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PDF addresses not longer load and display PDF in Firefox and solutions suggest to other users with problem DON'T WORK (work fine in Chrome and Safari)

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This is an ongoing problem with other users. When putting a PDF in address window of Firefox and clicking go to address FIREFOX WILL NOT LOAD AND DISPLAY THE PDF. This problem has come up in questions from other users on your site. NONE OF THE SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS WORK! (trying either the Firefox PDF viewer or the Acrobat viewer as default viewer)

I am using Firefox 23.0.1 (as some of the other users with the same problem). This was not a problem in the past with Firefox. Safari and Chrome continue load and display PDFs just fine from their addresses. This is a big problem as I now have to inform people who want to view my PDFs NOT TO USE FIREFOX BUT TO USE SAFARI OR CHROME.
This is an ongoing problem with other users. When putting a PDF in address window of Firefox and clicking go to address FIREFOX WILL NOT LOAD AND DISPLAY THE PDF. This problem has come up in questions from other users on your site. NONE OF THE SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS WORK! (trying either the Firefox PDF viewer or the Acrobat viewer as default viewer) I am using Firefox 23.0.1 (as some of the other users with the same problem). This was not a problem in the past with Firefox. Safari and Chrome continue load and display PDFs just fine from their addresses. This is a big problem as I now have to inform people who want to view my PDFs NOT TO USE FIREFOX BUT TO USE SAFARI OR CHROME.

Modified by rballister

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_5) AppleWebKit/536.30.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0.5 Safari/536.30.1

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

What appears when you load a PDF URL -- blank tab?

I don't know whether you tried disabling the Adobe Acrobat plugin, but if not, please try that here:

Tools menu > Add-ons > Plugins category

Does that make a difference?

What appears when you load a PDF URL -- blank tab? I don't know whether you tried ''disabling'' the Adobe Acrobat plugin, but if not, please try that here: Tools menu > Add-ons > Plugins category Does that make a difference?

Helpful Reply

Home page does doesn't go anywhere when I click the "Go To" arrow after inputing PDF location in address line (works perfectly in Safari and Chrome). Disabled "Adobe Acrobat NPAPI Plug-n, Version 10.1.7" in Plugins, made no difference. Also went into Firefox applications tried selecting next to "Content Type" either "Use Adobe Acrobat Pro (default)" or "USe Adobe Acrobat NPAPI Plug-in, Version 10.1.7 in Firefox. Neither made a difference.

Home page does doesn't go anywhere when I click the "Go To" arrow after inputing PDF location in address line (works perfectly in Safari and Chrome). Disabled "Adobe Acrobat NPAPI Plug-n, Version 10.1.7" in Plugins, made no difference. Also went into Firefox applications tried selecting next to "Content Type" either "Use Adobe Acrobat Pro (default)" or "USe Adobe Acrobat NPAPI Plug-in, Version 10.1.7 in Firefox. Neither made a difference.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Hi rballister, is this problem specific to the address bar? In other words, if you try one of the following methods to load the PDF, does it work?

  • Follow a link in a page to the PDF
  • Click a bookmarks to the PDF
Hi rballister, is this problem specific to the address bar? In other words, if you try one of the following methods to load the PDF, does it work? * Follow a link in a page to the PDF * Click a bookmarks to the PDF

Helpful Reply

It appears that a link to a PDF on an internet page will not download in Firefox either! I went to this page: http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/earth_art_detail.html#.UjYEzrwsU08 and tried to download the PDF link at the bottom of the page (Download: PDF 11.3 MB) It didn't work! Nothing happens. Tried it in Safari and it worked flawlessly. I have a PDF file of my work in the public_html folder on my URL. I give the address generated by that file to people who want to view my work---this works perfectly in Safari and Chrome. As to your other question, can't bookmark it if I can't get to it in Firefox.

It appears that a link to a PDF on an internet page will not download in Firefox either! I went to this page: http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/earth_art_detail.html#.UjYEzrwsU08 and tried to download the PDF link at the bottom of the page (Download: PDF 11.3 MB) It didn't work! Nothing happens. Tried it in Safari and it worked flawlessly. I have a PDF file of my work in the public_html folder on my URL. I give the address generated by that file to people who want to view my work---this works perfectly in Safari and Chrome. As to your other question, can't bookmark it if I can't get to it in Firefox.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Could you also try Firefox's Safe Mode? That's a standard diagnostic tool to bypass interference by extensions (and some custom settings). More info: Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode.

You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using

Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

In the dialog, click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Reset)

Any improvement in Firefox's ability to load PDF links?

Also, have you noticed problems with any other kinds of downloads (e.g., DOC files or ZIP files)?

Could you also try Firefox's Safe Mode? That's a standard diagnostic tool to bypass interference by extensions (and some custom settings). More info: [[Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode]]. You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled In the dialog, click "Start in Safe Mode" (''not'' Reset) Any improvement in Firefox's ability to load PDF links? Also, have you noticed problems with any other kinds of downloads (e.g., DOC files or ZIP files)?

Question owner

Was able to download a Zip file. Was able to sick on a link after search to a site with a doc file. Clicking on the site in the search list opened up a doc file in Word. Restarted Firefox in Safe mode---and was able to download a PDF on a site.Was able to put the address of my PDF in the address window and have my PDF open. Some progress! Anticipating your next question, here is a screen shot of my Add-Ons below.(Add ons)

Was able to download a Zip file. Was able to sick on a link after search to a site with a doc file. Clicking on the site in the search list opened up a doc file in Word. Restarted Firefox in Safe mode---and was able to download a PDF on a site.Was able to put the address of my PDF in the address window and have my PDF open. Some progress! Anticipating your next question, here is a screen shot of my Add-Ons below.(Add ons)
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Hi rballister, that's very useful feedback. Can you check the Extensions list (separate category on the Add-ons page)? Anything related to downloads might be a possible suspect in changing how PDF links work.

Hi rballister, that's very useful feedback. Can you check the Extensions list (separate category on the Add-ons page)? Anything related to downloads might be a possible suspect in changing how PDF links work.

Question owner

Attached is a screen shot of the Extensions list. Download Helper is an extension that allows you to download videos from YouTube. Works fine. The two PDF related extensions are PDF Download 3.0.0.2 (Allows you to choose what to do with a PDF file: download it, view it with an external viewer or view it as HTML) and PDF Viewer 0.8.298 (Uses HTML5 to display PDF files directly in Firefox).

Attached is a screen shot of the Extensions list. Download Helper is an extension that allows you to download videos from YouTube. Works fine. The two PDF related extensions are PDF Download 3.0.0.2 (Allows you to choose what to do with a PDF file: download it, view it with an external viewer or view it as HTML) and PDF Viewer 0.8.298 (Uses HTML5 to display PDF files directly in Firefox).
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

If you haven't already, could you try disabling the PDF Download extension? It hasn't been updated for a long time and might not work correctly in Firefox 23.

If you haven't already, could you try disabling the PDF Download extension? It hasn't been updated for a long time and might not work correctly in Firefox 23.

Question owner

I disabled PDF Download 3.0.0.2 and was able to open the file after putting in the address but I also got this error message: "This PDF document might not be displayed correctly." It didn't display correctly. Some of the pieces of artwork had shadows which became squared off blocks of grey. The PDF displayed perfectly in Safari (without any error message). So you can see what I'm talking about I've attached a screenshot of the Firefox PDF which includes the error message and the poorly displayed areas and the Safari PDF which displayed perfectly.

I disabled PDF Download 3.0.0.2 and was able to open the file after putting in the address but I also got this error message: "This PDF document might not be displayed correctly." It didn't display correctly. Some of the pieces of artwork had shadows which became squared off blocks of grey. The PDF displayed perfectly in Safari (without any error message). So you can see what I'm talking about I've attached a screenshot of the Firefox PDF which includes the error message and the poorly displayed areas and the Safari PDF which displayed perfectly.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Hi rballister, yes, Firefox's built-in PDF viewer (or the HTML5 viewer extension) are works in progress that do not properly decode all PDFs. I'm not sure whether the viewer can really tell when it isn't handling the PDF well, but usually there will be a button on that infobar popping up a dialog to launch the PDF in an external viewer. That seems to have gotten cut off on your screen, along with the right side of the toolbar that has the print and download buttons.

