PDF Trouble Shooting – Part 1: Displaying the PDF

PDFs are probably the most common way for us to look at documents, especially here on campus where we need journal articles to do research. Unfortunately, PDFs bring a host of problems, especially here on campus. This first part of a two part blog series will hopefully offer some guidance when a PDF just won’t show itself to you.

The first thing to consider when a PDF won’t display on the screen is what program you’re trying to view it from. Are you trying to view the PDF in a browser, such as FireFox, Internet Explorer, or Chrome?browsers

You probably are trying to view it in a browser if you’re accessing the file from an email attachment or a web link, or if you clicked on anything that said “PDF Full Text.”

So what can you do? There are two quick tricks that could easily solve your problem.
1 – Save the PDF to the desktop or another easy-to-find location and open the file in Adobe Reader from there, or

2 – Try opening the file in a different browser. It’s pretty common for FireFox to give you a hard time with PDFs. You can usually just copy and paste the URL into the other browser and view the PDF just fine.

If neither of those solutions work, I suggest you grab one of the helpful IU librarians. Someone in the library (or computer lab) should be able to help you out, although not every problem has a solution…

pdferrorAn error message like this one generally means the file cannot be opened. However, it still wouldn’t hurt to talk to a librarian. We might be able to find you a working PDF of the document.

I hope this helps. In Part II we’ll give you some tips on getting your PDFs to print. Stay tuned!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.