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chexmix 09-15-2012 04:16 PM

... curse of the black screen (viewing PDFs in Firefox) ...
Hi all -

[This is for Firefox 15.0.1 on a Slackware 13.37 laptop, with version 9.5 of the Adobe plugin].

I've done enough Googling to know that having the Adobe Reader plug-in kindasorta not work in Firefox, but instead serve up a black screen when dealing with a PDF instead of the actual content, has been seen many times -- for years, in fact.

It's biting me in the a** this weekend, especially because I am doing research and needing to read a bunch of PDFs ... preferably inline.

Here's what I have tried so far:

- First, I should note that the list of Content-types when I open Edit->Preferences->Applications in Firefox is distressingly short. PDF is not there. So ... it's not a matter of setting a handler in the Preferences dialogue.

- I read at one time (in an LQ thread if memory serves ) that one could open about:config and repoint the entries for


... to directories that actually exist. I did this, setting them to, respectively


... but doing this did not, as I half expected it to, refresh and lengthen the list of Content-types in Preferences, even after a restart of Firefox.

(Plus -- why were these entries initially pointing to things that didn't exist?)

- I read somewhere else that someone could simply disable and re-enable the Firefox plug-in, and re-start. This seems to *work*, but the effect dies after a second restart of Firefox.

Is there any way to tell Firefox how to handle PDFs that will survive a simple restart of the application? I'd be grateful for any hints. I can certainly just read the things in the standalone Acrobat Reader but, well, "give me convenience or give me death."

Plus it's just irritating that I don't know why Firefox is behaving this way, and I would like to understand.



brianL 09-15-2012 04:24 PM

I'm using the pdf viewer add-on in firefox 15.0.1 with no problems. Try it?

chexmix 09-15-2012 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by brianL (Post 4781206)
I'm using the pdf viewer add-on in firefox 15.0.1 with no problems. Try it?

D'oh! Completely forgot about that one. Thanks!

mrclisdue 09-15-2012 05:21 PM an addendum, if the plugin fails you can click on the download icon in the plugin's frame and you get the firefox download dialog to open xpdf, eg...a bit kludgy, but it works when the plugin doesn't.


kikinovak 09-15-2012 05:22 PM

It's been years since I've last used the proprietary monster Adobe for viewing PDFs, because Okular (KDE) and recent versions of Evince (Xfce) do it perfectly, without all the bloat and spyware.

Alien Bob 09-15-2012 06:11 PM

The "pdfjs" PDF viewer is built-in in Firefox since 15.0, no need to install it additionally.

In "about:config" set "browser.preferences.inContent" to "true" and "pdfjs.disabled" to "false".
Furthermore, in "preferences > applications" search for extension "pdf" and make sure the associated action is set to "preview in firefox".


brianL 09-15-2012 06:29 PM

Ah, I didn't know that. I installed it not long before 15.0 came out.

zrdc28 09-15-2012 09:50 PM

I can not find one thing wrong with using okular for this it works everytime.

enine 09-16-2012 09:30 AM

How do you get that add on to work, I've installed and am running 15.0.1 and it says "Not available for Firefox 4.0b9/"

Or how do you get Okular to work inside a FF window. I have an HP AIO which has the internal web page for scanning and it opens Adobe in small window but I have to close the browser window after each scan to kill the adobe process before it will open again.

ruario 09-16-2012 09:51 AM

To use Okular within the browser install the parts plugin or mozplugger. Your choice.

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