For a few days I’ve been trying to figure out why an Adobe Acrobat document I created on one computer wouldn’t open on another computer. When I tried to open it, I’d receive an error message that said simply “bad encrypt dictionary”. That’s it.
I created the document in Acrobat 7.0, and encrypted it with 7.0 encryption (the program offers options for different levels or versions of encryption). I tried searching with Google for the error message, but there were so many posts about DRM (digital rights management) that I couldn’t see the fix quickly or easily. (With so many students applying to the UCs and Stanford, it’s been a very busy week, so I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes searching.) It turned out to be a really simple thing–the 6.0 Reader I was using couldn’t read 7.0 encryption, so updating this version of Adobe Acrobat Reader solved the problem.
When will software companies realize that creating user-friendly error messages will certainly result in greater usage, sales, and satisfaction for their products? For example, why couldn’t this error message read something like this: