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Can't view PDFs in my browser

When you click on a link to a PDF in your browser, you get a blank page or a blank page with a little icon (indicating a missing graphic) in one of the corners

Rightclick the link to the PDF file and choose Save Target from the pop-up menu (in MSIE/Windows -- in other browsers or operating systems the command for saving the target of a link rather than opening it will vary.)

In order to display PDFs, your browser needs to use a plug-in (in the form of an ActiveX control) supplied by Adobe when you installed Reader or Acrobat.

If you installed (or in some cases updated) your browser after installing Acrobat, the necessary plug-in won't be available to your browser. Try reinstalling Reader or Acrobat, whichever you use.

Another possibility is your security settings. Again, the specifics for each operating system and browser version will be different. Here's what you'd do in MS Internet Explorer 6:

  • Start MSIE and choose Tools, Internet Options from the menu bar
  • On the Security tab of the Options dialog box, click Internet (or whatever zone you're concerned with), then click the button marked Custom Level
  • In Security Settings, scroll to Run ActiveX Controls and Plug-ins and choose Prompt or Enable rather than Disable. If you choose Prompt, you'll have to OK a message box every time you click a PDF link.
  • OK your way out, then try the link to the PDF again.

There can be problems viewing PDFs in the browser if you use AOL. Check the README file for up to date information on the browsers and AOL versions your copy of Acrobat or Reader supports.

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