How to Change Language Settings in Acrobat Reader

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If you installed the multilingual version of Adobe Acrobat XI or X, you can choose from dozens of languages for the interface. Regular versions of the application usually come with only your native language and English. You can change the language from the Preferences window and configure Adobe Reader to prompt the user for a language at startup. If, however, you can't find your language in the list, you must perform a clean uninstall and then install the MUI (multilingual) version of Adobe Reader.

Change the Language

  • Launch Adobe Reader, click "Edit" and choose "Preferences" from the menu to display the Preferences window. Select the "Language" category from the Categories list.

  • Select a different language from the "Application Language" drop-down box. If you are not using the multilingual version, only your current language -- your native language or English -- is displayed. Select "Choose at application startup" instead of a language and then click "OK" to apply the changes.

  • Close Adobe Reader and then launch it again to display the language selection dialog. Again, for the the multilingual version, only your native language and English display. Select the language and click "OK" to use it. If you can't find the language you need, perform a clean uninstall of Adobe Reader and then install the multilingual version.

Perform a Clean Uninstall

  • Open the "Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool" page (link in Resources), check the "By downloading the software listed below, I acknowledge..." box and then click the "Download Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool for Windows version 2" link. Save the archive on your computer.

  • Extract the contents of the archive on your hard drive using an archiving utility, such as WinRAR or WinZIP, and then double-click the "AdbeArCleaner_v2.exe" file to launch the uninstall utility.

  • Click "Next" and then click the "Accept" button to accept the license terms. Click the "Reader" radio button to uninstall Adobe Reader and then click "Next" to proceed to the next step.

  • Keep the "Leave Adobe Acrobat workflow intact" box checked if you have Adobe Acrobat; otherwise, uncheck the box. Click "Clean Now" to start removing all traces of Adobe Reader from your computer.

  • Click "Finish" after the program has been removed and then restart your computer. Install the MUI version of the software to access dozens of languages.

Install the MUI Version

  • Open the "Adobe Reader 11.0 - Multilingual (MUI) Installer" page and click the "Proceed to Download" button. Click "Download Now" and save the installer on your computer.

  • Extract the contents of the archive in a folder on your hard disk and then double-click the "Setup.exe" file to start installing Adobe Reader. Select the language for the installation and click "OK" to proceed to the next step.

  • Check the "Make Adobe Reader my default PDF viewer" box to make the software the default PDF viewer. Click the "Change Destination Folder" button and change the destination folder, if necessary. Click "Next."

  • Select an update option from the list and then click "Install" to start installing the software. The setup process takes around two minutes. Click "Finish" to close the Setup window. You can use Adobe Reader right away; there is no need to restart your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • To force Adobe to display the language selection dialog without changing any settings in the Preferences window, select the "Adobe Reader XI" desktop shortcut, hold "Ctrl" and press "Enter."
  • If the languages are not displayed in the Application Language drop-down box in the Preferences window after you install the MUI version of Adobe Reader, select the "Choose at application startup" option.
  • You can change other language settings, such as the default reading direction, default font, and middle eastern languages settings from the Languages section of the Preferences window.
  • According to Adobe, you should use the uninstall utility after you attempt to uninstall Adobe Reader from the Control Panel. However, the utility is capable of removing all traces of the software even if you didn't uninstall the program first.
  • To uninstall Adobe Reader, press "Windows-X" to display the Power User menu, click "Control Panel" and then click the "Uninstall a program" link in the Programs section. Select the "Adobe Reader X" or "Adobe Reader X" entry and click the "Uninstall" button. Follow the instructions to uninstall the program.

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