Tip: Managing PDF files

I am using a fairly fresh install of Opera right now, with more default settings than I normally would use. One of these was the PDF file handling, like with other browsers (at least for Windows) Opera uses the Adobe Acrobat plugin by default. I do read quite a few PDFs, particularly work-related, and Acrobat is a fine program, but I really don’t like the plugin. In theory integrating PDF files with the browser sounds good, but it takes away my control over my browsing environment, for instance I can’t go back with Z (or a mouse gesture), and the plugin can’t do all what the full Acrobat program can do either.

Fortunately this isn’t hard to fix. What you need to do is to change the PDF settings.

  1. Open Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Download (Ctrl+F12,D should do it)
  2. Type PDF in the Quick Find field, application/pdf will show.
  3. Hit the Edit button
  4. Change the option to Open with default application

In some cases you might want to open with another program than the default. Personally I prefer, instead of just opening the PDFs, to store them in a particular directory and then open them. That will mean that junk files will accumulate in that directory as all PDF files will be saved there, but I don’t read much junk PDF anyway, so cleaning up the directory isn’t that much of a challenge.

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  1. and now tell me how to get rid of opera opening a blank page with the link to the pdf file in the address bar… one of my pet gripes

  2. it takes away my control over my browsing environment, for instance I can’t go back with Z (or a mouse gesture)You are still able to use gestures and keyboard shorcuts performing them over a tab header of pdf plugged page 😉

  3. You forgot to mention, that Opera (or Adobe?) finally fixed that annoying bug where the plugin was hanging (and Opera with it) when you tried to navigate back in history with the back button of the mouse, while viewing a PDF file.This was one of the main reasons for me not to use the plugin for years.Tip: Don’t use the extremly fat an slow Adobe reader. There is a very fast, slim* , feature rich and nice alternative to the “original”. It’s called Foxit Reader* It’s a single .exe file with 3.6MB and no installation needed.

  4. I use Foxit Reader as the default reader from Opera. If I just want to read a file online, Foxit Reader opens it fast. However, if I want to keep the file, I save it to disk from Foxit Reader. When I open the file later from Windows Explorer, my default program for PDF files is Adobe Reader, which renders files better, and has all the options for searching and copying text, which are defective in Foxit Reader. An Opera plugin for Foxit Reader is planned.

  5. Ravneel Chand writes:Foxit Reader does an acceptable job at first glance, but it isn’t a very elegant program. It doesn’t uninstall itself and will display some documents with glitches, glitches that can only be found by comparing against Adobe Reader.

  6. Foxit stopped development on a plugin for Opera. I switched to PDF-XChange Viewer, which is better for various reasons.The Opera plugin is already available and PDF-XChange developers soon fix any bugs reported.

  7. What is the nature of the plugin? Opera, Firefox, and Safari all use the same plug-in interface, the upgrade/replacement for the old Netscape 4 plug-in interface.

  8. Goodbye IE writes:Opera with GS View works well for me. Needs a download of Ghost Script also – both are clean and self-extracting downloads. Strange how many folks think Acrobat is the sole option… PDF Xchange looks interesting – will look into that as well. Thx for tip!

  9. Thanks for the tip of opening the pdf file. It really helped. Opera should change the default setting on their browser.It was annoying.


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