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Adobe Acrobat Reader
PDF pages don't appear in web browser window



Adobe Printer Drivers (Bring the power of PostScript right to your desktop)

What to do when PDF files do not open correctly or when your browser displays a blank white screen after trying to open the PDF file...

If the Adobe Acrobat viewer doesn't display PDF files inside your Web browser as expected, try Solution 1 or update to the latest version of the Acrobat viewer. Some PDF's use security features that may not run in older versions. If these solutions do not fix your problem, try applying one or more of the other solutions listed below.

This document can help you troubleshoot and resolve issues that prevent an Adobe Acrobat product (such as Acrobat Standard or Professional, Adobe Reader, or Acrobat Approval) from displaying PDF files inside a compatible Web browser window. These issues may also occur for any of the following reasons:

  • The Acrobat product can't read the PDF file
  • The browser isn't configured correctly with the Adobe PDF Browser plug-in
  • The Web server on which the PDF file is stored can't serve the PDF file

What Are PDF's: Adobe Acrobat® Reader is free, and freely distributable software that lets you view and print Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. You will receive the most recent version of Acrobat Reader that is available for your language and platform.  PDF (Adobe® Portable Document Format) files provide a standard form for storing and editing printed publishable documents and are like a photograph of the original document. These files can easily be saved to your hard drive or to a disk and reopened later, with no change to the appearance.

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Solution 1
Disable "view in browser" feature

Try disabling the "View In Browser" or "Web Browser Integration" feature in your Adobe Acrobat viewer (for plug-in and standard version). Doing this will force your Acrobat viewer to display PDF outside your browser in a separate window. In most cases this will fix your problem. Shown below is how to disable "Web Browser Integration".

Tech Note: Windows User - Deselecting the "Display in Browser" feature will allow you to open PDF's outside the browser in Netscape, FireFox, Mozilla, and Opera to name a few, but will not work when using Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE). If you deselect the "Display in Browser" feature and try opening a PDF using MSIE, a second window will open, but will only show a blank white screen with a small image (image has a white background and includes a little red square, green circle and blue triangle inside it) in the top left corner and nothing else happens. This is because MSIE uses the Acrobat Control for ActiveX to to display PDF documents. Netscape and other compatible browsers use the nppdf32.dll in the plug-in folder to display PDF documents.

Quick Fix for Web Authors: Fixing this issue so Microsoft Internet Explorer users bring up your PDF's in a second window - web authors should setup their PDF web links to open the PDF in a second window by adding this "Target Frame" code into their PDF URL string: <target="_blank">

Example: Web Page Link: Adobe Acrobat
Underlying Code: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html">Adobe Acrobat</a>

Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 ( plugin )
Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 ( plugin )
Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 (plugin)
Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 (plugin)
Adobe Acrobat 5.0 ( standard )
Adobe Acrobat 6.0 ( standard )


Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 (plugin)

Go to < File > < Preferences > < General >

  • Remove "Check Mark"
  • Press < Ok >
  • < Close window >

Go to browser and try again to view the PDF. 

When selecting the PDF file this time, you should get a window similar to the one above (may look different depending on the platform you are running). 

Select < Open it > and a "second window" should open and display the PDF.

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Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 (plugin)

Go to...
< Edit > < Preferences >

  • Remove "Check Mark"
  • Press < Ok >
  • < Close window >

Go to browser and try again to view the PDF. 

When selecting the PDF file this time, you should get a window similar to the one above (may look different depending on the platform you are running).

Select < Open it > and a " second window" should open and display the PDF.

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Adobe Acrobat 5.0 (standard)

Go to < Edit >< Preferences >< General >

Go to < Options >

  • Remove "Check Mark"
  • Press < Ok >
  • < Close window >

Go to browser and try again to view the PDF. 

When selecting the PDF file this time, you should get a window similar to the one above (may look different depending on the platform you are running).

Select < Open it > and a " second window" should open and display the PDF.

