As of this date, quite a few people have posted this problem on the web but no one has a solution. Whenever I try to upload a PDF file from my Macintosh to my Treo 650, the PDFs never seem to get transferred and the Hot Sync log says:

Failed to install 1-templateprofits.pdf to the SecureDigital (SD) Card
– No application on your handheld to open these files. If you have recently installed such an application, please run that application and then perform a HotSync operation.

Of course, I have Acrobat Reader version 3.0.5 installed on my PalmOS device and I actually have some PDFs in the machine from previous transfers over a year ago. But something has broke and I don’t know what/how it occurred. I spent hours trying to figure this out and I learned a lot about the process to convert PDFs to PalmOS.

This problem seems to only occur on the Macintosh. My MacOS is 10.3.9 and all the posts seem to be old enough to imply the 10.3.x. If anyone has this problem with later versions of the OS, please note in the comments below.

First, you can’t just transfer PDFs to the Palm nor pass it through an SD card and expect Acrobat Reader to open the file. It requires converting the PDF with the application “Adobe Reader for Palm OS”. It can be downloaded from the Adobe website. Then it must be uploaded through the hot sync operation.

Once “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” has converted the files, they are placed in a folder located at “~/Documents/Palm/Users/[Palm Username]/PDFView/”. Again, you can’t just move these files to the PalmOS handheld as the file must still be converted to a .pdb file which is done during the Hot Sync operation.

Also, you can notice that the “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” does not recognize the Palm device when a Hot Sync occurs. You can test your “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” by pressing the “Preferences…” button:

And then click “Get Best Settings…” button:

When you do a Hot Sync, this window doesn’t update until the sync is almost finished:

Of course, when things aren’t going right, this window does not ever update thus “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” isn’t connecting to the Hot Sync process.

The Solution:
1) With “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” running, go to the “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” menu and select “Uninstall”.
2) Quit “Adobe Reader for Palm OS”.
3) Download and install the latest version of Palm Desktop Hot Sync from the PalmOS website.
4) Open “Adobe Reader for Palm OS”. You will be presented with a slightly different version of the “Get Best Settings…” window.
5) Do a Hot Sync from your handheld and this window should be updated near the end of the Hot Sync process.

You will now be ready to drag your PDFs to the “Adobe Reader for Palm OS” application for conversion. During your next Hot Sync with the Install conduit active, your PDFs should be converted to a .pdb file and transferred to your PalmOS device.

Rob Stokes

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