I stumbled across an alternative for reading PDF files the other day — and it wasn’t FoxIt Reader (which I also sometimes use).
In this case it was Firefox, the web browser that I normally use. Yes, FIrefox actually has a built-in reader for PDF files. You don’t have to download anything else.
It’s not just a reader for PDF’s that you see on web sites. You can drag-and-drop a PDF into Firefox to read it. Or, you can use Firefox’s File > Open menu bar.
You can open the pdf in all the usual ways — drag-and-drop a PDF into Firefox to read it ; double-click on the file (if you have set Firefox to your default program for PDF files); right-click and select Open With… then navigate to the Mozilla Firefox folder and pick Firefox, open Firefox and use its File > Open menu commands. If you click on the PDF on a web site, Firefox will open it by default (right-click on the link if you want to save it to your hard drive.
How did I find this? Well, I’d noticed, of course, that Firefox was handling PDF’s. I’d also realized that, among other things, the print function didn’t work the same way recent Adobe Reader document printing works.
I was trying to solve a problem for my wife, who uses Firefox at work. She was trying to configure her printer with QuickBooks Online. The QuickBooks folks (Intuit) had instructions that said to click Print and then to change one of the Print Dialog Box settings. QuickBooks Online was using the PDF format to make sure that fields lined up exactly as expected. Unfortunately, that setting wasn’t showing up as an item to change.
The PDF (Portable Document Format) file format was developed to be a cross-platform display of a document such that everyone saw exactly the same thing, whether on a PC, a Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever. You don’t even have to have the pertinent fonts on your computer.
The problem turned out to be the print dialog box in Firefox. Well, actually the problem was the Print Dialog Box in Adobe Reader. It’s not the standard Windows Print Dialog box, which Firefox uses.
Since she wasn’t using Adobe Reader to view the file, she didn’t get the Adobe Reader print dialog box. All it too was changing Firefox to use Adobe Reader as the default PDF handling program in Firefox (regardless of what was used in Windows).