Hi rballister, yes, Firefox's built-in PDF viewer (or the HTML5 viewer extension) are works in progress that do not properly decode all PDFs. I'm not sure whether the viewer can really tell when it isn't handling the PDF well, but usually there will be a button on that infobar popping up a dialog to launch the PDF in an external viewer. That seems to have gotten cut off on your screen, along with the right side of the toolbar that has the print and download buttons.

Question owner

NOt entirely following you. I didn't do a full width screen shot of the right side of the toolbar. I've attached a screen shot of the Whole bar and a screen shot after selecting the other choice in the external viewer. After selecting the different external viewer the error message goes away but as you can see there is still a display problem (no display problems in Safari and Chrome)

NOt entirely following you. I didn't do a full width screen shot of the right side of the toolbar. I've attached a screen shot of the Whole bar and a screen shot after selecting the other choice in the external viewer. After selecting the different external viewer the error message goes away but as you can see there is still a display problem (no display problems in Safari and Chrome)
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Yes, that is the current behavior: when you open the PDF in the external viewer, such as Preview or Adobe Reader, the original (wrongly displayed) PDF remains in the browser. I don't think there is a way to get that tab to close automatically. That might be a good enhancement.

Yes, that is the current behavior: when you open the PDF in the external viewer, such as Preview or Adobe Reader, the original (wrongly displayed) PDF remains in the browser. I don't think there is a way to get that tab to close automatically. That might be a good enhancement.

Question owner

Acrobat Pro was selected as the application to use in Firefox Preferences under Applications. My thinking is I shouldn't have to change the external browser. There really doesn't seem to be a solution. The PDF file MIGHT open up in other people's Firefox browsers if they don't have old extensions. And it is uncertain that it will display correctly at ALL in Firefox. Unfortunately I'm now going to have warn people beforehand to not use Firefox and to use only Safari or Chrome when they try to open my PDFs. Thanks for all your help.

Acrobat Pro was selected as the application to use in Firefox Preferences under Applications. My thinking is I shouldn't have to change the external browser. There really doesn't seem to be a solution. The PDF file MIGHT open up in other people's Firefox browsers if they don't have old extensions. And it is uncertain that it will display correctly at ALL in Firefox. Unfortunately I'm now going to have warn people beforehand to not use Firefox and to use only Safari or Chrome when they try to open my PDFs. Thanks for all your help.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

In case you have some site visitors who don't like being told what browser they need to use to access your content, you also could suggest that Firefox users download the file first and view it offline.

In case you have some site visitors who don't like being told what browser they need to use to access your content, you also could suggest that Firefox users download the file first and view it offline.

Question owner

Need a little help with that suggestion. How can they download the file if they can't get to it? As previously mentioned---"I have a PDF file of my work in the public_html folder on my URL. I give the address generated by that file to people who want to view my work". Are you suggesting once they get to the file (hopefully, if everything is OK with THEIR version of Firefox!) and open it (I can't figure out how they can get to it using the address without opening it) they then download the flawed looking file? After they see the flaws they might not bother to then download it!

Need a little help with that suggestion. How can they download the file if they can't get to it? As previously mentioned---"I have a PDF file of my work in the public_html folder on my URL. I give the address generated by that file to people who want to view my work". Are you suggesting once they get to the file (hopefully, if everything is OK with THEIR version of Firefox!) and open it (I can't figure out how they can get to it using the address without opening it) they then download the flawed looking file? After they see the flaws they might not bother to then download it!
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

Hi rballister, I was thinking you could put the note wherever you were going to put your note about using a different browser.

