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Adobe Reader

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Adobe Reader (also known as Adobe Acrobat Reader) is a free application that allows you to view and print PDF files. The Adobe Acrobat browser plugin (also called "Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape") allows you to view PDF files directly in a Web browser such as Firefox or Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey.

Note: Starting in Firefox 19, PDF files can be viewed in Firefox without a plugin, using the built-in PDF viewer. See this Firefox Support article and bug 714712 for details. [1]

Contents

Installing Adobe Reader

To get the current version of Adobe Reader, go to http://get.adobe.com/reader/ and click the "Download" button. You can also download current and previous versions of Adobe Reader here. The full, offline installer is available from the Adobe Reader Distribution page. After the Adobe Reader download is finished, close your Mozilla browser, go to the location where you saved the installation file (e.g., your Desktop or Downloads folder) and then run the installer.

Alternately, review the Adobe Reader system requirements, go to the Adobe Reader FTP site and download the installer for your operating system and language. For example, to download the Adobe Reader XI (version 11.0.06) English-US installer for Windows, go to ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/11.x/11.0.06/en_US/ and save the file "AdbeRdr11006_en_US.exe" to your computer. [2] [3]

Note: Adobe Reader XI is not officially supported on Windows Vista but can still be installed. See the Adobe forum thread Reader XI not available for Windows Vista. Why? for more information.

Updating Adobe Reader

To make sure your version of Adobe Reader includes the latest security and stability updates, open the Adobe Reader program and click "Help -> Check for Updates". This will update the installed version of Adobe Reader (e.g., Adobe 9) to the latest version (e.g., Adobe 9.4.1); however, it will not upgrade Adobe Reader to a higher version such as Adobe 10 (Adobe X). To upgrade to a higher version, you will need to download the installation file from Adobe's download page (see above) and then run the installer.

  • Adobe Reader users on Windows can find the latest updates listed here.
  • Adobe Reader users on Mac OS can find the latest updates listed here.
  • Adobe Reader users on Linux can find the latest updates listed here.

Adobe Reader plugin

Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 includes a browser plugin for Mac OS X but it does not work with Gecko-based browsers such as Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey/Firefox. [4]. Current versions of Adobe Reader for Mac OS do not include a plugin for use with Mozilla browsers. Use the schubert-it PDF Browser Plugin or the Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X extension instead.

Enabling the browser plugin

The following applies to the Adobe Reader browser plugin on Windows. For Linux or other operating systems, visit PluginDoc.

Adobe Reader includes a browser plugin which is enabled by default. You can test the plugin by clicking these test links:

Test link to PDF file at adobe.com
Test page with embedded PDF document at plugindoc.mozdev.org

Links to PDF files should open automatically in a browser window or tab and opening a webpage with an embedded PDF document should display the PDF content. If that's not happening:

  • (Firefox 3.x or SeaMonkey 2 and above) Open "Tools -> Add-ons (or Add-on Manager) -> Plugins" to verify that the Adobe Acrobat plugin is listed and enabled. If it's "grayed out", select the Adobe Acrobat entry and click "Enable".
  • Go to the about:plugins list of installed plugins and look for an entry for Adobe Acrobat (File name: nppdf32.dll).

If you don't see the Adobe Acrobat plugin listed, close your Mozilla application, open the Adobe Reader program and make sure that "Display PDF in browser" is selected in the Adobe Reader program preferences, under "Internet". If it is already selected, "toggle" the setting as follows: [5]

  1. In Adobe Reader, choose "Edit -> Preferences -> Internet".
  2. Deselect "Display PDF In Browser" and then click OK.
  3. Choose "Edit -> Preferences -> Internet"
  4. Select "Display PDF In Browser" and then click OK.
  5. Reopen your Mozilla application and verify that the plugin is enabled.

Note: Starting in Adobe Reader 9, the "Display PDF In Browser" setting only controls whether or not .PDF files are displayed within a browser window. The Adobe Acrobat plugin will continue to be enabled and listed in about:plugins, regardless of this setting, and PDF documents will still open automatically, either within the browser window or within the Adobe Reader program. [6]

If about:plugins doesn't list the Adobe Acrobat plugin, the file that stores plugin information may be damaged. To fix this, close your Mozilla application and delete the file "pluginreg.dat" from the profile folder location (the file will be regenerated). Reopen your Mozilla application and recheck the about:plugins list.

