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Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

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Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

I am a professor and frequently need to open pdfs of academic journal articles from electronic databases. Within the last two or three weeks, when I try to do this using Firefox, only the first page of the pdf displays and the rest are blank. In addition, a bar appears across the top with the message "This pdf file may not display properly." So I have had to switch to Internet Explorer to open the files and do my research. What is going on and how can I fix it so I can open pdf files from the Web in Firefox and have them display properly?

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Site Moderator

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

hello, firefox 19 has introduced its own integrated pdf viewer - if you want to switch back to the plugin you've used before to view pdfs just go to firefox options > applications & scroll down and define the default action for the portable document format (pdf).

How to disable the built-in PDF viewer and use another viewer

2013-03-06-06-19-18-437175.png
12 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

hello, firefox 19 has introduced its own integrated pdf viewer - if you want to switch back to the plugin you've used before to view pdfs just go to firefox options > applications & scroll down and define the default action for the portable document format (pdf).

How to disable the built-in PDF viewer and use another viewer

2013-03-06-06-19-18-437175.png
New Contributor

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

Thanks. I tried resetting the default to both "Adobe Acrobat" and "Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)". Either way works to get a properly displayed pdf, although both seem to be a little slow. I left it on "Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)".

What's wrong with Firefox's built-in pdf viewer? Does it have a bug that needs to be fixed?

Site Moderator

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

The integrated PDF viewer is still under development and works fine for simple PDF files, but a lot of advanced features aren't supported yet and there are still a lot of bugs open.

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

New Contributor

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

I sure hope that this BUG will be fixed soon, it is a big BUG, my professional pdf document was destroyed by the viewer, it does not handle transparencies in the document pdf at all, ....there are no simple pdf files anymore except plain word documents....clients will be contacting me to find out why my beautiful pdf brochure looks so bad on the web - I am happy to have found this explanation though - firefox has been having more and more problems lately - I am wondering why firefox would move away from the Acrobat Reader when that is so common everywhere on the web

Site Moderator

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

For now you can try this workaround and make use of Bug 738967.

Using an embed tag seems Firefox making to use the Abode Reader plugin in Firefox and an object tag defaults to the build-in PDF Viewer if enabled.

New Contributor

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

I followed both of the work around solutions posted both in preferences and adjusting the disable value to true. Neither solution has corrected the problem. I use Firefox for a cloud based inventory software and I have to download and print PDFs everyday so this issue makes Firefox less attractive then IE.

New Contributor

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

My question is simple - why would you put an application in production that has a lot of bugs? To replace a good and steady Adobe product? My customers will believe that I put a pathetic fallible form online. They are not sophisticated on computers so I just tell them to use IE. Ugh

I must agree with pgwebgirl!

New Contributor

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

I started seeing the error bar 1-2 months ago on all PDFs that are fillable (such as IRS forms). The PDFs display but cannot be modified. I have switched Options -> Applications back and forth between "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)" and "Use Adobe Reader (default)", shutting Firefox down and restarting it each time, of course. There is no change in the symptom either way. Actually, there are three PDF entries in my application table, and I changed all three of them:

- Adobe Acrobat Forms Documents (application/vnd.adobe.xfdf)

- Adobe Acrobat Forms Documents (application/vnd.fdf)

- Adobe Acrobat XML Data Package File

System and product levels:

- Windows 7 Home Premium SP1

- Firefox 19.0.2

- Add-ons Manager says the Adobe PDF Plug-In is Adobe Acrobat 11.0.2.0 for Firefox and Netscape. Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2013

- Adobe Reader XI Version 11.0.2, which works correctly outside Firefox

I do not have Adobe Acrobat installed.

Site Moderator

Re: Lately pdf files from the Web do not display properly; what is wrong and how can I fix it so I don't have to use IE?

You can set the pdfjs.disabled pref to true on the about:config page to disable the build-in PDF viewer.

You can also check the value of the plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types pref and remove the application/pdf part if present.

See also: