Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Open PDF in new window - always

A very common problem with PDF reports called from Alpha web application (or any other program) is that, by default, they open in the same browser window from where the report was called. This sets up the user to accidentally close the Alpha web application when they quite naturally click the browser's red X to close the report. Frustrating because they now have to re-log in.

I found a setting in Adobe Reader (v7) that forces all PDF's called from a browser to open in a new window. Here is how to make this setting:
  1. Open the Adobe Reader from the Windows Start button.
  2. Select Edit / Preferences and then select Internet under the Categories column.
  3. See the top most box "Display PDF in Browser" - make sure that box is unchecked.
  4. Click OK (it will take a minute to update)Try your reports again, they should open in a new window always.

The only real problem with this solution is that each individual user has to make this setting on their client machine, and you cannot effectively control this.

1 comment:

Todd Follansbee said...

Great Point!
There are many good reasons to open a pdf in a new window. not the least of which is that the PDF rarely includes: navigational functionality, company branding or a clear call to action which supports the web site objectives.
Of course the new PDF window should not be full screen and hopefully be positioned within the window in a way that keeps identifiable company logo visible in the background for a one click return to the site.