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:
- Click Tools -> PDF Download – Options
- On the “General Tab,” for Default Action, select “Open PDF”
- On the “PDF opening” Tab, for the PDF File Opening, select “Use this viewer”
- Click ‘Browse’ in Windows Explorer locate the Foxit Reader (FoxitReader.exe)
- Click “OK”
- 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