X
Tap here to go to the mobile version of the site.
Your Firefox is out of date and may contain a security risk! Upgrade Firefox

Support Forum

FF 19 and PDF viewer issue

Posted

So the latest version of Firefox 19 comes with a built in PDF viewer.

The problem that I found is that this viewer at its present time does NOT show fillable fields ina PDF, or let the user type into these fillable fields, or show the electronic print and instructions buttons we place at the top of most of our PDF "forms".

Ex: http://www.tmcc.edu/financialaid/downloads/forms/1213/FINAConsortiumAgree1213.pdf

This form should show buttons at the top and let a user fill it out. It does with the Reader plugin. In FF 19's built in PDF viewer I cant seem to do anything.

We presently make all our PDF forms fillable, so if this is an issue, hopefully a fix or update can be found.

Chosen solution

This is under development.

See:

  • bug 739043 - Can't fill fillable PDF forms with PDF Viewer

(please do not comment in bug reports: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html)

Read this answer in context 6

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.5 r502
  • Google Update
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.13.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator version:0.1.44.23
  • Version 3.13.2.11592
  • LogMeIn, Inc. Remote Access Components
  • A plugin to detect whether the Adobe Extension Manager is installed on this machine.
  • Citrix Online App Detector Plugin
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.01
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision Streaming plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • A plugin to detect whether the Adobe Application Manager is installed on this machine.
  • ActiveTouch General Plugin Container Version 105
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0

More Information

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

I see http://www.tmcc.edu/financialaid/downloads/forms/1213/FINAConsortiumAgree1213.pdf ok with no error message in fx21

However OP was asking:

The problem that I found is that this viewer at its present time does NOT show fillable fields ina PDF, or let the user type into these fillable fields, or show the electronic print and instructions buttons we place at the top of most of our PDF "forms". .

Obviously not something the viewer supports, I guess the clue is in the name it is a viewer, not an editor.

Rich Pasco 0 solutions 30 answers

John99, you were asking "when doesn't the built-in PDF viewer not work right? Well, here's one:

When viewing a PDF file in Firefox, "File / Save Page As..." often creates a file with a different name than original PDF. Sometimes it even adds an ".html" extension! In other cases, it picks out the title of an EPS figure embedded in the larger document. For example, when I view and save http://localhost/ban/banewsp2.pdf the file is not named banewsp2.pdf: as I would expect but rather "BANLOGO4.EPS - banewsp2.pdf".

You may want a publicly-accessible example, so I'll try to create one and post back.

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

Update
Initial target fx 22, but 6th Feb bug 738952 now verified fixed as far as fx20 (Beta3).


Hi richpasco,
The saved file type issue may be fixed in Fx 22 it looks as if it may be addressed in

Are you able to try in fx22 Nightly please.

I wish they had left this as an addon or behind a pref so that it was off by default until it was much improved. Hopefully Tyler will jump in this week and comment on progress on these issues.

Unlike some subjects there does not seem to be a current meta-bug tracking the pdf-viewer issues.

This lists >100 issues, but not sure it is up-to-date, and may cover mainly legacy edge cases

If you see issues that are not already covered by bugs then try to get a suitable reduced testcase and Steps To Reproduce and file a bug.

Modified by John99

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

Readers of this thread may be interested in looking at a related thread

  • Is there an easy way to detect wether the new internal PDF-Viewer of Firefox is the primary PDF-Viewer or not.
    /questions/950082

Note that thread includes comments by Tyler from the Firefox User Advocacy team.

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

May also be interested in possibly voting on Bug 848690

CandaceL 0 solutions 2 answers

1. In Firefox, click Tools at the top 2. Select Options 3. From the top icons, select Applications 4. Two columns – under Content Type, select Portable Document Format (PDF) 5. Under Action column, click arrow for drop down options – select Use Adobe Acrobat 7.0 (default) 6. Click OK

CandaceL 0 solutions 2 answers

For Firefox 19 PDF issues: 1. In Firefox, click Tools at the top 2. Select Options 3. From the top icons, select Applications 4. Two columns – under Content Type, select Portable Document Format (PDF) 5. Under Action column, click arrow for drop down options – select Use Adobe Acrobat 7.0 (default) 6. Click OK

taolo 0 solutions 8 answers

While coding JavaScript in the LiveCyle, I find a way to detect the ff's "Portable Document File (PDF)" option setting (sort of). If an user uses the built in PDF viewer, few js files (10n.js, pdf.js, debugger.js, viewer.js) exit in the ContentDocument's scripts collection (I display the pdf inside an iframe) and PDFView exists in the contentWindow. On the other hand, if an user uses the adobe acrobat plug-in, those js files do not exist in the ContentDocument's scripts collection and PDFView does not exist in the contentWindow. With that, maybe check the Element's ContentDocument scripts collection / PDFVIEW and act accordingly.

Please try it and let me know your result :)

edit: add the PDFVIEW

Modified by taolo

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

Update, some progress,

Initial target for this fx 22,
but 6th Feb bug 738952 now verified fixed as far as fx20 (Beta3).


Hi richpasco,

The saved file type issue may be fixed in Fx 22 it looks as if it may be addressed in
   Bug 738952 - "Save as..." File menu entry or Ctrl+S produces unexpected results when having a PDF file opened within PDF Viewer 
Are you able to try in fx22 Nightly please. 

(from above /questions/950946?page=3#answer-413493 )


Also
{and again a comment of more use to ordinary users (who may be averse to testing early versions and unlikly to run multiple versions)}
having said that web may even consider utillising the add-ons; for testing, or as site advice to endusers.

