Enhanced PDF Books in Windows 10

When “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp” was first published in 2010, it was the first book of any kind about using SketchUp specifically for woodworking. It was also my first publication in PDF format with embedded videos. It was sometimes a struggle for readers to get the videos to work. That situation has become easier over the years, but the introduction of Windows 10 and new versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader have caused some confusion in what had become a straightforward process.

There are two things happening, and fortunately they are easily remedied with simple settings. The first thing is that Adobe Reader no longer arrives with a built-in version of Flash.

  • When you open one of my PDF books in a new installation of Adobe Reader, a notice appears telling you that you have to install Flash.
  • Click the “Learn More” button at the right of the yellow notice bar.
  • Install Flash and return to Reader.
  • Close Adobe Reader, reopen the program, then reopen the book.
  • Find a video in the book and it will function when you click on the image.


The second issue is a “Windows 10 thing”. Microsoft’s new browser “Edge” is set by Windows 10 as the default program to open PDF files. That’s nice if you’re online; you can read a PDF file right in your browser. Unfortunately, Edge does not support the interactive video features of my books. If you download one of my books and double-click to open it, Edge opens instead of Adobe Reader, and there is a blank space where the video ought to be.

You can avoid that by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Open With/Adobe Acrobat Reader” from the pop-up menu. You can also change the settings in Windows 10 to make Adobe Acrobat Reader the default app to open PDF files. Go to “Settings/Default apps” and scroll down to the bottom of the window. Select “Choose default apps by file type”.

You need to scroll through a lengthy list of file types to get to “.pdf”. Click on the Edge icon and select “Adobe Acrobat Reader DC” from the menu.  After you do this, the little icon in front of the PDF book file in “File Explorer” will change to the traditional PDF icon. If you see a blue icon instead, Edge is still the default app for opening PDFs. Once you make this change, a double-click on the book file will launch Adobe Reader, and you’ll never have to go through this again.

The video below walks you through setting up Adobe Reader. It doesn’t take very long, and you will be able to enjoy the embedded video content in my enhanced PDF SketchUp books.



If you need additional help getting the video content to function as it should, click my signature below to send me an e-mail.

— Bob Lang