PDF printing in Firefox
April 7, 2011 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Mac OSX 10.5.8 form PDF printing: Can anyone tell me why it might be that sites which generate a unique PDF for download will malfunction with Firefox but not with Safari or Chrome? A typical example is Purolator.ca: clicking on the javascript link to print a waybill returns a cgi file but no pdf.

Not much in terms of Firefox plugins although I do have adblock plus installed.
posted by HLD to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
The cgi file is the PDF. Rename it and Bob's your uncle. Firefox does this occasionally; I think it's just not quite as smart about naming files as other browsers.
posted by kindall at 2:41 PM on April 7, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks kindall, I'll try that next time.
posted by HLD at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2011

Generally these issues are because the server is sending a binary stream of data with a mime-type identifying what it is (application/pdf), and the browser is expected to convert that into an extension and is failing for some reason. In Options > Applications, do you have anything defined for pdf?
posted by smackfu at 4:16 PM on April 7, 2011

Yes, I would second checking the preferences, to see how Firefox is handling the PDF mime type ("application/pdf").
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:12 PM on April 7, 2011

If nothing else works, you can probably use the MacOS native PDF function (lower left corner of the Print... dialogue box) to save whatever you're looking at in PDF format and then print from that using a program other than Firefox.
posted by hippybear at 8:01 PM on April 7, 2011

Response by poster: In the Firefox Options/Applications menu, there are three Portable Document Format types: (application/download), (applicatication/pdf), and (binary/octet stream). All are set to 'always ask'.

When I've had trouble in the past, it's always been with - fill in the form, pay fee by credit card, click the link to print the mail-in form as a pdf - type sites... which when it fails is not easily repeated to diagnose due to the payment. Are there any sites out there known to do this kind of server-generated PDF one could suggest for testing?
Thanks for the help.
posted by HLD at 9:46 PM on April 7, 2011

Filename is handled partly by the Content-Disposition headers which are sent out by the webserver and by the programmers who did the work. If it fails in your particular setup probably a note to the support team for the site would be worthwhile.
posted by artlung at 7:36 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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