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Firefox Quick Tip: Control PDF on Firefox with Add-on and Foxit Reader

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a real neat document format created by Adobe. Unfortunately, their default (free) reader, Adobe Reader is quite a resource hog. It’s been a killer to accidentally click on a PDF link only to have Firefox “hang up” for about 20 or so seconds since Adobe Reader is opening as a browser page. Pretty sucky if you don’t like delays that much.

So here’s a way to have a better control of PDFs when browsing the Web.

PDF Download Extension for Firefox

First, I’d like to introduce you to PDF Download Extension which is a Firefox Add-on. What it does is that it prompts you to choose what you’d like to do when you click on PDF links. Pretty handy ’cause if you still have Adobe Reader, you’d have to contend with it loading in Firefox. With this add-on, you’d get a message if you’d like to view the PDF file in Firefox or to download it and save it for future viewing. You can get the add-on directly here.

Foxit Reader 2.0

Now to solve that PDF issue. Still stuck with Adobe Reader? Well, here’s an alternative which works well with Firefox – Foxit Reader 2.0. It’s a pretty much rocking substitute for Adobe Reader for the purposes of viewing PDF files. Here’s a review by CeberNet Tech News. And here’s a link to Foxit Reader 2.0. It’s a no-frills program that runs on a single EXE file.

Making the two work together

Now to make the two work together, you have to tweak the PDF Download Extension settings to always use Foxit to open PDF files. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click Tools -> PDF Download – Options
  2. On the “General Tab,” for Default Action, select “Open PDF”
  3. On the “PDF opening” Tab, for the PDF File Opening, select “Use this viewer”
  4. Click ‘Browse’ in Windows Explorer locate the Foxit Reader (FoxitReader.exe)
  5. Click “OK”
  6. Click “OK” again to exit the dialog box.

That should do it. Try it out on PDF links and have full control of PDFs in Firefox.

Source: Adobe Acrobat vs Foxit Reader


10 Responses to “Firefox Quick Tip: Control PDF on Firefox with Add-on and Foxit Reader”

  • kaycee_srk says:

    You can make the Foxit Reader work with Firefox without the PDF Download extension.

    1. In your Firefox browser, click Tools -> Options..
    2. In the Content tab, click Manage.. under File Types
    3. In the Download Actions dialog box, Select PDF and click Change Action…
    4. Select Open them with this Application and Browse for Foxit Reader.exe

  • niket says:

    hey i tried to change the setings as u said
    but i cannot see the file type pdf under the manage button
    so i cant do anything further

  • lhamil64 says:

    niket: Google for “PDF” and find a pdf file to open, it doesn’t matter what one. When the download prompt pops up select Foxit Reader in the dropdown list and then before you click “OK” select the box that says “Always do the selected action for this filetype” and then click OK. It should add it to the file extensions list and have it set to foxit reader.

  • Darth GTB says:


    now my problem:

    i’m using Windows Vista and Foxit dont open inside the firefox… only outside (like your suggestions) like “open or save”

    but in my other PC (Win XP) it works fine… it open inside firefox like Adobe does normally…

    any suggestions?

  • Daniel says:

    Yes, you have to do it that way:
    Im using Win7, Foxit 3.1 and the FF Foxit Add-on from here:
    It works. :)

  • buzzknow says:

    ah, finally i found solution about it

    yes u right, i dont like acrobat, consume high resource :(

    foxit really fast and light :D

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