PDF in Firefox 4
April 28, 2011 11:22 AM   Subscribe

What is your method for reading PDF files in Firefox 4?

Since I upgraded to Firefox 4, I no longer have PDF capabilities. The plugin I was using (Firefox PDF plugin for Mac OS X) does not play with FF4. I tried the PDF Download extension, but when I try any of its available actions, nothing happens, or I end up with a file that Adobe is unable to read. This is DRIVING ME BONKERS because I do a lot of primary literature search in my line of work.

What I want: Something that allows me to view PDFs in Firefox, then print or save as desired. Am I missing something obvious here?

I run Mac OS X 10.5.8 if that matters.
posted by vortex genie 2 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've never cared for inline viewing of PDFs, so I just instructed FF to open PDFs in preview which I can read/manipulate/save, etc.
posted by birdherder at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2011

There's a workaround here which tells you to set extensions.checkCompatibility to False (via about:config, I assume), then quit Firefox, hit "Get Info" on the application and check the box to make it run in 32-bit mode. Haven't tried it myself (like birdherder I prefer to keep my PDFs out of the browser) but it's worth a try.
posted by bcwinters at 12:02 PM on April 28, 2011

I went into Options > Applications and changed anything relating to PDFs into "Always ask".

This forces them to be displayed in Acrobat Reader outside of Firefox - which is more useful to me and less likely to crash Firefox.

Disclaimer: I run Windows.
posted by mr_silver at 12:04 PM on April 28, 2011

I installed this, which is an unofficial pre-release update of the old plugin someone posted here. It works for me, but of course that's not a guarantee for you. Always use caution when trying untrusted software.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:24 PM on April 28, 2011

In the same boat as you. I really liked that old PDF viewer plugin.

Google Docs Viewer claims to display PDFs (and other file formats) in-browser. I've not used it. The reviews are very mixed.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:26 PM on April 28, 2011

The last item in this forum post seems to address a settings change that may fix the problem.

And, like they suggest there, try PDF-XChange. Way better than Foxit, more features than Sumatra, and no Adobe BS.
posted by TomMelee at 5:39 PM on April 28, 2011

I think one of the changes in Firefox 4.0.1 is that PDF capability has been fixed for OSX. Try updating your browser / installing 4.0.1 from the official site.
posted by Senza Volto at 1:24 AM on April 29, 2011

The viewer from the Google Code site? I use that now. You can't run it in 64 bit mode but the newer builds work just fine in 32 bit.

Get Info on Firefox and check the box that says "Open in 32-bit mode". Then install the latest version of the plugin - The currently working version is 1.2.0 which you can find here.

See this thread for more info.

This has worked for me since the early Fx 4 betas and works fine right now.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2011

FWIW the guys responsible for the plugin are apparently working on a 64 bit version but it sounds like it might be held up by changes in Fx 4 that won't let them hook into the existing PDF rendering backend in the OS and pass that to the browser. Or something like that.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:50 AM on April 29, 2011

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