In Firefox and SeaMonkey 2, also make sure that the option to use the plugin for opening PDF files is selected in your Download Actions or (Helper) Applications listing, as follows (for additional information, read File types and download actions):

  • Firefox 2: Go to "Tools -> Options -> Content / File Types" and click the "Manage..." button. Select "PDF" from the list of extensions, click the "Change Action" button and select "Use this Plugin:" (Adobe Acrobat).
  • Firefox 3 and above: Go to "Tools -> Options -> Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry in the list of content types, open the drop-down menu and select the option, "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)", as shown here on Windows XP.
  • SeaMonkey 2: Go to "Edit -> Preferences -> Helper Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry, open the drop-down menu and select the "Use Adobe Acrobat (in SeaMonkey)" option.

Note: If Firefox or SeaMonkey 2 is missing the PDF or Adobe Acrobat entry in the Download Actions or (Helper) Applications list, even though about:plugins lists the Adobe Acrobat plugin, completely exit your Mozilla application, open the profile folder and delete the mimeTypes.rdf file (or rename it XmimeTypes.rdf). When you restart your Mozilla browser, all download actions will be reset and you will be able to use the plugin for PDF file downloads.

Disabling the browser plugin

You can prevent automatic opening of .PDF documents by disabling the Adobe Acrobat browser plugin. This will allow you choose another action for PDF links, such as opening them in Adobe Reader as an external helper application. Use one of these methods:

Method 1: Starting in Firefox 3 and SeaMonkey 2, you can use the Add-ons manager to disable the plugin.

  • Firefox 3 and above: Go to "Tools -> Add-ons -> Plugins". Select the Adobe Acrobat entry and click "Disable".
  • SeaMonkey 2: Go to "Tools -> Add-on Manager -> Plugins". Select the Adobe Acrobat entry and click "Disable".

Method 2: The following applies to the Adobe Reader browser plugin on Windows. For Linux or other operating systems, visit PluginDoc. This will prevent .PDF files from opening in a browser window and applies to all browsers; however, it does not disable the Adobe Reader plugin in all cases (see the note below).

  1. Close your Mozilla application
  2. Open the Adobe Reader program and go to the "Edit -> Preferences" dialog.
  3. Select the "Internet" category and deselect (uncheck) "Display PDF in browser".
  4. Close Adobe Reader
  5. Open our Mozilla application and view the about:plugins page. The Adobe Acrobat plugin "nppdf32.dll" should no longer be listed.

Note: Method 2 only disables browser integration in Adobe Reader 9; it does not disable the browser plugin. It also may not work in other cases. [7] [8] [9] If using Method 2, these additional steps may be needed:

  • Close your Mozilla application, delete the file "pluginreg.dat" from the profile folder location and recheck about:plugins. [10]
  • Close your Mozilla application, open the installation directory "plugins" folder and remove the "nppdf32.dll file, if found.
  • To ensure that the Adobe Acrobat plugin is not being found via plugin scanning , find and rename all instances of "nppdf32.dll" on your computer. Alternately, disable the plugin scan via about:config (or via the user.js file) by modifying the value of the preference plugin.scan.Acrobat from the default 5.0 to a value greater than the version installed, e.g., to 10.0.

Bypassing the plugin for PDF file links

You can prevent direct links to .PDF files from opening in a browser window and force them to open in Adobe Reader as an external program, as follows. This does not disable the Adobe Reader plugin, however, which will still open .PDF files embedded in a webpage.

  • Firefox 2: Go to "Tools -> Options -> Content / File Types" and click the "Manage..." button. Select "PDF" from the list of extensions and click the "Change Action" button. Select "Open them with the Default Application".
  • Firefox 3 and above: Go to "Tools -> Options -> Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry in the list of content types, open the drop-down menu and change the option from "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)" to "Use Adobe Reader (default)" as shown here on Windows XP.
  • SeaMonkey 2: Go to "Edit -> Preferences ->Helper Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry, open the drop-down menu and change the option from "Use Adobe Acrobat (in SeaMonkey)" to "Use Adobe Reader (default)".

