Adobe Acrobat Out of Memory Error: Endless Pit of Horror

We recently went through a great deal of troubleshooting for an issue surrounding the scanning of, and later the unsuccessful attempted viewing of, an Adobe PDF. Below I outline the exact issue and resolution that worked for us in case you encounter the same problem (in an attempt to prevent you from drowning in the same pit of horror that we endured, I can’t believe we didn’t die).


  1. User scanned a 2 page document into Adobe Acrobat Pro (the issue occurred with multiple versions up to and including version 11)
  2. The size of the resulting PDF was very small: 100KB
  3. User uploaded the PDF to a web environment


  1. The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via a browser (the user would get a clocking white screen)
  2. The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via Adobe Acrobat (the user would get an Out of Memory error)
  3. All other users experienced the same symptoms as the original user when attempting to view the PDF from the web server via a browser or via Adobe Acrobat


  1. Verified the auto rotate feature was turned off in the scan settings
  2. Verified the orientation of the scanner matched the orientation defined within Adobe Acrobat
  3. Uninstalled, reinstalled 4 centillion versions of Adobe Acrobat on user machine
  4. Verified Adobe Reader was not present on user machine
  5. Cried a little
  6. Uninstalled, reinstalled the scanner 8 billion times


  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro
  2. Select Edit > Preferences > General > on left select Internet > Deselect “Allow fast web view” > on left select Documents > Deselect “Save As
    optimizes for Fast Web View” > select OK
  3. Rescan document with these new settings


  1. Go on a really, really, really long vacation and do not send a holiday greeting card to Adobe this year

Hit a button and help someone, magic app where are you?!

My last trip to Las Vegas, NV was like all prior trips – crazy fun.  The city is 24/7 entertainment, the folks are fantastic and the surrounding landscape is absolutely beautiful desert.

I see Las Vegas as an unusual island-like place since the extreme heat of summer often isolates the city with everyone corralled safely under magnificent lighting and air conditioning from the dangerous desert conditions.

In such a close environment I expect there to be a greater unspoken pressure to care for one another but like all other communities, this sometimes isn’t possible even with the best of intentions and some people suffer due to a myriad of reasons.  The visual impact of someone in need, standing quietly in 115 degree desert heat, in the center of excitement and fun has quite an impact on my heart.

I haven’t found a mobile application or web site yet that seems to be as immediate and verifiable as something like the hire-a-driver-on-demand mobile application Uber in terms of “hit a button and get results now”, probably because complex solutions are often in order when it comes to people in need.  Even so, I will continue to seek out this magic button and if I do not find it then, as a computer programmer, maybe I will write one someday that has the potential to be an epic failure:)  Until then, wherever you are, help someone.  You will be glad you did.  If you are a freak introvert like me then here are a few ways to help others without having to actually torture folks with your weird self:)

  • That good book you just finished, leave it on a park bench with a note.
  • On holidays, leave colorful cards with money in them in areas like bus terminals, park benches, public restrooms, bike racks, etc.
  • Whatever city you are in, know where the rescue mission is so you can take them food, money or clothing (or order the items online and have them delivered). Many already post needed items on their web sites.  I will be placing an order for this wonderful little place tonight:
  • Contact a church and ask for a shopping list for any church members they may have in need, get the items and leave it at the church, or order the items online and have them shipped directly to the church. Many churches will already have a list of needed items on their web site.

Web Applications – make this clear to users at all times: where they are and what they are using

When a user experiences a problem using an application, the list of possible issues can be lengthy depending on the complexity of the environment(s) and dependencies.  If the user is unable to clearly articulate to the help desk what application is broken or where they are when issues arise then this is a clear indicator that the training, documentation and application itself are not all using the same language.

Make things easy for your users by following these simple steps with every application your write and/or support:

  • Give the application one name and one name only. In this example we will give our application the name “Blue Safari”.
  • Place the name of the application prominently on every page of the application. This means “Blue Safari” is on every page of the application.  (not “Bls Version 2.0” but “Blue Safari” or “Blue Safari Version 2.0”)
  • If your application is a web application, try to place the name of the application somewhere in the url if possible.
  • All shortcuts or hyperlinks that take users to the application should be the name of the application (i.e. “Blue Safari”)
  • In all documentation and training for users and support staff, refer to your application with the same language. This means all references to the application will be stated as “Blue Safari”.

If you give your application several different names then several problems arise:

  1. The user either doesn’t know what to call the application when he or she calls the help desk to report the problem or the user calls the application by a name that no one at the help desk recognizes.
  2. A significant delay occurs before the issue is resolved simply due to the time spent sorting out the confusion over what exactly is broken and where it is.

Avoid contributing to the overall mayhem of our existence, it will only end badly, we both know that.  Unless of course your help desk gives out free ponies and chocolate ice cream with every call, then maybe as a caller I will not care so much that I am unable to clearly tell you what is broken.  Now I want ice cream.

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