Like me, you probably spend a great deal of time opening and viewing PDFs. You might as well make this as simple and painless as possible. You can easily set your preferences to make PDFs appear just they way you want them to, every time. Here's how:
In Acrobat, choose Acrobat > Preferences (Macintosh) or Edit > Preferences (Windows) or press command-k (Macintosh) or ctrl-k (Windows). In the Preferences dialog box, choose the Page Display category, and then change the Page Layout and Zoom settings to whatever you want them to be. I prefer to have the Page Layout set to Single Page, and the Zoom set to Fit Page.
This will make most PDF files open the way you want them to, but there's one exception. The creator of a PDF file can specify the opening view of a PDF. When this is done, it will override the preferences on your computer for that PDF file. In other words, the creator of a PDF can specify that a particular PDF always should open at 200%, facing pages view on everyone's computer, regardless of their preferences. But the vast majority of PDF files specify this, in which case your preference settings apply.
In my next post, I'll show how you as the creator of a PDF can specify the opening view for your audience.