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HT1199: Mac OS X: How to troubleshoot a software issue

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HT1199 Adobe Reader won't open as freestanding program, only in browser

2028 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2012 9:19 AM by Kurt Lang RSS
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Jun 28, 2012 3:47 PM

This has been going on for a while, perhaps since the upgrade to Lion OS.  I understand that I need to open Adobe Reader and uncheck the instruction to open in a browser.  However, when I click on Adobe Reader app the icon appears in the dock bar at the bottom of my screen, but this doesn't give me access to either settings or preferences; when I double click on it to open the program window, nothing happens that I can tell.  It's like a catch 22, where I can't get to where I want to go from here...  What can I do to get out of this vicious circle?  The immediate issue is that a PDF ebook file will not open with the correct formatting in Firefox, and in Safari all I get is the first of 100 or so pages!  Tech support at the PDF file's server has attempted to duplicate my problem on a Macbook Pro in both Firefox and Safari, and reports that their formatting is perfect...the problem resides only on my machine.  I have deleted the downloaded copy of the PDF file, then redownloaded it; no improvement.  I have uninstalled Adobe Reader, redownloaded and reinstalled it, checked for updates, rebooted; no improvement.  By the way, Mozilla reports an instability problem with one of Adobe Reader's components, and has disabled it in Firefox; when I re-enable it and try to open a PDF file in Firefox, all I get is a blank page; behavior that corresponds with the problem documentation.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Mac and Office updates all current
  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,535 points)

    When you launch the Reader, are you saying you can't go to the menu bar and choose Adobe Reader > Peferences?

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,535 points)

    The checkbox specifying open pdf files in browser is checked as default, but grayed out and I cannot change it.

    You are correct. If you really don't want the Reader to launch in Safari, shut down Safari. Go to the /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ folder and remove the following two files:





    You may need to enter your admin password to complete the operation. If you check the Reader's preferences after that, you'll note that the check box is now off, though still grayed out.


    Note though that this will not prevent PDF files from displaying in Safari since Safari itself will do that. This is assuming you are always doing a standard left button mouse click on any PDF link. In which case, the default is always to display the PDF file in the browser.


    There is no way to open PDF files online directly into the Reader or Preview. You can wait until it finishes loading in the browser. Move towards the bottom of the screen and you'll have these choices (without the Adobe Reader plug-ins active):




    Click on the third icon, which looks like a loupe on some paper. The PDF in the browser will then open into your default PDF viewer. Your only other option is to right click on a PDF link and choose Download Linked File, or Download Linked File As to save the PDF to your hard drive. From there, you then open it with the Reader.


    Neither is what you want (opening a PDF online directly into a browser), but as I noted, it can't be done. The browser is the application with direct access to the online source, not the PDF viewer, or any other app.

  • K.S. Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)

    Kurt Lang wrote:

    Click on the third icon, which looks like a loupe on some paper.

    Actually it looks like some squares with some circles in the corner. ;-)

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,535 points)

    Hah! Yes, it's a bit too stylized.


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