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Adobe Acrobat 6.0 (standard)
Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 & 7.0 (plugin)

Go to < Edit > < Preferences >

Go to < Internet >

  • Remove "Check Mark"
  • Press < Ok >
  • < Close window >

Go to browser and try again to view the PDF. 

When selecting the PDF file this time, you should get a window similar to the one above (may look different depending on the platform you are running).

Select < Open it > and a " second window" should open and display the PDF.

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Solution 2
Download PDF to hard drive

Make sure that the Acrobat viewer can read the PDF file by downloading it to your hard disk and then viewing it in the browser:

Netscape Navigator 3.x or later
Some Netscape users may have problems viewing PDF's online.
Common problem - getting a blank white page.

Try pressing the refresh button on your browser or try highlighting and clicking (left-mouse button) the URL address location of your browser again or press the (Enter) key on your keyboard after highlighting the URL. In some cases this will temporarily fix the problem.

If you still have problems viewing PDF's with your browsers plugin, save the file to your hard drive. You should now be able to view it locally using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  1. Right-click (Windows) or hold down the mouse button (Mac OS) on the link to the PDF file, then choose "Save Link" As from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, specify a name and location for the PDF file, and then click Save.
  3. Choose one of the following options to open the PDF file:

        -- In Navigator 3.x for Windows or Mac OS, choose File > Open File.
        -- In Navigator 4.x for Windows, choose File > Open Page, and then click
           Choose File.
        -- In Navigator 4.x for Mac OS, choose File > Open > Page in Navigator.
  4. If you're using Navigator for Windows, choose either All Files or Acrobat files from the Files Of Type pop-up menu.
  5. Select the PDF file you saved in step 2 and click Open. The Acrobat viewer should open the PDF file inside the browser window.

Microsoft Intrenet Explorer 4.x or later
Usually Internet Explorers ( 4.0 and higher ) users should have no problem using the browser plugin. If you do experience problems, save the file to your hard drive. You should now be able to view it locally using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  1. Right-click (Windows) or hold down the mouse button (Mac OS) on the link to the PDF file, and then choose "Save Target" As from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, specify a name and location for the PDF file, and then click Save.
  3. Choose File > Open and click Browse.
  4. Choose All Files from the Files Of Type pop-up menu.
  5. Select the PDF file you saved in step 2 and click Open. The Acrobat viewer should open the PDF file inside the browser window.

Note: If the viewer displays only a blank screen or returns an error after you've downloaded a PDF file to your hard disk, the viewer or the PDF file may be damaged.

Exit the browser, restart the viewer, and try to open an Acrobat Online Guide from the viewer's Help menu. If the viewer can't display an online guide, the viewer itself may be damaged and you should contact Acrobat Technical Support.

If the viewer correctly displays the online guide, try opening the PDF file you downloaded. If the viewer can display the downloaded PDF file, the PDF file isn't damaged; rather, your browser isn't working with the Acrobat plug-in. If the viewer still displays only a blank screen or returns an error, the PDF file is probably damaged.

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Solution 3
View another PDF from a different web server

Try viewing a PDF file from a different Web server. To determine if there's problem with the server to which you're connecting, try to open a PDF file from Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com. Adobe's Web server is configured to let your browser connect to PDF files.

If the Acrobat viewer can display PDF files from Adobe's Web site, but not from another site, the other site's server may not be configured correctly (e.g., it uses server software that doesn't support byteserving). Contact that server's Webmaster for assistance.

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Solution 4
Large PDF's may cause problems

If the PDF file is 4 MB or larger, the Web browser may time out before it finishes downloading the file; ask the provider of the file to optimize it in Acrobat Exchange or Acrobat 4.0x. For more information on file optimization, refer to the Acrobat Online Guide.

Please email all questions or comments with this site to Technical Support.

- http://www.ecophotoexplorers.com/contacts.asp?subject=Technical Support#form

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Last Modified: April 11, 2009

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