Note:
the reader is available as an add-on, and that the add-on may be more up-to-date than ordinary Firefox releases.

The latest version of the PDF vieawer is available as an extension and does a better job than the 0.6.143 version shipped with Firefox 19 in a lot of cases.
You can find the latest version of the PDF Viewer (pdfjs) extension here:

*   PDF Viewer: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/pdfjs/  

(from /questions/951638#answer-415136 )

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

I am looking for sites that do NOT trigger a Firefox info bar warning Possibly some of you are able to give a hand in collecting some examples.

If anyone does understand what is going on and may post a reduced test-case or test page that triggers this it would be great.

Those of you having problems with use of the Firefox built-in pdf viewer on your own or other websites

  • does Firefox (when using pdf viewer) display a Yellow Infobar at the top of the page suggesting to use an alternative viewer ?
  • if not are you able to
    • post the website address and a specific example
    • say whether you are, or are in contact with the siteowner/developer
    • state the OS used, and ideally test each site in Windows, Mac & Linux
      Maybe if you have a suitable OS available you could test untested sites that may be posted in this thread.

You will obviously be interested in your own or your favourite sites, but if you are aware of important heavy use sites having problems that may be interesting to know also.

I understand the IRS site was reported as a problem at one time

The two above may not be examples of problematic pdf forms of course.

I am finding some sites where pdf failure from Linux is not triggering an infobar, but at least that does not affect the majority of Firefox installs.

taolo 0 solutions 8 answers

I am sure that a pdf with event can trigger the warning bar. Then, I do not know what trigger the warning message. https://support.cdn.mozilla.net/media/uploads/images/2013-03-11-09-41-06-437175.png

VikkiO 0 solutions 4 answers

Taolo, in my recent experience as a pdf developer, the message you are seeing that starts with "Please wait..." is I believe due to the pdf you are trying to view is an XFA pdf (dynamic pdf) which pdf.js is not capable of rendering. These types of pdfs are different from the standard acroform fill in types of forms in that they are created with LiveCycle Designer or any other software that is capable of creating XFA pdfs.

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

The bug about the info bar not displaying on Linux has now been re-opened. A small step in the right direction.

rforgaard 0 solutions 2 answers

So, I seem to have found a workaround for the problem where the new Firefox built-in PDF viewer does not display PDF documents properly, that does not require your end-users to change their Firefox configurations.

NOTE: This workaround does not work with PDFs that are fillable forms. Also, obviously, the right solution is for Firefox to display all PDFs correctly without requiring a workaround. The suggestion below is just a stopgap measure.

I had a PDF file, from one of our contributors, that needed to be posted to our web site. When viewed in Firefox, the PDF file resulted in the dreaded message, "This PDF file might not be displayed correctly." And, indeed, it wasn't.

So, here's my workaround. I'm using Adobe Acrobat XI, but I imagine this trick would work with any version of Adobe Acrobat. I opened the PDF file in Acrobat. I then did a File | Save As to save the PDF file in TIFF format. This created one TIFF file for each one of the pages. Then, I used the feature in Acrobat to combine multiple files into a single PDF, to combine the multiple TIFF files into a single PDF. Finally, I saved that resulting PDF file.

NOTE: Newer versions of Acrobat will ask you, when you combine the TIFF files into a single PDF, if you would like to make the text in the file searchable, even though the pages are in TIFF (image) form. I answered Yes. At that point, Acrobat does an OCR pass (which works reasonably well) to identify the text in the new PDF file and make it searchable.

This resulting PDF file displays fine Firefox. This is kind of cheating, because it's really not a scaleable, full-featured PDF anymore. It's simply a PDF file that happens to consist of TIFF images that match the pages in the original PDF file. But for most users, they won't notice the difference. if you need a workaround in a hurry until this problem gets cleared up in Firefox, this seems to do the trick.

Steve3743 0 solutions 6 answers

To disable and fully revert back to Adobe Reader you must follow these steps that worked for me and will also, work for you.

  1. Go to about:config
  2. Search pdf
  3. Put pdfjs.disabled to True
  4. There will be a file on that list with the string:

application/pdf,application/vnd.fdf,application/vnd.adobe.xdp+xml,application/vnd.adobe.xfdf

Double Click on the file and remove the string; leave it blank and restart firefox. It should now work.

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8037 answers

rforgaard,

Thanks for that. I like the fact that you are trying to address the Original Post question, and suggesting a workaround for Websites.


Steve3743

This alternative method:

does not require the user to play around with about.config so avoids the dragons :-D (or warranty) warning !!


Whilst adding links, and because this is a long thread that many will read, but only partially I will also link:

rforgaard 0 solutions 2 answers

john99: Your solution worked great. I followed the instructions in How to disable the built-in PDF viewer and use another viewer that you suggested, and I can now view PDF files (and even fill-in PDF forms) right inside Firefox again. Please disregard my workaround that appears earlier on this thread. Many thanks!

Steve3743 0 solutions 6 answers

That method failed to work for me, so I had to figure out another way of fixing this problem.

arronlee 0 solutions 4 answers

Pdf viewer? is there any differences between the Pdf tool I found online and the one you mentioned?

Rich Pasco 0 solutions 30 answers

arronlee, who is the "you" to whom you addressed your question? If you're asking whether there is any difference between the Yiigo .NET PDF Plugin and Adobe Reader, then yes, there is plenty of difference.