It's also possible to push the PDF so it always has to be downloaded. However, this is tricky with a direct link; easier if you give a link to a PHP file. Past example: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/960466#answer-464494

Hi rballister, I was thinking you could put the note wherever you were going to put your note about using a different browser. It's also possible to push the PDF so it always has to be downloaded. However, this is tricky with a direct link; easier if you give a link to a PHP file. Past example: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/960466#answer-464494

Question owner

I inform the person who needs to view the work either in e-mail or as part of an application form. If you are implying putting a note saying "Don't use Firefox, use either Safari or Chrome" that's easy enough to do but may also be off-putting! Those two instances are the only opportunities I have to inform the intended viewer not to use Firefox. Again not a problem to literally do that but nevertheless a problem! If you have some other sort of note in mind let me know. I took a look at the link you incorporated in your last answer (confirming this is an ongoing problem). I have no idea how to "give a link to a PHP file". When I read the post you suggested there were no instructions there (and by the way I don't code). Can you give me simple step-by-step instructions how to do this?

I inform the person who needs to view the work either in e-mail or as part of an application form. If you are implying putting a note saying "Don't use Firefox, use either Safari or Chrome" that's easy enough to do but may also be off-putting! Those two instances are the only opportunities I have to inform the intended viewer not to use Firefox. Again not a problem to literally do that but nevertheless a problem! If you have some other sort of note in mind let me know. I took a look at the link you incorporated in your last answer (confirming this is an ongoing problem). I have no idea how to "give a link to a PHP file". When I read the post you suggested there were no instructions there (and by the way I don't code). Can you give me simple step-by-step instructions how to do this?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8643 solutions 70721 answers

To implement the PHP approach, you would do the following. This assumes your webserver supports PHP (most do) and that your hosting allows you to upload PHP files.

(1) Save the following file under the name getpdf.php

http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/getpdf.php.txt

(2) Using an FTP program or your server's upload feature, copy getpdf.php into the same folder as your PDF file

(3) Test with your link. In the address bar, or in an email, insert the following just before the name of the PDF:

getpdf.php?f=

So for example, this direct link to the PDF:

http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/Mixed_Content_Blocking.pdf

would become this link to the PHP file:

http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/getpdf.php?f=Mixed_Content_Blocking.pdf

To implement the PHP approach, you would do the following. This assumes your webserver supports PHP (most do) and that your hosting allows you to upload PHP files. (1) Save the following file under the name getpdf.php http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/getpdf.php.txt (2) Using an FTP program or your server's upload feature, copy getpdf.php into the same folder as your PDF file (3) Test with your link. In the address bar, or in an email, insert the following just before the name of the PDF: getpdf.php?f= So for example, this direct link to the PDF: http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/Mixed_Content_Blocking.pdf would become this link to the PHP file: [http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/getpdf.php?f=Mixed_Content_Blocking.pdf http://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/'''getpdf.php?f='''Mixed_Content_Blocking.pdf]

Question owner

Didn't Work. What I did: Had to figure out how to save the txt file you provided a link to. There was no way to do a "save as". I copied the file and pasted into a Word doc then saved it as a txt file. On the server where the original PDF resides in a folder (in the public_html folder) I created another folder and named it w for the convenience of the test. In that folder I put the original PDF and the txt file I created (getpdf.php.txt). Following your new instructions for downloading this PDF the new address would be: abcdefghij.com/w/getpdf.php?f=abcdefghij.klmn.opqrstw.pdf

I am substituting letters other than then the real name but you get the idea (except for the w which is the name of the folder I created) Tried the new address first in Safari and then in Firefox with the same result: Page Not Found. See screen shot from Firefox attached. (I didn't want to publicly display online the specifics of the file and site but if its helpful I can send you that info directly for testing if you get back to me with your direct e-mail address)

Didn't Work. What I did: Had to figure out how to save the txt file you provided a link to. There was no way to do a "save as". I copied the file and pasted into a Word doc then saved it as a txt file. On the server where the original PDF resides in a folder (in the public_html folder) I created another folder and named it w for the convenience of the test. In that folder I put the original PDF and the txt file I created (getpdf.php.txt). Following your new instructions for downloading this PDF the new address would be: abcdefghij.com/w/getpdf.php?f=abcdefghij.klmn.opqrstw.pdf I am substituting letters other than then the real name but you get the idea (except for the w which is the name of the folder I created) Tried the new address first in Safari and then in Firefox with the same result: Page Not Found. See screen shot from Firefox attached. (I didn't want to publicly display online the specifics of the file and site but if its helpful I can send you that info directly for testing if you get back to me with your direct e-mail address)

Modified by rballister