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Opening PDF files withing Firefox 3.0

Sorry, no news about Owen and Marcus in this post. They're doing great, but I just wanted to do a quick post about Firefox 3 which may save many of my fellow astronomers/Mac users some time and effort.

I just spent most of my morning trying to figure out how to get Firefox 3 to open PDF files within a browser tab like Safari. I was about to give up and go back to my two-browser approach (Firefox for viewing with ad-blocking, Safari for reading astro-ph, etc.) when I finally came across this solution:

http://code.google.com/p/firefox-mac-pdf/

It turns out all you have to do is install a simple PDF plugin and you're in business. Surprisingly this is not anywhere on the Firefox Support webpage, nor is it in the many Mac/Firefox forums I read through (most of these were all, "Just use Safari. Mehhhhh meh MEEHHH!")

The only glitch I ran into is that the first PDF file I tried to open looked like a blank file with a huge horizontal scroll bar. The problem turned out to be that the default viewer setting was at the maximum zoom, so I was only looking at the upper left corner. I zoommed out by right-clicking and selecting "Actual Size" and then it was just like I was reading PDF files in Safari.

Comments

karinms said…
How is firefox 3? I have a hard time living without the little RSS updates in my bookmarks bar in Safari (hence the quick reply to your blog post!). But I've considered the swtich. Good to know that the pdf thing works!
JohnJohn said…
I don't use RSS feeds, but I need to start. There are a lot of friends with new babies updating their blogs frequently, so it's time for me to get with the program. I'll let you know what I find about Firefox's RSS skillz.
blissful_e said…
I use Nitro PDF download as a Firefox extension on my Windows machine - it allows me to open PDFs in a new tab, view as HTML, or save onto the hard drive.
Amy Van Hook said…
so in general, for a non-super user mac type person like myself, going to firefox 3 is a good thing or a bad thing?

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