Bypassing the plugin for specific usage

Even if you have not disabled the plugin you can still bypass its use to read a PDF document directly with the Acrobat Reader, regaining features not available in the plugin. Paste the url address ("Copy link location" using Link context menu) of the PDF file into the Windows Explorer ("My Computer") address bar, or into the Windows "Start -> Run" box (on Windows Vista, using the "Start Search" box would also work.)

Using Adobe Reader without the browser plugin

The following applies to the Adobe Reader browser plugin on Windows. For Linux or other operating systems, visit PluginDoc.

If you have disabled or are bypassing the plugin (above) then you have the full features of the Adobe Reader available to you.

"Reading Adobe Acrobat Files in single column mode" You can reflow most multi-column PDF documents into a single column for easier reading on your screen using View -> Zoom -> Reflow To return to normal uncheck Reflow. Reflow won't work for all files or for all pages, but most PDF documents can be reflowed. May not look the best, but the main thing is that you can simple scroll up and down without having to scroll across to read other columns.

"Full screen viewing" For full screen Ctrl+L, for Reading Mode (eliminates a toolbar) Ctrl+H, both are toggles so to undo hit the same keys again.

Saving PDF files to disk

You can save PDF files to disk and then open them without using the Adobe Acrobat plugin (or other PDF viewer plugin) by right-clicking links to PDF files and choosing "Save Link As".

To save all PDF files on which you left-click:

  • Firefox 2: Go to "Tools -> Options -> Content / File Types" and click the "Manage..." button. Select "PDF" from the list of extensions, click the "Change Action" button and select ""Save to disk".
  • Firefox 3 Go to "Tools -> Options -> Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry in the list of content types, open the drop-down menu and change the option to "Save File" as shown here on Windows XP.
  • SeaMonkey 2: Go to "Edit -> Preferences ->Helper Applications", select the "Adobe Acrobat Document" entry, open the drop-down menu and change the option from "Use Adobe Acrobat (in SeaMonkey)" to "Save File".

PDF files will now be downloaded to a folder for direct opening in Adobe Reader or another PDF viewer.

Using an alternative PDF viewer

Alternative PDF viewers are available, such as the Foxit Reader (for Windows, Linux, U3) and the Schubert|it PDF Browser Plugin (for Mac OS X). Other PDF viewers are listed here. It's possible that some PDF files may not work and some functionality may be missing in viewers not made or supported by Adobe. You may wish to keep your Adobe Reader program installed and just disable the Adobe Reader browser plugin (see above) when adding an alternative PDF viewer [11]. That way, if problems arise, you can save the PDF file and open it by right-clicking, selecting "Open with" and choosing your Adobe Reader program.

Using an extension to display PDF files

  • The PDF Download extension gives Firefox users multiple options for handling PDF files such as viewing as HTML, opening within the browser or opening within the default or preferred PDF viewer.
  • The Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X extension uses the built-in PDF support in Mac OS X to display PDF documents within Firefox. Requires Firefox 3 and Mac OS 10.4 or higher. Also works on an Intel Mac, according to user feedback.

Troubleshooting

  • If you see a message, "This object has been blocked" when downloading a PDF file, it is usually caused by Zone Alarm Pro or other security software which can block downloads of certain file types, including PDF files. See the article Object has been blocked for how to fix this problem and read this ZoneLabs forum topic for a more detailed explanation.
  • When you click a link to a PDF file, in some cases it may be automatically saved or you may be prompted what to do, even though you have the Adobe Reader plugin enabled or you have the Adobe Reader application set to open PDF files in your browser settings for applications and file types. This can occur when a misconfigured web server assigns an incorrect MIME type or if the server assigns "Content-Disposition: attachment" to the file download. There is little you can do in these cases because the problem is at the server end. [12]

See also

External links