kb403561.html

[Links last checked May 2010]


  1. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
    I really needed this info to save my job…
    It worked, and I am so grateful…

  2. Glad it helped. I’ve got caught with it a few times, and figured that my brain can’t—and shouldn’t have to—hold all these little pieces of information so I should document it. Which really is what this blog is all about—documenting stuff I don’t need that often, but the next time I do, I don’t want to go through the learning curve and frustration again.

  3. For me Adobe is missing from Outlook. If I repair Adobe it comes back but then disappears again very shortly after. Any ideas hunted everywhere

  4. I don’t have the Acrobat icon on my Outlook (I never noticed that until you mentioned it!), but sometimes an icon for an Office add-in can get disabled for no apparent reason. To re-enable a disabled add-in, go to Help > About Microsoft Office Outlook, then click the Disabled Items button. If Acrobat or PDFMaker or similar is listed there, select it, then click Enable.

  5. Thks Rhonda but I had already looked there and it was not blocked . It was not there at all

  6. Thanks! Appreciate the simple instructions. They solve my problem!

  7. Thanks for this! Helped perfectly :)

  8. Just wanted to say Thank you, I appreciate the information like this being shared all over the web.

  9. Thank you very much for sharing your information.

  10. This seems to work on Acrobat v6 or earlier (from what I can tell from other message boards). I have version 7 and it is missing from word 2003. Any ideas??


  11. Hi Mitch

    I’m now using Acrobat 9 with Word 2003 and it went missing again. I tried the first step, but no PDF template was listed for me to check.

    I then tried the second step and the only disabled Acrobat item I found was for PDFMCustom.dot. I enabled that, then closed and re-opened Word. I now have the toolbar icon and the Adobe PDF menu option back.

    I’ve added these extra bits of information to the original post.


  12. thanks alot, i’ve spend 2 hours doing my best to recover that blody button….now i have a question…how can i replace text using adobe acrobat pro 9 extended?….

  13. I had a computer with this problem (acobe acrobat 7 & office 2003) and tried the steps above with no success. On the adobe kb website they suggested renaming the user’s normal.dot file. This fixed the problem.

  14. I have tried all of the recommended fixes and none work with Word 2002 and Acrobat 9 Pro. The two PDFMaker icons are there, and the toolbar is listed as an available toolbar, but it is gray when I click on the down arrow (next to the convert to PDF icon). When I tried to change the registry entry, it won’t load the PDFMaker module (which is where it is supposed to be in the Office file). I am simply trying to do two things: 1. preserve bookmark hyperlinks between Word docs and 2. link between my main Word doc and existing PDF files before converting the main document to PDF. Help!

  15. Thanks a lot, problem solved.


  16. Thanks for taking the time to post this information – it saved time and effort in tracking down this information.

  17. Thanks a bunch, Rhonda. Your suggestion fixed my problem. I spent several hours on this before I spotted your post. Next time I will surf your site first.

  18. […] Adobe PDF is missing from the menu […]

  19. Not happy. Just found out that Acrobat doesn’t work AT ALL with a 64-bit Office 2010 installation.

  20. […] A couple of months back I installed Office 2010 on this laptop as a test environment, and when I was checking out a whole lot of new stuff in Word 2010 and comparing it to Word 2007, I noticed that my Acrobat tab was missing from Word 2010. No problem, thought I — I’ve written a blog post on getting it back. […]

  21. I’m having the same problem with Outlook 2007. I used to be able to convert. I can print to pdf, but I can’t select a message and ‘save as’ like I used to be able to. Any ideas on this?


  22. This was a life saver for me! My Adobe button was there, but it appeared to be disabled. After repairing Acrobat Pro through the Control Panel, the button was gone. The Enable trick did the magic (using Word 2003, Windows XP, Acrobat Pro v9)

  23. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
    you saved my job…
    It worked, and I am grateful too..

  24. How to Enable Acrobat Ad-dins in Microsoft Office Word 2010 Pro, if you are using Adobe Acrobat X Pro then go ahead

    –>Open the word document
    –>Click the File menu
    –>Go to Options
    –>Then Add-Ins
    –>On the bottom of popup window you can see “Manage” label followed by Drop-down control, select “Disabled Items”. Hit “Go” a popup window will appear, select the Acrobat Add-Ins item listed on it and hit “Enable”.
    –>Close and Open your Word Document

  25. Awesome! Thanks for the tip–Word 2003’s help was useless.

  26. (Office Word 2010) After “enabling” the plugin via the Disabled Items list, I also had to enable it via the COM Add-Ins list…

  27. Quick & effective. Adobe PDF is back in the WORD menu.

  28. with your easy to follow steps for a not so computer savvy like me, it worked. thanks a lot! :)

  29. Thank you very much. It is very useful advice.

  30. I have 2003 and option 2 worked like a charm, I had looked all over, when they dissapeared …..thank you so very much

  31. Very good. Thanks a lot

  32. I’ve been all over the internet trying to fix my problem, this WORKED! thank you!!!

  33. Excellent help. Thank you very much. Adobe menu is back!
    WinXp and Office 2003

  34. Thanks a million .Microsoft office > Disabled item helped solve the problem.
    It was really easy and helpful.

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