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One or more pages are in use and could not be deleted

Just installed Acrobat X Pro, updated to 10.1.2. Computer is running Windows XP. Previous version of Acrobat was 8 Pro. I'm trying to delete a page in a PDF. I get the error message "One or more pages are in use and could not be deleted." Page does not delete, but sometimes the thumbnail page NUMBER deletes and all page numbers move up one. One time it deleted a totally other page that wasn't selected. Have tried saving and reopening file. Have tried several ways of deleting the page (select thumbnail, press Delete; extract & delete page; select thumbnail, Edit, Delete; Ctrl+Shift+D, specify page #). Acrobat has crashed several times trying to do this. I really need to delete this page.


Daniel Occoquan 938 days ago


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ok, finally got it deleted. Closed Acrobat, closed Windows Explorer, reopened Acrobat using Acrobat program icon, opened file by using menu File, Open. Page deleted fine.

Then another page wouldn't delete. Repeated process above. Page deleted. But now in thumbnail view the viewable area doesn't change when I click various places on the thumbnail, I have to actually move the page itself on the screen for the thumbnail viewing area to change.

I hope these problems don't keep recurring, this is simple stuff, deleting pages, and something I need to do often. Also, handy to be able to move viewing area by clicking on thumbnail.


By Daniel Occoquan answered 938 days ago  |   Comments (1)  |  New Comment

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This worked for me thanks!

Patrick B Commented 792 days ago  |   Report


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Welcome to the Acrobat Answers site. You're on your way! It won't take you many more points to reach the next level: Participant. And as you accumulate more points, you're also building your reputation with the community and with AcrobatUsers.com.

Adobe, at least the Acrobat side of their business continues to let me down. They release software without throughly testing it. Some of the simpliest tasks are overlooked. Bugs are reported and eventually fix only to find the same bug back in the software at a later time. The Acrobat team should start meeting with the Photshop side of the business to determine how they are so successful in releasing SOUND software. Come on Adobe!


Terry Hart answered 882 days ago  |   Comments (0)  |  New Comment

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Update Acrobat to latest version, then [Shift][Right-Click] and run Acrobat as Administrator.
This helped with Windows 7 as well. Too bad Adobe can't program for Windows properly.


Tom Lynch answered 708 days ago  |   Comments (0)  |  New Comment

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You're on your way! It won't take you many more points to reach the next status level: Contributor. And as you answer other users questions and accumulate more points, you're also building your reputation with the community and with AcrobatUsers.com.

I've been plagued by this problem for YEARS and have just stumbled over a workaround.

The secret is NOT to save the document until you've finished ALL of your page-deleting OR page-inserting operations. Yes, this runs counter to sensible computing practice, but it does work. Just do all of those operations on the file and save at the end. Sure, it's tense and bit nerve-wracking, but most will agree that that maddening "pages in use" message is equally nerve-wracking, with no payoff.

I managed to finish complex page edits to 29 files yesterday evening in about 2 hours with only one restart. Before discovering this workaround,I was resigned to spending all night. Hope this helps someone. Oh and thanks for the exceptionally poor product support, Adobe. This kind of gyration should not be necessary in a prouduct that costs as much as Acrobat.


Mark Tangard answered 530 days ago  |   Comments (9)  |  New Comment

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Nope. I just tried this. It does not work.

Stephen Sywak Commented 483 days ago  |   Report


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Sorry to hear. It's still working for me (AA 10.1.2). Are you certain you're holding off on any save commmands until the very end?

Mark Tangard Commented 483 days ago  |   Report


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If I delete page(s), do something else in the file, then try to delete more page(s), most times I have to close & reopen Acrobat before I can delete. I do not recommend working in Acrobat for extended periods without saving (or, for that matter, even for short periods) - it'll all end in tears!

Daniel Occoquan Commented 483 days ago  |   Report


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Yes, that's my experience too. So I do =only= the deletes & inserts (nervously), then save, close, and reopen to do anything else. It's horrible, but it's the only way around it I've found.

Mark Tangard Commented 483 days ago  |   Report


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I had this problem for the first time on a scanned (from Xerox) file and after moving around a bunch of pages. My trick was to move a page I wanted deleted to top, then extract all the rest to a new file, save, and then pages deleted just fine. There seems to be some glitch in the original file header that prevents a page deletion.

Darrel Stickler Commented 468 days ago  |   Report


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@Darrel, I just tried this and it didn't work for me. It sure sounds good though. Do I read this right, that after moving the page to the top, you extract pages 2 thru end to a new file & then you can delete from that AND save more than once between deletions without getting the error?

Mark Tangard Commented 468 days ago  |   Report


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@MarkT, yes. that is exactly it. I couldn't save. Had that darn "in use" message, tried everything just as someone posted near top. Extracted actually from 3 to end (about 12 pages total of bitmap scan). Saved As from the new "Extracted from" file. Further deleting worked fine from the Delete dialog (e.g., p 7 - 8)

Darrel Stickler Commented 468 days ago  |   Report


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@Darrel - Still isn't working for me; but I wonder if it has to do with the deletions being bitmap scans -- mine aren't. Will try adding a faux scan page & doing your steps and report back. (Yes, these gyrations are totally ridiculous...)

Mark Tangard Commented 468 days ago  |   Report


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Worked brilliantly for me, a bit nerve wracking as you say to edit your master document, but thanks!

Samantha Hanley Commented 244 days ago  |   Report


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I've found that this happens with really large files where Acrobat is still rendering a page. Once Acrobat finishes rendering the page, you can delete it. Sometimes it means watching system resource monitor for Acrobat to stop hogging CPU/Disk/Memory, and making sure the page has completely rendered. Then I delete the page.


Elizabeth Scrofano answered 365 days ago  |   Comments (1)  |  New Comment

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Definitely isn't the case here. On a super-simple 4-page file with no graphics if I delete one page, wait an ample interval, then save, and wait another interval, I still can't delete any others.

Mark Tangard Commented 365 days ago  |   Report


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