Adobe Acrobat 6.0 is a great application. But it takes forever to load. On my Toshiba M205, which has a 1.50GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, it used to take seventeen seconds. In today’s software world, that’s a long time—especially when you use the program several times a day like I do.

That’s before I downloaded and ran a nifty little program called Adobe Reader Speedup. This little program reduced my load time to three seconds flat! I’d call that a significant improvement.

You can do the same thing by holding down the Shift key everytime you load Acrobat, but I can never seem to remember to do it. Adobe Acrobat Speedup takes care of this problem once and for all. Here’s how it works …

Acrobat ships with a ton of plug-ins. By default, they load everytime Acrobat loads. They come in handy from time to time, but the truth is, most of them are completely useless for most users. Adobe Reader Speedup simply disables the least used plug-ins.

You can select between two different speed-up modes: Fast (which is recommended and disables the least used plug-ins) and Turbo (which disables even more plug-ins). Despite the fact that the documentation says that Turbo mode does not speed up the load time by much, I noticed about a one-second improvement by using it.

You can also choose to manage each plug-in on an individual basis. The program even includes a help file that tells you what exactly what each plug-in does. I couldn’t even find this information in the Acrobat help file!

The program is “donationware,” which means it’s free, but you can make a donation if you want to via PayPal. If you use Adobe Acrobat, this is a must-have program.