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Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

PDF Viewer Issue

You may receive this error in your browser when trying to view a .pdf that is NOT hosted on the domain.  This issue is not specific to SIUE.  It is a global issue:

please wait...

The Issue

The built-in PDF viewer introduced with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome do not support XFA-based PDF forms, which are dynamic pdf forms typically with fillable fields. Therefore, XFA-based PDF forms do not open in later versions of Firefox and Chrome.  HOWEVER, these PDF's display fine in Internet Explorer.

Note:  When trying to view a pdf hosted on the domain, the built in pdf viewer in Firefox and Chrome is bypassed and you should be prompted to save or open the pdf.

The Solutions

  1. Use Internet Explorer to view the pdf or...

  2. To use XFA-based PDF forms on Firefox and Chrome, perform the following steps to configure Firefox and Chrome to open PDFs using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.

Note!  Ensure that you have Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat installed on your machine.  If you do not have it installed, you can download it here:  Adobe Reader

If you are using Firefox:

  1. In Firefox, choose Tools > Options.
    firefox pdf viewing issue

  2. In the Options dialog, click Applications.
  3. In the Applications tab, type PDF in the search field.

    firefox pdf viewing issue

  4. For Portable Document Format (PDF) content type in the search result, select Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox) from the Action drop-down list.
    firefox pdf viewing issue

  5. Click OK.
  6. Restart Firefox.

If you are using Chrome:

  • In Chrome, in the URL field type in: chrome://plugins/.
  • Click Disable under Chrome PDF Viewer, and click Enable under Adobe PDF Plug-In.
    chrome plugin

If you are using Mac:

  • You will need to change the default pdf viewer to Adobe Reader.
  • Ensure that you have Reader installed.  If you do not, you can install it from here: Download Reader
  • After Reader has been installed, 'CTRL-Click' on the .pdf you want to view and select "Download Linked File As".
  • Save the pdf to your computer.
  • Open your documents folder and 'CTRL-Click' on the .pdf you downloaded and select "Open With" and then "Other".
    pdf viewer issue

  • Find Adobe Reader in the application list and check the "Always Open With" check box.
    pdf viewer issue

  • Click "Open".

You will only have to go through this process once.  All future pdf's will now open properly in Adobe Reader by default.

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