How to View PDF Files When Using Firefox

If you are using the Firefox browser to view church bulletins on the Incarnation website, the links for bulletins may look like they are not working. Nothing seems to happen.

Here’s What’s Wrong

Documents such as our church bulletins are often in .pdf files (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format). This format is nearly universal (almost all computers have the Adobe Reader installed on them already) and shows an exact rendering of the original document, which makes it easier to read.

Firefox, by default, saves .pdfs to your downloads folder. This is safer than just opening the .pdf directly, because some .pdfs contain malware. However, it makes viewing safe .pdfs harder and less intuitive.

There are two ways you can deal with the problem:

  1. Go to the list of downloads and open it there.
  2. Change Firefox’s settings.

1. Here’s How to Open the Download

Viewing pdf files in Firefox by opening them from the Downloads folder.
To view the downloaded .pdf file of the Bulletin, (1) Click the down arrow with a bottom line located in the top bar of the browser. This opens a window with recent downloads to your computer.

2. Here’s How You Change Firefox’s Settings

Changing Firefox pdf settings (1 0f 3)
(1) Click the “hamburger” (three short lines on top of one another) in the upper right corner of Firefox. (2) In the window that pops up, click “Options”.

Changing Firefox pdf settings (2 0f 3)
(3) On the Options page, scroll down to the “Applications” area. Find the “Portable Document Format (PDF)”. To the right of that link, click “Save File” and change it by selecting “Use Adobe Acrobat Reader”.

Changing Firefox pdf settings (3 0f 3)
“Use Adobe Reader” should now appear. Close the options page (not Firefox itself). Click the Bulletin you want again, and the bulletin should appear (the screen will turn dark and there will be a short wait until the pdf loads).